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Costa Del Sol Locations-Guide

Information about Cádiz

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(145.595 inhabitants) Capital of the province


It was founded by the Phoenicians traders of Tiro in the year 1.100 a.C. with the name of Gadir, although there is more ancient news that point to an almost mythological character. First with its founders and later with the Carthaginians, Gadir was still an island separated from the land, it was a commercial emporium of first category. Roman dominion brought a period of special splendour. In the imperial Gades were created the first shipyards, the demography grows, and it is carried out and important urbanistic increase.
All this importance disappears during the Goths and Arabs ages. In 1262, Alfonso X took the city for the Christian host. The American Discovery opened a new door to a period of greatness. The second and fourth journey of Colòn took Càdiz as place of departure. In 1509, the city receives the right to register the Indian ships and, in 1558, to unload leather and sugar from the Antillas. Still fights with Sevilla for the American trading, but this competence ends when in XVIII century takes place the transfer to Càdiz of the Casa de Contrataciòn placed in Sevilla.
XVIII and XIX centuries are of fast growth of the city. It comes up a commercial middle class of great power who, during some time, had some influence on national politic. In 1812, during the Independence War, the Cortes Generales, gathered in Càdiz, proclaimed the 1st Spanish Constitution. Of liberal character, proclaimed free press, abolish the dominium regime and abolition of torture and the Inquisiciòn. From 1947, after the explosion of a store of mines which destroyed part of the surrounding walls, the city has suffered deep changes, spreading along the isthmus.


The sea food is the king of Càdiz cooking. Own fish from the coast as the dorada (gilthead), the urta, the ròbalo (bass), the acedìa (plaice), the boquerones ( anchovies) and the merluza (hake) are superb figures in the royal kingdom. One of the most traditional is the pescaito frito, that we can get in any restaurant or fried bars.
Dishes of long tradition, considered as frituras are the urta a la roteña, the cazòn (dogfish) en adobo and the urta al brandy. Very gaditans are too the caballa ( mackerel) asada con piriñaca, minced tomatoes, onions and green peppers seasoned¸ the  tortilla de camarones  and the  bienmesabe, raw fish seasoned in vinegar. To finish, mention the well known  turròn de Càdiz, made of marzipan and fruits.


In February, the Carnaval, declared as of National Tourist Interest, puts the city upside down. The festival lasts from the Domingo de Cuasimodo, before the Lent, to the Piñata one, but before it has a prologue that opens with the erizada, popular tasting of this delicious mollusc (sea-urchin), it follows the Concurso de Coros, Comparsas y Chirigotas celebrated in the Teatro Falla. After the contest the groups go through the streets of the city singing their songs, tangos, cuplès and pasodobles, of a strong satiric and erotic content. The entire city takes part in the celebration.
The Semana Santa is so spectacular like the rest of the Andalucian towns, with important parades on the Holy Thursday, or the saetas sang to the images.
On the 24th June it is celebrated in the traditional quema de los juanillos, a doll made of rags.
By the end of August is celebrated the well known football trophy of Ramòn de Carranza.

Urban life

The sea, the cante flamenco, the Carnaval are 3 of the biggest points of interest around which the people of Càdiz organize their leisure. Neighbourhoods like el Pòpulo, Santa Marìa and La Viña are full of pubs and bars where the people rehearsal for the Carnaval. In these areas is where is concentrated most of the young people of the city.


The access.
The magnificent bridge over the bay, avoids a long distance surrounding to get to the city, and gives entrance to the modern Càdiz. The Puertas de Tierra, in the plaza de la Constitución, are the original access to the walled city.
The wall establishes a line of separation between the sea and the buildings along the city’s perimeter. In the plaza de España, close to the commercial port, it raises the monumento a las Cortes.

The primal city
The primal Càdiz is concentrated in the surroundings of the plaza de San Juan de Dios, a place of Antillean flavour with colourful houses of colonial style and a good number of restaurants and sea food bars. This square has the hospital de San Juan de Dios, of baroque style from XVIII century, and the Ayuntamiento with the mixture of the neoclassic and Elizabethan styles on its facade.
Very close is situated the cathedral, until 1715 the old cathedral was getting small, so the Town Hall decided to build a new building for the cathedral. The idea was well accepted and in 1722 was placed the 1st stone of the building. The works went until 1838, that’s the reason why there are different styles in it.
The main façade is neoclassic style, it has 3 accesses over a large staircase, with 2 strong towers at the sides with a belfry on the top.
The main altar reflects the influence of the monastery of the Escorial.
The chorus is a baroque carving coming from the Cartuja de Sevilla and the grille that encloses the ensemble is of renaissance style, although built in 1859.
In the neighbourhood of the Pòpulo, the elder of the city, opens to the left of the cathedral, through the arcos de la Rosa, del Pòpulo and de los Blancos. In this place, in the Fray Fèlix square, is situated the iglesia de la Santa Cruz, former cathedral of the diocese. In the small square of San Martìn it raises the Casa del Almirante, nice palace of 1686, with marble façade brought from Gènova.
The Santa Marìa neighbourhood has numerous baroque palaces turned into living accommodation. One of the most interesting is number 11 of the Santa Marìa street, named as palacio de los Lasquetty, with its marble front between Tuscans pilasters, crowned by the familiar shield.

The contemporary city

An important Càdiz, although more modern than the former one, arises in the direction of the far end of the small peninsula that takes the urban area.
Between calle Sagasta and the avenida del Duque de Nàjera, is situated the La Viña neighbourhood, at the far end of it is the famous  playa de la Caleta,  surrounded by the  castillos de Santa Catalina and the San Sebastiàn, this one situated in the military area and cannot be visited. Former fishermen neighbourhood, it has lots of places where to taste the fried fish.
Over the La Viña neighbourhood comes up a more conventional area, but with many nice corners and beautiful buildings. One of these places is the plaza de la Libertad, where is situated the Mercado de Abastos, of neoclassic style. By this square raises the Hospital de Mujeres, magnificent baroque building, with two lightly patios (courtyards) separated by an imperial staircase; the capilla (chapel), shelters the Èxtasis de San Francisco of El Greco, and its main altarpiece, of neoclassic style.
Nearby, in the street Marquès del Real Tesoro, it is situated the Torre Tavira, a viewpoint tower with 2 exhibition rooms and a unique attraction in Spain; the càmara oscura (dark chamber), in which it is projected a live image of what is happening outside in that moment.
At north of the plaza de la Libertad is the Museo Municipal which keeps a valuable model of the city.
A bit ahead, in the square of the same name, it is the Teatro Falla, made of red brick and neomudèjar style, finished in 1905, to take the place of the former one destroyed in a fire.
Anex to the Falla, it opens the plaza de Fragela where we can find the Casa de las Viudas, a good example of the gaditan baroque.
The Calle Ancha is one of the most characteristic of the city. It has a lot of antiques shops and palaces from XVII and XIX centuries.
In the surroundings of the plaza de la Mina, it is situated the Casa natal de Falla and, between some interesting palaces, it is the  Museo de Càdiz which holds valuable pieces as  Phoenician coffins and Zurbaràn, Alejo Fernàndez or Murillo paintings.
In the street del Rosario it is the oratorio de la Santa Cueva, which keeps the 3 canvas of Goya:  Milagro de los panes y los peces, El invitado a las bodas y Santa Cena