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—  Municipality  —
Cadiz at sunset


Coat of arms
Cádiz is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 36°32′N 6°17′W / 36.533°N 6.283°W / 36.533; -6.283Coordinates: 36°32′N 6°17′W / 36.533°N 6.283°W / 36.533; -6.283
Country  Spain
Autonomous community Andalusia
Province Cádiz
Comarca Bay of Cadiz
Judicial district Cádiz
Commonwealth Municipios de la Bahía de Cádiz
Founded Phoenicians; 1104 BC
 - Alcaldesa Teófila Martínez (1995) (PP)
 - Total 13.30 km2 (5.1 sq mi)
Elevation 11 m (36 ft)
Population (2008)
 - Total 127,200
 Density 9,563.9/km2 (24,770.4/sq mi)
 - Demonym Gaditano
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code
Official language(s) spanish
Website Official website

Cadiz (Spanish: Cádiz, Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkaðiθ]  ( listen)) is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the Cadiz Province, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia.

Cadiz, the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula and possibly of all southwestern Europe,[1] has been a principal home port of the Spanish Navy since the accession of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. It is also the site of the University of Cádiz.

Despite its unique site — on a narrow spit of land surrounded by the sea — Cadiz is, in most respects, a typically Andalusian city with a wealth of attractive vistas and well-preserved historical landmarks. The older part of Cadiz, within the remnants of the city walls, is commonly referred to as the Old City (in Spanish, Casco Antiguo). It is characterized by the antiquity of its various quarters (barrios), among them El Populo, La Viña, and Santa Maria, which present a marked contrast to the newer areas of town. While the Old City's street plan consists largely of narrow winding alleys connecting large plazas, newer areas of Cádiz typically have wide avenues and more modern buildings. In addition, the city is dotted by numerous parks where exotic plants, including giant trees supposedly brought to Spain by Columbus, flourish.



Cadiz is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in Europe.
1813 Map of Cadiz

Gadir (in Phoenician: גדר), the original name given to the outpost established here by the Phoenicians, means "wall, compound", or, more generally, "walled stronghold". The Punic dialect lent this word, along with many others, to the Berber languages, where it was nativised as agadir meaning "wall" in Tamazight and "fortified granary" in Tashelhiyt; it appears as a common place name in North Africa.[2]. The name of the Israeli town of Gedera has a similar etymology.

Later, the city became known by a similar Attic Greek name, Gádeira, τὰ Γάδειρα. In Ionic Greek, the name is spelled slightly differently, Gẽdeira Γήδειρα. This spelling appears in the histories written by Herodotus. Rarely, the name is spelled Gadeíra ἡ Γαδείρα, as, for example, in the writings of Eratosthenes (as attested by Stephanus of Byzantium).

In Latin, the city was known as Gades; in modern Arabic, it is called قادس, Qādis. The Spanish autonym for a resident of Cadiz is gaditano.


Climate data for Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera (Airport)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 15.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 10.7
Average low °C (°F) 5.4
Precipitation cm (inches) 8.9
Avg. precipitation days 7 7 5 6 4 2 0 0 2 6 7 9 54
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[3]

Population and demographic trends

Satellite view of Cadiz
Map of the central city

According to a 2006 census estimate, the population of the city of Cádiz was 130,561, and that of its metropolitan area was 629,054. Cadiz is the seventeenth-largest Spanish city. In recent years, the city's population has steadily declined; it is the only municipality of the Bay of Cadiz (the comarca composed of Cadiz, Chiclana, El Puerto de Santa María, Puerto Real, and San Fernando), whose population has diminished. Between 1995 and 2006, it lost more than 14,000 residents, a decrease of 9%.

Among the causes of this loss of population is the peculiar geography of Cadiz; the city lies on a narrow spit of land hemmed in by the sea. Consequently, there is a pronounced shortage of land to be developed. The city has very little vacant land, and a high proportion of its housing stock is relatively low in density. (That is to say, many buildings are only two or three stories tall, and they are only able to house a relatively small number of people within their "footprint".) The older quarters of Cádiz are full of buildings that, because of their age and historical significance, are not eligible for urban renewal. Only replacement of these old buildings with high-density apartment projects might allow Cadiz to sustain a higher population.

