Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz is Spain’s oldest city. Along its narrow streets and alleys is elegant architecture encircled by impenetrable fortifications created during the Golden Age of Cádiz. This period from the 16th to 18th centuries was when Cádiz was the epicenter of trade with the New World. Enjoy this walking tour through incredible history.

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1 Brief Historical Overview of Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz is on a peninsula jetting into the Atlantic in southwestern Spain. This coastal position made it an important seaport since it was founded as Gadir by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC. The city was sequentially controlled by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. Starting in 1500 and extending for 300 years, the city grew wealthy as the primary Spanish trading center with the New World. To protect their riches, Cádiz was encased by a network of formidable walls and forts. Their prosperity continued until occupied by the French in the Napoleonic Wars (1803 – 1815). This led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812 being written in Cádiz. Although overturned, this proclamation became the foundation for Spain’s constitutional monarchy ratified in 1978. This is now the capital city of the Province of Cádiz. Seen in the background from along Avenue Campo del Sur is Cádiz Cathedral.

Av. Campo del Sur, 286, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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2 Avenue Campo del Sur in Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz is on the Andalusian coast of Spain called Costa de la Luz. The peninsula where the city is located has one narrow connection to the mainland. The rest of the seven mile circumference is surrounded by water. The longest and among the best seafront promenades is Avenue Campo del Sur. The serpentine path follows a breakwater tracing the southern coast along Mar del Vendaval (Gale Sea). Although partially concealed by piles of large cinder blocks, the seawalls are sections of the defenses once encircling Cádiz.

22 Av. Campo del Sur, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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3 Entry Arch of Mercado Público in Cádiz, Spain

At Plaza de la Libertad on the property of a former monastery is the must-visit Mercado Público. The farmers’ market is behind a Neoclassical facade with Doric columns. Inside are over 150 stalls of fresh fish, meat, vegetables and fruit. Watching the bustling crowds of locals inspect, squeeze, select, bargain and carry their family’s next meal away in plastic bags is lots of fun. If these displays make you hungry, then find the stands serving sushi, cheese, tapas, wine and beer. They make a perfect lunch in the Andalusian sunshine.

Mercado Público, Plaza de la Libertad, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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4 Baluarte del Orejón in Cádiz, Spain

Continuing your waterfront walk along Campo del Sur brings you to the northwestern edge of Cádiz and the Atlantic Ocean. As you round the corner, watch for an arched gate named La Caleta on Paseo Fernando Quiñones. Then pass beneath a much older city gate (Puerta de la Caleta). This area is Punta de San Felipe (Tip of Saint Philip) named in honor of Felipe II and Felipe III. Admire the curtainwall with a sentry box. This is Baluarte del Orejón. The small, early 17th century bastion marks the western boarder of La Caletra Beach. In the background is Santa Catalina Castle.

Puerta de la Caleta, Paseo Fernando Quiñones, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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5 Pier to San Sebastián Castle in Cádiz, Spain

The Castle of San Sebastián is located off the southwest coast of Cádiz. You can reach this early 18th century military fortification via a one kilometer concrete pier called Paseo Fernando Quiñones. This levee was built in 1860. The walkway starts at the south end of Caleta Beach. As you can see, this is also a popular spot for local fishermen to wet a line.

Paseo Fernando Quiñones, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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6 History of San Sebastián Castle in Cádiz, Spain

The islets you are approaching have a rich history. According to mythology, this site contained the Temple of Cronus. He was the Greek god of the Titans and father of Zeus. There is evidence a Muslim watchtower was here when the city was under Moorish rule from 711 until 1262. In 1457, a crew from a Venetian ship took refuge after contracting the plague. They dedicated their chapel to Saint Sebastian, a martyr from the 3rd century. When Cádiz was controlled by Spanish monarchs from the House of Habsburg, an artillery tower was placed on the larger island. After most of Cádiz was walled in during the 17th century, a fort was commissioned to defend the peninsula’s west end and La Caleta Beach. San Sebastián Castle was finished in 1706. About 250 years later, the walls around the outer islet were enhanced and new artillery was added. After being used as a prison during the 19th century, the fortress was abandoned.

Castillo de San Sebastián, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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7 Lighthouse at San Sebastián Castle in Cádiz, Spain

The location of San Sebastián Castle reaches out into the Atlantic Ocean. The Muslims and Venetians both took advantage of this position by building watchtowers. The first lighthouse was established in 1776. A new one was added in 1855 and demolished in 1898. It was replaced with this 135 foot skeletal tower in 1913 designed by Rafael de la Cerda. The Castillo de San Sebastián Lighthouse remains operational.

