The Moorish occupation is by far the longest in Gibraltar’s recorded history, having lasted from 711 to 1309 and then again from 1350 to 1462, a total of SOME 710 years.
The Moorish conquest of Spain was led by Tarik ibn Ziyad and Musa ibn Nusayr, who probably landed in Europe at or near Gibraltar. The location of Gibraltar made it a key location for the communication line between the Kingdom of Granada and Moorish domains in northwestern Africa.
Construction of the Moorish Castle commenced in the 8th century AD (possibly AD 711) but the date of completion is not known. Its walls enclosed a considerable area, reaching down from the upper part of the Rock of Gibraltar to the sea. The most conspicuous remaining parts of the Castle are the upper tower, or Tower of Homage, together with various terraces and battlements below it, and the massive Gate House, with its cupola roof.
The Tower of Homage is the highest tower of the period of Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula, and the Qasbah of the Castle is the largest in the area. The Castle itself played a prominent part in the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula.
The present Tower of Homage, and most of what is visible today of the Castle, was rebuilt during the second Moorish period of occupation in the early 14th century. Most of the older building was destroyed between 1309 and 1333 during fighting with the Spanish.