Cadìz is arguably the oldest inhabited city in western Europe. The history is authenticated from 1104 BC. It was inhabited first by the Phonecians, then the Carthaginians (beginning in 530 BC) Romans (beginning in 49 BC), Moors (beginning in 711 AD) and Christians (beginning in 1264 AD). Cadìz has been ruled primarily by Spain and its predecessors but was sought by the English, French and Dutch.
Cadìz sits on a small peninsula just west of the Mediterranean Sea and was an important port for trade and defense.
Cadìz is famous for the Watchtowers that were so important for shipping and times of battle.
The oldest walls in the city are from 800 BC.
These walls from the Islamic era.
Walls of past eras were made from ostionera stone – a combination of crushed shells and small stones.
Cities in the Mediterranean region were built with narrow streets and buildings several stories high. . This allows for shade and a cooling wind tunnel through the streets.
This pup was happy to greet us as we walked the narrow streets of Cadìz.
During the early 19th century, Cádiz was a stronghold for Spain’s anti-monarchist, liberal movement. A significant protest was held at the town hall in 1799. As a result Cadìz was the site of the declaration of Spain’s first constitution in 1812.
This is the “Catedral de CadÌz”, begun in 1722 and completed in 1838. It is called the new cathedral because the 15th century cathedral was destroyed during a battle with the Dutch.
It is also called the Cathedral of the Americas because the wealth to build the cathedral was gained through trade with the new world. The outside dome was gold so sailors could see it from a distance.
The Choir was built of the oak from ships, mostly from the Americas.
The organ is from the fifteenth century.
This is the main branch of the cathedral.
This is the central altar. Mass is still celebrated in the cathedral.
The cathedral has 16 side chapels.
There is a crypt underneath the Catedral de Cadìz. Among many entombed, the crypt of Manuel de Falla is highlighted. He was a Spanish composer who was born in Cadìz. He died in Argentina but was returned to CadÌz.
Manuel de Falla was important enough that he was on the 100 Pesatas currency of Spain.
Cadìz is in the Andalusia region along the southwest coast of Spain, one of seventeen autonomous regions. Andalusia is the second largest and most populous region of Spain.
Cadìz is in one of the warmest areas of Spain along the southern coast. Bitter Oranges, also called Seville Oranges, were grown along the roads for their beauty. A market developed as they are exported to Britain for Orange Marmalade
This area of Spain is famous for sherry. We had our opportunity to try local sherry when we went to a Flamenco Show. The sherry was served with a variety of tapas (meats, cheeses, small egg dish) and all were delicious.
We enjoyed the Flamenco way more than we expected to. We consider it a whole trip highlight. This group included a guitarist, singer and male and female dancers.
The expressions on the face of the dancers were so intense. We had the good fortune to sit very close and we could see how hard they worked to entertain us.
There is one more thing the guide made sure we knew about Cadìz. The James Bond film Die Another Day was filmed here. If you are a fan of Bond movies, you may remember the beach scene when Halle Berry came up out of the water. It was filmed on the beach near the port for our ship.
We loved this port in Spain. We have several more coming up. The next is Malaga.
How interesting to be right in the middle of all that history!
I think the Flamenco would be the highlight of the trip for me too.
Looking forward to your next port.
It is incredible to me to learn how long that area has been inhabited and by how many civilizations. And how much remains in terms of buildings and other structures. The “Old World” indeed!