Castillo de San Sebastián, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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8 Defense Walls of San Sebastián Castle in Cádiz, Spain

Castillo de San Sebastián is located on two islets. The design includes nine sides, two moats and a drawbridge. The walls on the larger island are very thick to defend against attacks by sea. This is a section of crenellated curtainwall with a sentry tower on the smaller island. Strategically, the parapets facing the city are thin. The theory was if the fort was ever occupied by an enemy, the weaker defenses could be successfully breached by cannons fired from the city.

Castillo de San Sebastián, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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9 Playa de la Cateta in Cádiz, Spain

The 1,300 feet of sand between the Castles of San Sebastián and Santa Catalina is the local’s favorite place to swim and sun: Caleta Beach. The white, semicircular structure was the Spa of our Lady of the Palm and of the Real when it opened in 1926. Its position on concrete stilts provides an elevated view of the surf rolling beneath it at high tide. The building served several tenants until it was abandoned in 1975. After an extensive remodeling, the former Palm Bath became the headquarters for the Center of Underwater Archeology of Andalusia. The research center has information on 1,250 shipwrecks around the Andalusian coast.

Av. Duque de Nájera, 3D, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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10 Idyllic Weather in Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz revels in one of Europe’s best climates. Summer temperatures range from lows in the 70s to average highs in the low 80s. Winters are very mild, rarely dipping below 50°F. And the city enjoys over 3,000 hours of annual sunshine. So plop down on La Caleta Beach, become inspired by the surrounding fortresses and build yourself a Spanish sand castle.

Playa La Caleta, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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11 Castle of Santa Catalina in Cádiz, Spain

At the north end of La Caleta Beach is the Castle of Santa Catalina. This was one of the first defenses created by architect Cristóbal de Rojas after the city was pillaged in 1596. The fortress was finished two years later. The design includes a star-shaped layout protected by two bastions and a moat. The military also had a jail here. In 1693, the Chapel of Santa Catalina was built within the walls. Today, Castillo de Santa Catalina has a free museum with displays about the fortress. In the summertime there are concerts in the courtyard.

Castillo de Santa Catalina, Calle Campo de las Balas, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
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12 Gazebo at Parque Genove’s in Cádiz, Spain

Covering about half of the northwest coast of Cádiz is a marvelous urban park. On the waterfront is Paseo De Santa Barbara. The tree-lined Santa Bábara Promenade winds along the old city walls. This is the perfect place for a scenic stroll, walk, jog or run. Afterwards, cool off in the shade of the gazebo. The adjoining greenspace was named Paseo del Perejil when it was developed in the late 18th century. At the end of the 19th century, master gardener Gerónimo Genovés I Puig spent years creating a botanical garden filled with ornamental plants and a variety of trees. He became the namesake for Genove’s Park.

Parque Genove’s, Av. Dr. Gómez Ulla, 11003 Cádiz, Spain
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13 Dinosaur Waterfall at Parque Genove’s in Cádiz, Spain

A highlight of Genove’s Park, especially for children, is this huge waterfall. Dual staircases lead to a platform on top. Best of all are the dinosaur statues standing in the pool below.

Parque Genove’s, Av. Dr. Gómez Ulla, 11003 Cádiz, Spain
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14 Fortification History of Cádiz, Spain

After Christopher Columbus launched his second and fourth voyages to the New World from Cádiz, the city began receiving treasures collected during the Age of Exploration. The prosperity of Cádiz grew exponentially. By the early 18th century, the Port of Cádiz managed 75% of the trade with the Americas. All that wealth attracted the greedy. The city was raided by Sir Frances Drake in 1587. Then the English destroyed Cádiz in 1596. In desperation, King Phillip II commissioned Cristóbal de Rojas to design an impenetrable defense. Within 25 years, the city was encircled by a curtainwall with intermittent guard towers and bastions armed with cannons. Castillo de Santa Catalina was also finished. Two bulwarks were added in the north part of town in the late 17th century. The construction of Castillo de San Sebastián followed in 1706. This exhaustive plan worked. The English attacked five times during the 17th and 18th centuries. As part of the Napoleonic Wars, the French assaulted Cádiz for two and a half years from 1810 until 1812. Each onslaught was successfully repelled. Most of these defenses are now yours to explore and enjoy.

