Situated beside a bay, the fortified city of Ceuta has watched over the strait of Gibraltar since long ago. The walled area presides over the old quarter of this Cosmopolitan Mediterranean city. Since ancient times, Ceuta's strategic location has encouraged the settlement of different civilisations. Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and, later, Arabs and Portuguese occupied this place for commercial or military ends. Finally, by its own will, it came to form part of the Spanish crown.