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Its strategic value increased with the opening of the Suez Canal, as it lay on the sea route between the UK and the British Empire east of Suez.In the later 19th century, there were major investments in improving the fortifications and the port.The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today.From 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada (in 12), the Marinids of Morocco (in 12) and the kings of Castile (in 1309).In 1501, Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, and Isabella I of Castile issued a Royal Warrant granting Gibraltar the coat of arms that it still uses today.In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet, representing the Grand Alliance, captured the town of Gibraltar on behalf of the Archduke Charles of Austria in his campaign to become King of Spain.The Carthaginians and Romans also established semi-permanent settlements.
The naval base and the ships based there played a key role in the provisioning and supply of the island of Malta during its long siege. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne.The occupation of the town by Alliance forces caused the exodus of the population to the surrounding area of the Campo de Gibraltar.As the Alliance's campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated and ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britain's withdrawal from the war.
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