Paseo de Sta. Barbara, 11003 Cádiz, Spain
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15 Paseo Carlos III in Cádiz, Spain

If you continue walking north from Genove’s Park, you will quickly become enthralled by Paseo Carlos III. This seaside esplanade is named in honor of Charles III, the King of Spain from 1759 until 1788. This wedge-shaped public space has plenty of shade, checkerboard-tile plazas plus trellises supporting blooming flowers. It is the essence of tranquility after a busy day of exploring Cádiz.

Paseo de Carlos III, 2, 11003 Cádiz, Spain
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16 Parish of Our Lady of Carmen and Santa Teresa in Cádiz, Spain

Members of the Carmelites, a religious order founded in the 12th century, arrived in Cádiz in 1762. Their Roman Catholic church was finished in 1743 based on the work of architect José Balaños. The most elaborate section of the exterior is the marble entrance flanked by columns with Corinthian capitals. The balance of the façade is decorated with salmon-colored Ionic pilasters. On top are a pair of tiered, pierced belfries. This is now the Parish Church of Our Lady of Carmen and Santa Teresa.

Paseo Alameda Marqués de Comillas, 3, 11003 Cádiz, Spain
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17 Ficus Tree at Alameda de Apodaca Park in Cádiz, Spain

Next to the Bastion of Calendaria is another lovely setting. Parque Alameda de Apodaca was initiated in 1617. In 1856, the park was named after the Viceroy of New Spain and Captain General of the Spanish Navy during the early 19th century. Along the waterfront promenade is a baluster on top of an old curtain wall. Stand here to savor the picturesque views of the ocean. The squares are defined by black and white ceramic tiles. There are plenty of benches to relax while enjoying the shaded breeze and admiring the enormous ficus trees.

Paseo Alameda Marqués de Comillas, 8, 11003 Cádiz, Spain
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18 House of the Four Towers in Cádiz, Spain

During the 18th century, Cádiz’s position along the Atlantic helped it grow into a major Spanish port. Many shippers and traders to the Indies (Americas) became rich and invested in elaborate homes. An excellent example is the House of the Four Towers at Plaza Argüelles. The four separate buildings have a unified façade. Owner Juan Clat Fragela, a Syrian merchant, used this ornate tower to monitor the nearby port through a telescope. The decorations of Casa de los Cuatro Torres were painted using a red ocher pigment called almagra.

Plaza Argüelles, 11004 Cádiz, Spain
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19 Murallas de San Carlos in Cádiz, Spain

The majority of the fortifications surrounding Cádiz were constructed during the 17th century. Additional defenses were built for nearly another 100 years. The largest was Baluarte de San Carlos engineered by Antonio Hurtado. This huge, wedged-shape bastion dating from 1784 protected the northern harbor with a battery of up to 90 mounted cannons. Nine of the artillery are still aimed toward the bay. You can admire them as you walk along the crenelated Murallas de San Carlos (Walls of San Carlos).

Murallas de San Carlos, Calle Honduras, 11004 Cádiz, Spain
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20 Constitution of 1812 Monument in Cádiz, Spain

While the French occupied most of Spain during the Napoleonic Wars (1803 – 1815), representatives from Spanish provinces met in Cádiz to draft language regarding democracy. The Cádiz Cortes ratified the Spanish Constitution of 1812. The document described the tenets for freedom, a national sovereignty and the creation of a constitutional monarchy. The declaration was abolished by Ferdinand VII of Spain. Six additional constitutions would be drafted and suppressed. Finally, many of the principals described in 1812 became the current Spanish Constitution when it was established in 1978. This monument in Plaza de España commemorates the founding fathers of 1812. It was designed by architect Modesto Lopez Otero. The sculptor was Aniceto Marinas.

Plaza de España, 11006 Cádiz, Spain
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21 Palace of the Provincial Council in Cádiz, Spain

In 1770, Charles III, King of Spain from 1759 until 1788, commissioned architect Juan Caballero to design this customs house near the port. During the Napoleonic Wars, it served as the headquarters for occupying French troops and the retention center for captive King Ferdinand VII. On March 19, 1812, this was the scene of the first reading of the Political Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy. Today, it is the Ayuntamiento de Cádiz (Town Hall) called the Palace of the Provincial Council of Cadiz.

Plaza de España, 16, 11006 Cádiz, Spain
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22 Triumph of the Virgin of the Rosary in Cádiz, Spain

On November 1, 1755, a large earthquake destroyed much of Lisbon. The seismic event launched a massive tsunami along the coastline. The destructive waves were estimated between 16 and 32 feet high. Surprisingly, Cádiz was spared significant damage. In appreciation for the miracle, the Municipal Town Council declared the Virgin of the Rosary as the patron saint of Cádiz. Then they commissioned sculptor Torcuato Cayón de la Vega to create a monument in her honor. After it was finished in 1761, the Triunfo de la Virgen del Rosario was placed on a Solomonic column and a marble base.

