Touring Cádiz (Part I)

When planning your next trip, think of Spain, especially a three-thousand-year-old city, some call it La Tacita de Plata or La Pequeña Havana, but what is a fact is the pearl of the Andalusian coast. Cadiz, the oldest city in Europe and capital of Cadiz Gadir.

From its history we know that it was founded by the Phoenicians in the year 1100 BC, and Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, and Christians have passed through it, leaving traces that tell us about them when visiting this beautiful city full of historical value and culture. Through its pores you can breathe the sea and it shows us part of the history of Spain, since the First Constitution of Spain was signed in Cadiz in 1812.

In it, joy is lived in a continuous carnival, we rejoice with the value of the people, and we fill our taste buds with the gastronomy of this place. It has a beautiful historic center full of architecture, monuments, squares, streets, beaches, and viewpoints which await to fill your senses.

La Pepa bridge takes us to the city.

CFCSL Cadiz Bay Bridge. Cádiz. Spain. 2015 - CFCSL
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The beginning of an adventure, leap from modernity to the past. The Constitution of 1812 Bridge. Better known as La Pepa, it is the gateway to the city, it is the highest maritime bridge in the world with 185 m high that crosses the bay of Cádiz to the city and thus we access our destination. La

Puerta de Tierra, a view to the past welcomes us.

Murallas de Puerta Tierra - Official Andalusia tourism website
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Our first point to start the tour is Puerta de Tierra. Its origin dates back to the 16th century. Few cities can boast of maintaining visitable parts of their walls. In Cadiz, you can not only see it but also walk over the main facade that welcomed those who came to the town. Carved in marble, this emblematic monument marks the end of the town of Cadiz and everything that in the past was outside the walls.

At the Puerta de Tierra is currently located the Lithographic Museum, which collects the history and material heritage of a graphic arts industry established in Cadiz during the 19th century, and the Puppet Museum, which houses the interesting permanent exhibition “Puppets of the world”.

Santa Maria Neighborhood, a must-see full of history.

Visit El Puerto de Santa Maria: 2023 Travel Guide for El Puerto de Santa  Maria, Andalusia | Expedia
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In this same area we would find the Santa Maria Neighborhood, it is historically linked to El Populo. Walking through the streets of this neighborhood we can visit the old tobacco factory; Inside this building from the early 19th century, cigars and cigarettes were manufactured until the end of the 20th century, which is currently the Congress Palace of the city.

Taking advantage of this tour through this neighborhood, I recommend that you visit the Convent of Santa Maria, part of its facade is decorated with striking tiles in which the Nazarene is represented.

The legacy of flamenco artists is also very remarkable in the Centro Municipal de Arte Flamenco la Merced, located in the square of the same name. Here, in what was the old neighborhood food market, numerous shows are scheduled throughout the year with different varieties of this musical style as protagonists. Because it is such an important and nourished neighborhood, you will also find the convent of Nuestra Señora del Rosario and Santo Domingo with abundant baroque additions to the decoration, it contains interesting altarpieces; the cloister of the main chapel, it is highly recommended to visit.

San Juan de Dios Square, do not leave it aside.

Plaza San Juan de Dios en Cádiz: un lugar emblemático - OWAY Tours
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A must-see is the San Juan de Dios Square, where there are important buildings such as the town hall, the church of San Juan de Dios and the House of los Pazos Miranda. In addition to admiring the neoclassical facade of the City Hall and entering the church of San Juan de Dios to see its baroque interior, which has a magnificent altarpiece, we recommend you have a drink on one of its terraces and enjoy the daily hustle and bustle of tourists and locals in this wide plaza. The charming “Casa Pazos Miranda” occupies a small block on the western side of San Juan de Dios Square, designed with the neoclassical canons of the school, beautiful buildings to admire.

The Populo neighborhood, to walk it and move back in time.

Barrio del Pópulo de Cádiz: Guía de Viajes - Tripkay
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We follow the route in the heart of Cadiz to find the Populo neighborhood. It is the oldest in the city and is located in the space that was previously delimited by a wall. The most outstanding monuments to see are the Cathedral and the Roman Theater, as well as the three entrance arches that date from the 13th century: La Rosa, Los Blancos and El Populo, which correspond to old access doors to the medieval walled city and between its jewels include the beautiful San Martin Square presided over by the imposing palace of Casa del Almirante, which is a baroque-style palace-house, a product of the Indian trade in Cadiz and was built at the end of the 17th century. You will be impressed by the white facade of the church of Santa Cruz or Old Cathedral and the Posada del Meson, one of the best preserved in the city. The best thing to do is get lost among the cobbled streets full of charm, where there are also plenty of craft shops to do some shopping.

Roman Theatre, vestige of a history.

Cádiz's Roman Theatre: a great cultural legacy - Barceló Experiences
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Following in the footsteps of the past, we are transported to when Cadiz lived a golden period during Roman rule, it was renamed Gades and a Roman circus, aqueducts and temples were built. One of the most superb vestiges that remains from that time is the Roman Theater of Cadiz, discovered in 1980. Ordered to be built by Lucius Cornelius Balbus, it was built in the 1st century BC. The construction date and its almost 120 meters in diameter make it the oldest and the second largest in the Iberian Peninsula. With a capacity of more than 10,000 spectators.

The Cathedral of Cadiz and something else.

Cadiz Cathedral - the best views of the city and sea - MAKESPAIN
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Without changing the area and with the Romans in the foundations, a visit to the Casa de la Contaduria is recommended; It is based on the cavea (tierra) of the Roman Theater, on the side that faces the west. It is a complex made up of various elements gathered around the tower of the Old Cathedral of Santa Cruz: the Casa de la Contaduria and the Casa del Canonigo Termineli, from the 16th century; In addition, let yourself be impressed by the Patio Mudejar or Casa del Dean Rajon, built by him in 1500.

Santa Cruz sobre el Mar, is the name by which the Cathedral of Cadiz is known, built between 1722 and 1838, it is another of the most beautiful places to see in Cadiz which concentrates a mixture of baroque and neoclassical styles; and also, do not miss a visit to the Clock Tower to enjoy beautiful views of the city.

La Cueva del Pajaro Azul, mythical Phoenician port.

Reabre en Cádiz La Cueva del Pájaro Azul y su “viaje” al subsuelo de la  ciudad de Gadir: historia fenicia y romana, y hasta pasado flamenco |  DIARIO Bahía de Cádiz
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An extremely exciting point to include in our route. The cliff or pier of the ancient Phoenician city of Gadir from the 3rd century BC. A dry dock excavated in natural rock, the place where the warships of the Phoenician fleet would be built, and which would have a fundamental role during the development of the Second Punic War. The military port of Gadir, named The Cave of the Blue Bird, an exciting and magical journey into the subsoil of the oldest city in the West, where you will enter to discover the mythical Phoenician port of the city of Gadir and part of its excavated port structures in the natural rock itself.

Promenade, made to walk and enjoy at any time of the year.

The Oceanside Promenade in Cadiz, Spain Editorial Stock Photo - Image of  nature, bastion: 181691863
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The views of the sea framed in this promenade and admiring the different beaches, such as Victoria or Cortadura. This promenade of just over two kilometers to Santa Maria del Mar, and six kilometers to Cortadura beach, has fantastic views of the Cadiz coast and the city, from which the imposing Cathedral stands out. Continuing with our promenade, we arrive at the Puerta de la Caleta between the Baluarte de los Martires and the Baluarte del Orejon. Through the gate of La Caleta you can also access the boardwalk which, from 1770, allows permanent access even at high tide, to the Castle of San Sebastian.

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