Demographic evolution of Cadiz between 1999 and 2005
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005


140,061 137,971 136,236 134,989 133,242 131,813
Source: INE (Spain)
Map of Cadiz, 1886

Two other physical factors tend to limit the city's population. It is impossible to increase the amount of land available for building by reclaiming land from the sea; a new national law governing coastal development thwarts this possibility. Also, because Cadiz is built on a sandspit, it is a costly proposition to sink foundations deep enough to support the high-rise buildings that would allow for a higher population density. As it stands, the city's skyline is not substantially different than it was in medieval times. A seventeenth-century watchtower, the Tavira Tower, still commands a panoramic view of the city and the bay despite its relatively modest 45-metre height. (See below.)

Cadiz is the provincial capital with the highest rate of unemployment in Spain. This, too, tends to depress the population level. Young Gaditanos, those between 18 and 30 years of age, have been migrating to other places in Spain (Madrid and Castellón, chiefly), as well as to other places in Europe and the Americas. The population younger than twenty years old is only 20.58% of the total, and the population older than sixty-five is 21.67%, making Cádiz one of the most aged cities in all of Spain.

Despite these trends, some are cheered by the fact that the other towns and cities surrounding the Bay of Cadiz are growing modestly, absorbing some of the population fleeing the capital. Improvements in roads and railways have allowed people to commute to Cadiz for work more easily. Increasingly, outlying communities, like Puerto Real and San Fernando, are providing bedrooms for Cadiz's workforce. In recent years, Cadiz has become more of a place to work than a place to live.


The city was originally founded as Gadir (Phoenician גדר "walled city") by the Phoenicians, who used it in their trade with Tartessos, a city-state believed by archaeologists to be somewhere near the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, about thirty kilometres northwest of Cadiz. (Its exact location has never been firmly established.)

Phoenician sarcophagus found in Cadiz, now in the Archaeological Museum of Cádiz. The sarcophagus is thought to have been designed and paid for by a Phoenician merchant and made in Greece

Cadiz is the most ancient city still standing in Western Europe.[1] Traditionally, its founding is dated to 1104 BC[4] although no archaeological strata on the site can be dated earlier than the ninth century. One resolution for this discrepancy has been to assume that Gadir was merely a small seasonal trading post in its earliest days.

Later, the Greeks knew the city as Gadira or Gadeira. According to Greek legend, Gadir was founded by Hercules after performing his fabled tenth labor, the slaying of Geryon, a monstrous warrior-titan with three heads and three torsos joined to a single pair of legs. As late as the early third century, a tumulus (a large earthen mound) near Cádiz was associated with Geryon's final resting-place.[5]

Votive statues of Melqert-Hercules from the Islote de Sancti Petri

One of the city's notable features during antiquity was the temple dedicated to the Phoenician god Melqart. (Melqart was associated with Hercules by the Greeks.) According to the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, the temple was still standing during the first century AD. Some historians, based in part on this source, believe that the columns of this temple were the origin of the myth of the pillars of Hercules.[6]

Around 500 BC, the city fell under the sway of Carthage. Cadiz became a base of operations for Hannibal's[7] conquest of southern Iberia. However, in 206 BC, the city fell to Roman forces under Scipio Africanus. The people of Cadiz welcomed the victors. Under the Romans, the city's Greek name was modified to Gades; it flourished as a Roman naval base. By the time of Augustus, Cadiz was home to more than five hundred equites (members of one of the two upper social classes), a concentration of notable citizens rivaled only by Padua and Rome itself. It was the principal city of a Roman colony, Augusta Urbs Julia Gaditana. However, with the decline of the Roman Empire, Gades's commercial importance began to fade.

The overthrow of Roman power in Hispania Baetica by the Visigoths in 410 saw the destruction of the original city, of which there remain few remnants today. The city was later reconquered by Justinian in 550 as a part of the Byzantine province of Spania. It would remain Byzantine until Leovigild's reconquest in 572, and returned to the Visigothic Kingdom.

Under Moorish rule between 711 and 1262, the city was called Qādis (Arabic قادس), from which the modern Spanish name, Cádiz, was derived. The Moors were finally ousted by Alphonso X of Castile in 1262.