Plaza de las Tortugas, 11006 Cádiz, Spain
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23 Plaza de San Juan de Dios in Cádiz, Spain

If you arrive in Cádiz by cruise ship, you can explore Plaza de San Juan de Dios within a few steps after disembarkation. The city’s largest square was initiated during the 15th century behind the city walls. After those defenses were removed in 1906, the square (then named Plaza de Isabel II) was extended to the harbor. Further embellishments resulted in a wide, pleasant and pedestrian-only plaza. Palm trees line this walkway for about three blocks. Plaza de San Juan de Dios is a great place for people watching, especially while dining at an outside table of a restaurant.

Plaza de San Juan de Dios, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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24 Segismundo Moret Monument at Plaza de San Juan de Dios in Cádiz, Spain

In the center of Plaza de San Juan de Dios is this monument to Segismundo Moret. The bronze tribute was created in 1909 by Agustín Querol y Subirats while Segismundo Moret was in his third term as Prime Minister of Spain. His title was also called the President of the Council of Ministers of Spain. The monument was moved in 1954 and then returned to the square in 2014.

Plaza de San Juan de Dios, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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25 Old Town Hall at Plaza de San Juan de Dios in Cádiz, Spain

The Consistorial Houses were built during the late 17th century. A century later, the government buildings were torn down to make way for the first stage of constructing Ayuntamiento (Town Hall). Architect Manuel García del Álamo was responsible for adding the Isabelline Gothic façade in 1865. Notice the bas-relief of Hercules in the pediment. This Roman god is called the Father of the Andalusian Fatherland. Legend explains Hercules was the founder of Gadeira (present day Cádiz). The mythological hero has been featured on the flag and coat of arms of Andalusia since 1918. The Old Town Hall’s pink hue is a prominent landmark at the south end of Plaza de San Juan de Dios.

Casa Consistorial, Plaza de San Juan de Dios, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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26 Church of San Juan de Dios in Cádiz, Spain

Attached to Old Town Hall is Iglesia de San Juan de Dios. The Catholic church was built in 1688. The bell tower was added in 1768. This is part of the former San Juan de Dios Hospital established in 1614. Their namesake is San Juan de Dios (Saint John of God). João Duarte Cidade was a soldier until converted to Christianity in 1537. Then he began an unrelenting mission to care for the poor and sick across Spain. He founded the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God. Today, the religious order operates more than 300 hospitals in 53 countries.

Plaza de San Juan de Dios, 13T, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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27 Palace of Congresses in Cádiz, Spain

A tobacco factory was established by Phillip V in 1741. Two of its architectural features – the glazed, ceramic tile roof with an iron knives design and the brick chimney – were preserved when the Neo-Mudéjar building was converted into Palacio de Congresos de Cádiz. The Palace of Congresses has a large auditorium plus several conference rooms and an exhibition hall. The 80,000 square foot facility is located at Plaza de Sevilla. In the foreground is a sculpture of two women making cigars.

Plaza de Sevilla, 1A, 11006 Cádiz, Spain
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28 Santo Domingo Convent in Cádiz, Spain

The Dominicans were established in Cádiz in 1639. By 1660, the Catholic friars and nuns built this monastery. It was dedicated to Saint Dominic, the Castilian priest who founded the Dominican Order in 1216. The area where Convento de Santo Domingo is located was originally called del Boquete. The former monastery is near Palacio de Congresos.

Calle Santo Domingo, 5, 11006 Cádiz, Spain
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29 Santo Domingo Church in Cádiz, Spain

Iglesia de Santo Domingo was added to the Santo Domingo Monastery in 1666. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. That name for the Virgin Mary comes from the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 when Pope Pius V asked all to pray the rosary for a naval victory by the outnumbered Holy League against the Ottoman Empire. A shrine to El Rosario, one of the city’s patron saints, is inside this Catholic church.

Calle Santo Domingo, 1, 11006 Cádiz, Spain
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30 Puertas de Tierra at Constitution Plaza in Cádiz, Spain

In the early 16th century, a huge defensive wall was built encircling the southwest end of Cádiz. The two bastions named San Roque and Santa Elena were designed to prevent attacks by land. This is now the demarcation between the historic center and the neighborhood of Puerta Tierra. In 1756, this magnificent marble Ground Gate was created in the curtainwall by Torcuato Cayón, a prolific and talented Spanish architect. About a century later, the Puerta de Tierra Tower was added as an optical telegraph station. When Puertas de Tierra (Gates of Earth) were extensively remodeled in 2013, a fountain and reflection pond were built as part of Plaza de la Constitucion.

