Cadiz Tourist Information
by Gary Cotter
The historic city of Cadiz
is situated on the end of a narrow, rocky peninsular jutting out into the
Atlantic Ocean. According to legend Cadiz was founded by Hercules, although
in reality the Phoenicians first established a settlement here around 1100BC,
making this one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe.
The Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors all came and went, but it
was not until the 18th century that Cadiz enjoyed its greatest period of
wealth when it became an important centre for trade with the New World.
Many of the town's fine neo-classical buildings were built during this
|Today, this busy port has
a compact old town centre dominated by the distinctive yellow dome of the
Nueva Catedral. Construction of this Baroque-style cathedral was started
in 1722 but funds soon started to run low and the building was not finally
completed until 1853. The crypt contains the tomb of the great composer
Manuel de Falla. Next to Falla's birthplace in the Plaza de la Mina is
the Cadiz Museum. Arranged over three floors, the museum contains a fine
collection of paintings including works by Zurbaran, Rubens and Murillo.
There's also a display of ancient Roman, Greek and Phoenician artifacts
that have been excavated in the province. Another important museum is the
Museo de las Cortes de Cadiz, which traces the story of the town's unsuccessful
attempt to establish a democratic constitution in 1812 while Spain was
at war with France.
The main beach in Cadiz,
de la Caleta, is situated next to the Barrio de la Vina district of
the old town. It's particularly beautiful at night when the enormous dragon
trees are floodlit.
Waterfront Dusk, Cadiz, Andalucia, Spain, Europe
The beach was used as the
location for one of the James Bond films in which Halle Berry emerges Ursula
Andress-like from the sea. Playa de la Caleta can get very crowded in the
high season, so the large Playa de la Victoria beach is a better option
if you want to do a spot of sunbathing. Nightlife in the town is not particularly
exciting; most of the action takes place within the bars and discos located
near the harbour.
Cadiz is famous for its February
carnival, regarded as one of the biggest and best on the Spanish mainland.
Many of the locals spend months preparing their costumes for this 10-day
extravaganza, which is marked by a series of parades, concerts, processions
and fancy-dress competitions. The carnival attracts revelers from across
Andalucia, so accommodation is usually booked up well in advance for this
Cadiz train station is at
the Plaza de Sevilla just a short distance from the city's main square,
Plaza San Juan de Dios. There are frequent trains to Seville, Jerez de
la Frontera and the nearby town of El Puerto de Santa Maria.
The Amarillos bus company
operates regular services to the resorts of Chipiona, Sanlucar and El Puerto
from Avenida Ramon de Carranza, while Comes runs long-distance coaches
to Seville, Algeciras, Granada and Cordoba from the bus station at Plaza
de la Hispanidad.