Defense of Cádiz against the English, by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1634 (Prado Museum, Madrid)

During the Age of Exploration, the city experienced a renaissance. Christopher Columbus sailed from Cádiz on his second and fourth voyages, (see Voyages of Christopher Columbus) and the city later became the home port of the Spanish treasure fleet. Consequently, the city became a major target of Spain's enemies. The sixteenth century also saw a series of failed raids by Barbary corsairs. The greater part of the old town was consumed in the conflagration of 1569. In April 1587 a raid by the Englishman Sir Francis Drake occupied the harbour for three days, capturing six ships and destroying 31 others as well as a large quantity of stores (an event popularly known as 'The Singeing of the King of Spain's Beard'). The attack delayed the sailing of the Spanish Armada by a year.[8]

Inside view of Castillo de Santa Catalina

The city suffered another raid in 1596 by the Earl of Essex and Lord Charles Howard, who sacked part of the town but were unable to hold the city and port. Yet another unsuccessful English raid was launched by the Duke of Buckingham in 1625 against the city, commanded by Sir Edward Cecil. In the Anglo-Spanish War Admiral Robert Blake blockaded Cádiz from 1655 to 1657. In the Battle of Cádiz (1702), the English attacked again under Sir George Rooke and James, Duke of Ormonde, but they were repelled after a costly siege.

In the eighteenth century, the sand bars of the river Guadalquivir forced the Spanish government to transfer the port monopolizing trade with Spanish America from upriver Seville to Cádiz with better access to the Atlantic. During this time, the city experienced a golden age during which three-quarters of all Spanish trade was with the Americas. It became one of Spain's greatest and most cosmopolitan cities and home to trading communities from many countries, among whom the richest was the Irish community. Many of today's historic buildings in the Old City date from this era.

By the end of the century, however, the city suffered another series of attacks. The British blockade and siege of Cadiz between February 1797 and April 1798 was, by most standards, a costly failure. Nelson, returning from his defeat at Santa Cruz, bombarded the city in 1800. During Napoleon's conquest of Europe, Cadiz was one of the few cities in Spain that was able to resist the French invasion.

The success of the Irish merchant community in late eighteenth-century Cadiz was due mainly to their engagement in the colonial trade. Small in number compared to other immigrant groups, they played a disproportionately prominent role in civic and ecclesiastical life, and as patrons of the arts in their adopted city. Their success stories in Cadiz contrast starkly with the lack of opportunity available to them in Ireland. Nevertheless, they did maintain vigorous mercantile and dynastic connections with their homeland. Their accomplishments were all the more remarkable in that they were achieved against a background of fierce competition in Europe's most dynamic entrepôt of the day.[9] It is a connection that continutes to this day.

Cadiz was also the seat of the liberal Cortes (parliament) that fought against Joseph Bonaparte (who reigned as Joseph I) in the Peninsular War; at Cadiz the liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812 was proclaimed. The citizens revolted in 1820 to secure a renewal of this constitution; the revolution spread across Spain, leading to the imprisonment of King Ferdinand VII in the city of Cadiz. French forces secured the release of Ferdinand in the Battle of Trocadero (1823) and suppressed liberalism. In 1868, Cádiz was once again the seat of a revolution, resulting in the eventual abdication and exile of Queen Isabella II. The same Cadiz Cortes decided to reinstate the monarchy under King Amadeo I just two years later. In recent years, the city has undergone much reconstruction. Many monuments, cathedrals, and landmarks have been cleaned and restored, adding to the considerable charm of this ancient city.


Easter in Cádiz

The diocese of Cadiz y Ceuta is a suffragan of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seville; that is, it is a diocese within the metropolitan see of Seville. It became a diocese in 1263 after its Reconquista (reconquest) from the Moors. By the Concordat of 1753, in which the Spanish crown also gained the rights to make appointments to church offices and to tax church lands, the diocese of Cadiz was merged with the diocese of Ceuta, a Spanish conclave on the northern coast of Africa, and the diocesan bishop became, by virtue of his office, the Apostolic Administrator of Ceuta.

Historically, the diocese counts among its most famous prelates Cardinal Juan de Torquemada, a Dominican theologian and expert on canon law, who took a leading part in the Councils of Basle and Florence, and defended, in his Summe de Ecclesia, the direct power of the pope in temporal matters. It is Torquemada who is most closely associated with the fifteenth-century Spanish Inquisition.

Architecture and Major landmarks

Allegoric figures of the monument to the constitution of 1812

Among the many landmarks of historical and scenic interest in Cádiz, a few stand out. The city can boast of an unusual cathedral of various architectural styles, a magnificent theatre, an attractive old municipal building, an eighteenth-century watchtower, a vestige of the ancient city wall, an ancient Roman theatre, and electrical pylons of an eye-catchingly modern design carrying cables across the Bay of Cádiz. The old town is characterised by narrow streets connecting magnificent squares (plazas), bordered by the sea and by the city walls. Most of the landmark buildings are situated in the plazas.


