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Rota, Spain


Location of Rota
Municipality Cádiz
 - Mayor Lorenzo Sánchez Alonso
 - Total 84 km2 (32.4 sq mi)
 - Land 84 km2 (32.4 sq mi)
 - Water 0.00 km2 (0 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 - Total 26,792
 - Density 319.0/km2 (826.2/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Rota is a town of approximately 27,000 people in the Andalusia region of Spain, located in Cádiz province, across the Bay of Cádiz from the city of that name. Rota is bordered by the towns of Chipiona, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María. It is located on the Atlantic coast, approximately halfway between Portugal and Gibraltar.




Archaeological evidence suggests that there was a Bronze Age settlement on the present site of Rota. The current town was founded by the Phoenicians at approximately the same time as Cádiz. Rota is assumed to be the same city known as Astaroth of the Tartesian empire. It later passed to the Romans, who knew the town as Speculum Rotae.

Following the arrival of the Moors in Spain, the city became known as Rabita Rutta ("watchtower of Rota"), from which it derives its present name. From 1248 onwards, the Moors were gradually expelled from Spain, and the city became Christian. In 1297, Sancho IV awarded the town to Alonso Pérez de Guzmán in honour of his defence of Tarifa. Later, Pérez de Guzmán gave it to his daughter, Isabel, as a wedding present when she married Fermin Ponce de León, Maestre of Alcántara and First Lord of Marchena. Construction of the Castillo de la Luna (Castle of the Moon) had begun in 1295, two years prior to the bequest to Pérez de Guzmán, as part of Sancho IV's effort to develop strong coastal defenses, especially near the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. During the Middle Ages, the town was an important port for trading with North Africa. In 1780 the 11th Duke of Arcos died without issue, and the city was rendered to the Duke of Osuna.


Rota is primarily a resort town, offering eight hotels (including the four-star Hotel Duque de Najera) and nearly two thousand beds. It is a summer destination for tourists from all over Europe. During the off-season, its main commercial activity centres on the fishing industry.

Rota is also the location of the Rota naval base, a joint Spanish and U.S. naval base, opened in 1955 (which also hosts U.S. Marine and Air Force units). It is also the usual first port of call for U.S. naval vessels before entering the Mediterranean Sea.

According to an article in Diario ABC, 80% of Rota's economy depends, directly or indirectly, on the US Naval base. The surrounding area is used for agriculture; the predominant crop is cotton.



A traditional dish is the arranque made with chopped bread, tomatoes, green peppers, garlic, salt and olive oil. The local wine, known as tintilla, is made with dark, ripe grapes. It can be found in the numerous bodegas spread over the old town, one of them being El Gato which produces its own wine.

Spanish, Andalucian, Cadiz and Rota gastronomic delights are many and varied. Most Spanish people enjoy dishes such as caracoles (snails), menudo (tripe soup), chicharrones (deep fried pork rinds), a variety of wines and of course gazpacho (cold tomatoes soup taken as a drink.


Rota has two football (soccer) teams: Rota CF and UD La Roteña

See also


Demographic evolution of Rota, Cádiz between 1999 and 2005


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005


25,560 25,919 26,257 26,431 26,691 26,792

Source: INE (Spain)

External references

External links

Coordinates: 36°37′N 6°21′W / 36.617°N 6.35°W / 36.617; -6.35



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