ancient Fretum Herculeum
Channel, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean.
Lying between southernmost Spain and northwesternmost Africa, it is 36 mi (58 km) long and narrows to 8 mi (13 km) between Point Marroquí (Spain) and Point Cires (Morocco). At the strait's eastern extreme, 14 mi (23 km) apart, stand the Pillars of Hercules , which have been identified as the Rock of Gibraltar and Jebel Musa in Ceuta . It has long been of great strategic and economic importance.