Plazas and their landmark buildings

The old town of Cádiz is one of the most densely populated urban areas in Europe, and is packed with narrow streets. The old town benefits though from several striking plazas, which are enjoyed by citizens and tourists alike. These are Plaza de Mina, Plaza San Antonio, Plaza de Candelaria, Plaza de San Juan de Dios and Plaza de España.

Plaza de Mina

Located in the heart of the old town, Plaza de Mina, (the most beautiful of the Cádiz plazas) was developed in the first half of the nineteenth century. Previously, the land occupied by the plaza was the orchard of the convent of San Francisco. The plaza was converted into a plaza in 1838 by the architect Torcuato Benjumeda and (later) Juan Daura, with its trees being planted in 1861. It was then redeveloped again in 1897, and has remained virtually unchanged since that time. It is named after General Francisco Espoz y Mina, a hero of the war of independence. Manuel de Falla y Matheu was born in Number 3 Plaza de Mina, where a plaque bears his name. The plaza also contains several statues, one of these is a bust of José Macpherson (a pioneer in the development of petrography, stratigraphy and tectonics) who was born in number 12 Plaza de Mina in 1839. The Museum of Cádiz, is to be found at number 5 Plaza de Mina, and contains many objects from Cádiz's 3000 year history as well as works by artists such as Peter Paul Rubens. The houses which face the plaza, many of which can be classified as neo-classical architecture or built in the style of Isabelline Gothic, were originally occupied by the Cádiz bourgeoisie.

San Antonio Church

Plaza de San Francisco and San Francisco Church and Convent

Located next to Plaza de Mina, this smaller square houses the San Francisco church and convent. Originally built in 1566, it was substantially renovated in the 17th Century, when its cloisters were added. Originally, the Plaza de Mina formed the convent's orchard.

Plaza San Antonio

Plaza San Antonio in the 19th century

In the 19th century Plaza San Antonio was considered to be Cádiz’s main square. It is a beautiful square, surrounded by a number of mansions built in neo-classical architecture or Isabelline Gothic style, once occupied by the Cádiz upper classes. San Antonio church, originally built in 1669, is also situated in the plaza,

The plaza was built in the 18th century, and on 19 March 1812 the Spanish Constitution of 1812 was proclaimed here, leading to the plaza to be named Plaza de la Constitución, and then later Plaza San Antonio, after the hermit San Antonio.

In 1954 the city's mayor proclaimed the location a historic site. All construction is prohibited.

Plaza de Candelaria

The Plaza de Candelaria is named after the Candelaria convent, situated in the square until it was demolished in 1873, when its grounds were redeveloped as a plaza. The plaza is notable for a statue in its centre of Emilio Castelar, president of the first Spanish republic, who was born in a house facing the square. A plaque situated on another house, states that Bernardo O'Higgins, an Irish-Chilean adventurer and former dictator of Chile also, lived in the square.

Plaza de la Catedral and the Cathedral

The cathedral

The Plaza de la Catedral houses both the Cathedral and the baroque Santiago church, built in 1635.

One of Cádiz's most famous landmarks is its cathedral. It sits on the site of an older cathedral, completed in 1260, which burned down in 1596. The reconstruction, which was not started until 1776, was supervised by the architect Vicente Acero, who had also built the Granada Cathedral. Acero left the project and was succeeded by several other architects. As a result, this largely baroque-style cathedral was built over a period of 116 years, and, due to this drawn-out period of construction, the cathedral underwent several major changes to its original design. Though the cathedral was originally intended to be a baroque edifice, it contains rococo elements, and was finally completed in the neoclassical style. Its chapels have many paintings and relics from the old cathedral and monasteries from throughout Spain.

Plaza de San Juan de Dios and the Old Town Hall

Construction of this plaza began in the 15th century on lands reclaimed from the sea. With the demolition of the City walls in 1906 the plaza increased in size and a statue of the Cadiz politician Segismundo Moret was unveiled. Overlooking the plaza, the Ayuntamiento is the town hall of Cádiz's Old City. The structure, constructed on the bases and location of the previous Consistorial Houses (1699), was built in two stages. The first stage began in 1799 under the direction of architect Torcuato Benjumeda in the neoclassical style. The second stage was completed in 1861 under the direction of García del Alamo, in the Isabelline Gothic (in Spanish, "Gótico Isabelino" or, simply, the "Isabelino") style. Here, in 1936, the flag of Andalusia was hoisted for the first time.

Plaza de España and the monument to the constitution of 1812

The Plaza de España is a large square close to the port. It is dominated by the Monument to the Constitution of 1812, which came into being as a consequence of the demolition of a portion of the old city wall. The plaza is an extension of the old Plazuela del Carbón.

