Gibraltar–Spain border

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Coordinates: 36°09′18″N 5°20′54″W / 36.154933°N 5.348363°W / 36.154933; -5.348363

The border, seen from the Spanish side
The border, as seen from the British side
The closed Spanish gate at the border between Gibraltar and Spain, 1977
The border, as seen on the map

The Gibraltar–Spain border is the international boundary[1] between the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar and Spain. It is also referred to as Spanish: La frontera de Gibraltar (The frontier of Gibraltar) or simply as The Frontier.[2]

The border runs east-west for a total of 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) separating Gibraltar from the neighbouring Spanish municipality of La Línea de la Concepción.[3] Since the United Kingdom is outside the European Union's Schengen Area, Gibraltar is too and therefore, identity checks are required to cross the border.[4]


The frontier has not always been marked by a barrier. In 1909 Britain was aware of the need to reduce the number of sentries and built a fence 7 ft (c. 2m) high,[5] however there was suspicion about the motives for the fence.[6]

Spain closed the border to vehicles in 1969 and again completely later on in the year following heightened tensions with Britain as a result of the disputed status of Gibraltar. The border was not fully reopened until February 1985.

In 2013, due to growing tensions between Gibraltar (backed by Britain) and Spain, the Spanish border control began to search every passing car, creating queues on both sides of the border which were several hours long.


  1. ^ The Kingdom of Spain does not recognize the existence of an international boundary. isthmus_between_Gibraltar_and_Spain
  2. ^ Olivero, Leo (6 July 2012). "Fear of crossing the Frontier!". Panorama. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Length of Land Boundaries Border Countries by Country". Chartsbin. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Garcia, Joe. "Spain would not object to Gibraltar joining Schengen". Panorama. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Simon J. Lincoln (1994). "The Legal Status of Gibraltar: Whose Rock is it Anyway?". Fordham International Law Journal, Volume 18, Issue 1 page 308. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  6. ^ Jackson, Sir William G. F. (1990). The rock of the Gibraltarians : a history of Gibraltar (2nd ed. ed.). Grendon: Gibraltar Books. p. 262. ISBN 0948466146. 

See also[edit]