Monument to the Constitution of 1812

The goal of this demolition was to create a grand new city square to mark the hundredth anniversary of the liberal constitution, which was proclaimed in this city in 1812, and provide a setting for a suitable memorial. The work is by the architect, Modesto Lopez Otero, and of the sculptor, Aniceto Marinas. The work began in 1912 and finished in 1929.

The lower level of the monument represents a chamber and an empty presidential armchair. The upper level has various inscriptions surmounting the chamber. On each side are bronze figures representing peace and war. In the center, a pilaster rises to symbolize, in allegorical terms, the principals expressed in the 1812 constitution. At the foot of this pilaster, there is a female figure representing Spain, and, to either side, scuptural groupings representing agriculture and citizenship.

Plaza de Falla and the Gran Teatro Falla (Falla Grand Theatre)

The original Gran Teatro was constructed in 1871 by the architect García del Alamo, and was destroyed by a fire in August, 1881. The current theatre was built between 1884 and 1905 over the remains of the previous Gran Teatro. The architect was Adolfo Morales de los Rios, and the overseer of construction was Juan Cabrera de la Torre. The outside was covered in red bricks and is of a neo-Mudejar or Moorish revival style. Following renovations in the 1920s, the theatre was renamed the Gran Teatro Falla, in honor of composer Manuel de Falla, who is buried in the crypt of the cathedral. After a period of disrepair in the 1980s, the theatre has since undergone extensive renovation.

Other Landmarks

Tavira tower

In the 18th century, Cádiz had more than 160 towers from which local merchants could look out to sea for arriving merchant ships. These towers often formed part of the merchants' houses. The Torre Tavira, named for its original owner, stands as the tallest remaining watchtower. It has a cámara oscura, a room that uses the principal of the pinhole camera (and a specially-prepared convex lens) to project panoramic views of the Old City onto its interior walls. (Also see the article titled Widow's walk.)

Admiral's House

Admiral's House

The Casa del Almirante is a palatial house, adjacent to the Plaza San Martín in the Barrio del Pópulo, which was constructed in 1690 with the proceeds of the lucrative trade with the Americas. It was built by the family of the admiral of the Spanish treasure fleet, the so-called Fleet of the Indies, Don Diego de Barrios. The exterior is sheathed in exquisite red and white Genoan marble, prepared in the workshops of Andreoli, and mounted by the master, García Narváez. The colonnaded portico, the grand staircase under the cupola, and the hall on the main floor are architectural features of great nobility and beauty. The shield of the Barrios family appears on the second-floor balcony.

Old customs house

Within the plan of reforms of the walls that protect the flank of the port of Cádiz projects the construction of three identical and next buildings to each other: the Customs, the House of Hiring and the Consulate. Of only the three it is executed first, of neoclassic, sober style and of ample and balanced proportions. The works began in 1765 under the direction of Juan Caballero at a cost of 7,717,200 reales.

Palacio de Congresos

Cádiz's superbly refurbished tobacco factory offers excellent international conference and trade-show facilities. Home to the third annual MAST Conference and trade-show (12 to 14 November 2008)

Roman theatre

Roman theatre

In 1980, in the El Pópulo district of Cádiz, there was a fire in some old warehouses belonging to a company called Vigorito, SA, causing catastrophic damage. In the aftermath of the fire, an exciting discovery was made: the remains of an ancient Roman theatre. The fire had destroyed the warehouses revealing a layer of construction that was judged to be the foundations of some medieval buildings; the foundations of these buildings had been built, in turn, upon much more ancient stones, hand-hewn limestone of a Roman character. Systematic excavations, which still continue, have revealed a largely intact Roman theatre.

Pylons of Cádiz.

The theatre, constructed by order of Lucius Cornelius Balbus (minor) during the first century BCE, is the second largest Roman theatre in the world, surpassed only by the theater of Pompeii, south of Rome. Cicero, in "Epistulae ad Familiares" (Letters to his friends), wrote of its use by Balbo for personal propaganda.

According to archaeologists, this discovery confirms the greatness of the Roman city of Gades. The ancient city had a population even greater than the 80,000 people who lived in Cádiz during the sixteenth and seventeenth century, when the city dominated trans-Atlantic commerce, and it was one of the most prosperous cities of the Roman empire.

Pylons of Cádiz

The Pylons of Cádiz are electricity pylons of unusual design, one on either side of the Bay of Cádiz, used to support huge electric-power cables. The pylons are 158 metres high and designed for two circuits. The very unconventional construction consists of a narrow frustum steel framework with one crossbar at the top of each one for the insulators.

City walls and fortifications

City Gates

Las Puertas de Tierra originated in the 16th century, although much of the original work has disappeared. Once consisting of several layers of walls, only one of these remain today. By the 20th century it was necessary to remodel the entrance to the Old City to accommodate modern traffic. Today, the two side-by-side arches cut into the wall serve as one of the primary entrances to the city.

Las puertas de tierra
Arco de la Rosa

El Arco de los Blancos, is the old gate to the Populo district, built around 1300. It was the principal gate to the medieval town. The gate is named after the family of Felipe Blanco who built a chapel (now disappeared) above the gate.

El Arco de la Rosa (The Rose Arch) is the old gate carved into the walls of medieval Cádiz next to the cathedral. These walls and the gate were built during the reign of Alfonso X. The gate is named after Captain Gaspar de la Rosa, who lived in the City in the 18th Century. The gate was renovated in 1973.

Fortress of Candelaria

The Baluarte de la Candelaria (fortress or stronghold of Candlemas) is a military fortification. Taking advantage of a natural elevation of land, it was constructed in 1672 at the initiative of the governor, Diego Caballero de Illescas. Protected by a seaward-facing wall that had previously served as a seawall, Candelaria's cannons were in a position to command the channels approaching the port of Cádiz. In more recent times, the edifice has served as a headquarters for the corps of military engineers and as the home to the army's homing pigeons, birds used to carry written messages over hostile terrain. Thoroughly renovated, it is now used as a cultural venue. There has been some discussion of using it to house a maritime museum, but, at present, it is designated for use as a permanent exposition space.

San Sebastian

The Castillo de San Sebastian is also a military fortification, and is situated at the end of a road leading out from the Caleta beach. It was built in 1706. Today the castle remains unused, although its future uses remain much debated...

Santa Catalina

The Castillo de Santa Catalina is also a military fortification, and is situated at the end of the Caleta beach. It was built in 1598 following the English sacking of Cadiz two years earlier. Recently renovated, today it is used for exhibitions and concerts.

Notable people born in Cádiz and Cádiz province


View of Campo del Sur from the beach at sunset

Cádiz, situated on a peninsula,[10] is home to some of Spain's most beautiful beaches.

La Caleta beach

La Playa de la Caleta is the best-loved beach of Cádiz. It has always been in Carnival songs, due to its unequalled beauty and its proximity to the Barrio de la Viña. It is the beach of the Old City, situated between two castles, San Sebastian and Santa Catalina. It is around four hundred meters long and thirty meters wide at low tide. La Caleta served as the set for several of the Cuban scenes in the beginning of the James Bond movie Die Another Day.

La Playa de la Victoria, in the newer part of Cádiz, is the beach most visited by tourists and natives of Cádiz. It is about three kilometers long, and it has an average width of fifty meters of sand. The moderate swell and the absence of rocks allow family bathing. It is separated from the city by an avenue; on the landward side of the avenue, there are many shops and restaurants.

La Playa de Santa María del Mar or Playita de las Mujeres is a small beach in Cádiz, situated between La Playa de Victoria and La Playa de la Caleta. It features excellent views of the old district of Cádiz.


The Carnival of Cádiz is one of the best known carnivals in the world. Throughout the year, carnival-related activities are almost constant in the city; there are always rehearsals, public demonstrations, and contests of various kinds.

Carnival poster

The city of Cádiz is often noted for having the most humorous people in Spain. Consequently, the central themes of the carnival are sharp criticisms, often of a political nature, clever plays on words, and the off-beat imagination displayed in revelers' costumes, which, unlike in carnival venues elsewhere in the world, do not emphasis the glamourous or scandalous.

A chorus singing in the Carnival of Cádiz

The Carnival of Cádiz is famous for the satirical groups called chirigotas, who perform comical musical pieces. Typically, a chirigota is composed of seven to twelve performers who sing, act and improvise accompanied by guitars, kazoos, a bass drum, and a variety of noise-makers. Other than the chirigotas, there are many other groups of performers: choruses; ensembles called comparsas, who sing in close harmony much like the barbershop quartets of African-American culture or the mariachis of Mexico; cuartetos, consisting of four (or sometimes three) performers alternating dramatic parodies and humorous songs; and romanceros, storytellers who recite tales in verse. These diverse spectacles turn the city into a colorful and popular open-air theater for two entire weeks in February.

The Concurso Oficial de Agrupaciones Carnavalescas (the official association of carnival groups) sponsors a contest in the Gran Teatro Falla (see above) each year where chirigotas and other performers compete for prizes. This is the climactic event of the Cádiz carnival.


The gastronomy of Cádiz includes stews and sweets typical of comarca and the city.

Tortillita de camarones
  • Tocino de cielo
  • Garum
  • Atún encebollado
  • Caballa asada
  • Caballa con babetas
  • Pescado en sobrehúsa
  • Piñonate
  • Cazón en adobo
  • Morena en adobo
  • Cazón en amarillo
  • Tortillita de camarones
  • Chocos con papas
  • Huevas aliñás
  • Papas aliñás (patatas aliñadas)
  • Panizas
  • Ropa vieja
  • Pestiños
  • Poleá
  • Piriñaca
  • Pan de Cádiz


International relations

Twin towns - Sister cities

Cádiz is twinned with:

See also



  1. ^ a b Espinosa, Pedro (2007). EL PAIS. Hallado en Cádiz un muro de 3.000 años
  2. ^ Lipiński, Edward (2002). written at Belgium. Semitic Languages: Outline of a Comparative Grammar. Orientalia Lovaniensia analecta. 80. Peeters Leeuven (published 2001). p. 575. ISBN 978-90-429-0815-4. 
  3. ^ "Valores Climatológicos Normales. Cádiz - Jerez de la Frontera / Aeropuerto". 
  4. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Hist. Rom. I.2.1-3.
  5. ^ Life of Apollonius of Tyana, v.5.
  6. ^ From the Life of Apollonius of Tyana: " ... the pillars in the temple were made of gold and silver smelted together so as to be of one color, and they were over a cubit high, of square form, resembling anvils; and their capitals were inscribed with letters which were neither Egyptian nor Indian nor of any kind which he could decipher. But Apollonius, since the priests would tell him nothing, remarked: 'Heracles of Egypt does not permit me not to tell all I know. These pillars are ties between earth and ocean, and they were inscribed by Heracles in the house of the Fates, to prevent any discord arising between the elements, and to save their mutual affection for one another from violation.'"
  7. ^ Titus Livius, Ab Urbe condita libri [1]
  8. ^ Archive copy at the Internet Archive
  9. ^ O'Flanagan P. and J. Walton, "The Irish Community at Cádiz during the Late Eighteenth Century", Chapter 16 in H. Clarke, J. Prunty and M. Hennessy, (eds) (2004) Surveying Ireland's Past: multidisciplinary essays in honour of Anngret Simms, Geography Publications, Dublin, pp. 353-383.
  10. ^ "Google Maps". 1970-01-01.,-6.276455&spn=0.077299,0.105186&t=k&hl=en. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  11. ^ "Les jumelages de Brest". Retrieved 2009-07-07. 

Sources and external links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Cadiz article)

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Cadiz (disambiguation).

Cadiz is the capital of the Cadiz Province in the Andalucia region of Spain.

Get in

By Plane

The closest airport is Jerez de la Frontera, approx 30 minutes by car or taxi (fixed price €46), 1 hour by direct bus. There are several daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona (Iberia, Spanair, Vueling). Ryanair flies daily to London Stansted and Frankfurt Hahn. Other operators fly scheduled, charter, or seasonal flights. The nearest major airports are in Sevilla (hour by car, 2 hours by bus or train) and Malaga (2-3 hours by car or bus).

By Bus

For Jerez-Cádiz and other medium range timetables see Consorcio de Transportes Bahia de Cadiz. Most long range buses are handled by Comes from Plaza de la Hispanidad.

By Train

Frequent trains run to Jerez and about hourly to Seville. A very convenient way to come in from Madrid is with the Talgo train that runs twice a day covering the distance in about 5 hours. See RENFE for timetables.

By Car

From Madrid, Cordoba and Seville you can use the A4, from Barcelona N340. A taxi ride from Jerez de la Frontera to Cadiz costs about € 50.

By Boat

Cruise ships often dock within easy walking distance of the old city/downtown. Passengers also can take day trips to Seville (about two hours by bus) or Jerez De La Frontera (less than an hour by bus).

Get around

San Fernando, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Conil, Vejer, Medina Sidonia, Arcos de la Frontera, Jerez


Cadiz is said to be the oldest city in western Europe, as it was founded by Phoenician sailors about 3.000 years ago, as a commercial stronghold. Archeological remains can be found all around the old town. The Archeological Museum (Plaza de Mina) exhibits are interesting, specially two Phoenician stone sarcophagus. The remainings of the Roman theatre just behind the cathedral are also worth a visit.

The massive stone walls and forts that can be seen surrounding the old town were built to protect the city after the British attack in 1596, and the forts of San Sebastian and Santa Catalina are open to the public.

Everyone should visit the Cathedral in the old town and climb to the top of the cupula for a nice view of the entire city.

The Torre Tavira, near the Central Market (Mercado de Abastos) holds a "camera obscura". Located in one of the towers originally used by merchants to watch out for their ships returning home from the Americas, it provides a birds-eye view of the old part of town.

The Central Market itself is well worth a visit in the morning, especially the fish section.

A modern monument of Cadiz are the huge pylons of the powerline crossing the bay of Cadiz. These 150 metre high pylons are lattice towers with cylindrical cross section.


Do not miss Carnaval in Cadiz, one of the oldest and best in Spain, often cited as the third biggest Carnaval celebration in the world. Usually in February, the weekend before Ash Wednesday is consistently the loudest and most eventful so be sure to check the calendar. Singing, dancing and costumes run until Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Informal groups (chirigotas, cuartetos, coros, comparsas and romanceros) sing at the old town streets, usually with strong critics on local, national and international politics, the jet set, and just about anything/anybody, up to the Royal Family. Make your travel plans early as most accommodation gets booked months in advance and be prepared to spend almost double for the week of Carnaval. One way to experience Carnaval on the dime, and perhaps the preferred way of Andalusian locals, is to board an afternoon train heading to Cadiz, spend the night singing and dancing, then catch the first train back in the morning. Expect singing, dancing, costumes and drinking on all trains. Sleeping on the public beach is also another popular option, though be sure to bring a blanket or sleeping bag, both of which can be stored in lockers at the train station; expect company and use common sense.

Semana Santa (Easter or Holy Week) is less formal than in Sevilla, and probably more authentic and emotive an experience for that.

Enjoy the best sunset in Spain at 'Playa de la Caleta' at the northern end of the old town. The main beaches (Santa Maria Del Mar, Victoria, and Cortadura) start at the edge of the old town, continue all along the new town, and on alongside the road to San Fernando. In total some 10 km of the widest, cleanest beaches you will find in Europe, with safe bathing from around May to October. The summer heat is usually tempered by an Atlantic breeze, although on days when the Levante blows beware of flying sand.


Standard souvenirs can be found at several shops in Calle Pelota, Calle Compañía, Calle San Francisco and Plaza de Candelaria.


In Cadiz you will find some of the best and freshest fish and shellfish in the world. They are best eaten as simply cooked as possible: plain boiled shellfish (in varying sizes from tiny prawns up to lobsters), grilled or baked whole fish such as lubina (bass) or dorada (bream), or deep fried with a light flour coating (especially puntillitas (baby squid) and boquerones (anchovies).

To eat not too expensive fish and shellfish, you can look at Calle Zorrilla (several tapas bars and street vendors) or Calle de la Palma (several restaurants with open air terraces).

For a splurge, the best place in town is Restaurante El Faro (Calle San Félix. But even here food can be not very expensive, if you stand at the bar and eat only tapas.


Fino, a bone dry sherry (or Jerez), or manzanilla, a similar wine from Sanlucar de Barrameda, is the perfect aperitif with olives or a prawn or two. Drinking more than a couple of glasses may spoil your focus on the rest of the meal. The best local white wine (and one of the most popular in Spain) is Barbadillo, made from the same grape but considerably lighter.


Calle Marques de Cadiz has several budget options, doubles at about 35 euros with shared bath.

  • Casa Caracol, in the old part of Cádiz, [1]. Inexpensive and quite relaxed hostel.
  • Hostal La Cantarera, located in the old town, [2]. An excellent hostel for what it costs, with clean, luxurious rooms and friendly management.
  • Hotel Monte Puertatierra, [3] is just a few metres from the beach. It is a 4-star establishment, set in the historic, artistic and commercial centre of the city. It has 98 large rooms, free WiFi, rooms for meetings and wedding receptions, parking facilities and a wide offer of services to make your stay in Cadiz as comfortable as possible.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Spanish Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia es


  • IPA: /ˈka.ðiθ/, /ˈka.ðis/

Proper noun

Cádiz f.

  1. Cadiz

Related terms

  • gaditano

Simple English

Cadiz is a Spanish city, capital of the Cadiz province, in Andalusia. It is the southern capital in the Iberian Peninsula. The population is 130,000, but it is the center of a metropolitan area, the Bay of Cadiz, with more than 500,000.


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