Puertas de Tierra, Plaza de la Constitución, 11008 Cádiz, Spain
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31 Close Up of Puertas de Tierra at Constitution Plaza in Cádiz, Spain

Above the entrance of Las Puertas de Tierra is an escutcheon. The design features a pair of three-towered castles, two lion rampants and three fleurs-de-lys. This was the Lesser Royal Arms of Spain. It was adapted by Phillip V when he became the King of Spain in 1700. His coronation sparked the War of the Spanish Succession. This remained the coat of arms for the Spanish House of Bourbon until 1931.

Puertas de Tierra, Plaza de la Constitución, 11008 Cádiz, Spain
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32 San Servando and San Germán Statues in Constitution Plaza in Cádiz, Spain

In front of Puertas de Tierra at Constitution Plaza are two tall fluted marble columns with Corinthian capitals. On top are early 18th century statues sculpted by Andrea Andreoli. They are the likeness of Saints Servandus and Germanus. In Spanish, their names are San Servando and, shown here, San Germán. These two Roman soldiers were martyred near Cádiz in 305 AD during the Christian persecution by Diocletian, the Emperor of the Roman Empire. They have been patron saints of Cádiz since 1617

Puertas de Tierra, Plaza de la Constitución, 11008 Cádiz, Spain
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33 Bell Tower of La Merced Church in Cádiz, Spain

The Convent and Church of Nuestra Señora de la Merced (Our Lady of Mercy) was established in 1629 for the Discalced Mercedarian friars. The benefactors were the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, an influential and wealthy family in Andalusia. The church was built in 1638. During a devastating fire in 1936, most of the religious complex was ruined. This bell tower was saved. Its façade features bright red Tuscan pilasters offset by a white background. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1948.

Plaza de la Merced, 1, 11006 Cádiz, Spain
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34 Nazarene of Santa María Painting in Cádiz, Spain

As you explore the cramped streets and alleys of Old Town, you will discover religious icons painted on porcelain tiles. They are embedded in walls and above arch passageways. Most are centuries old. Occasionally, you will find a contemporary one. This image was created in 1986 for the façade of Santa María Church. Nazareno de Santa María was built in the early 17th century and celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2016. The prized procession of the Brotherhood of Jesus Nazareno is Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno. The gilded wooden statue of Christ bearing a cross was created by Andrés de Castillejos in 1602. Each Holy Thursday, this treasure is marched through the streets of Cádiz.

Calle Sta. María, 14, 11006 Cádiz, Spain
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35 Arco de los Blanco in Cádiz, Spain

This eastern gate through the old Roman wall into the city was called Puerta de Tierra (Door of Earth) when it was constructed during the 13th century. It adjoined the Castle of the Villa, a medieval fortress that no longer exists. During the 16th century, a religious sculpture of the Virgin of the Remedies hung here. After 1621, when a merchant named Felipe Blanco built a private chapel in the same place, the arch was renamed after his family. Arco de los Blanco means Arch of the White.

Calle Mesón, 22, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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36 Admiral’s House in Cádiz, Spain

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Fleet of the Indies transported treasures plundered in the New World back to Spain. Diego of Barrios was an admiral of the Indian Fleet. His ships focused on New Spain (now Mexico). In 1685, he commissioned this elegant Baroque palace at San Martín Square. The mansion is named Casa del Almirante. The wooden door is flanked by four red marble Tuscan columns. The two corkscrew ones on the balcony are called Solomonic columns. Beneath the curved pediment is a relief of the admiral’s crest.

Plaza San Martín, 4, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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37 Arco del Pópulo in Cádiz, Spain

The Almohads built a city wall in the 12th century. During the reign of Alfonso X (1252 – 1284), this arch was created. It was named Puerta del Mar (Sea Gate) because it was a main entrance into the city from the port. In 1587, a painting by Antonio Franco of the Virgin of Pópulo was placed above the portal. In 1596, the religious image was defaced with bullets by Anglo-Dutch soldiers. A few years later, a Pópulo chapel was constructed above the arch. In 1621, construction began nearby on the replacement Royal Chapel of Our Lady of Pópulo. Yet the arch maintained the name Arco del Pópulo.

Calle Fabio Rufino, 1, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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38 Church of Santiago Bell Tower in Cádiz, Spain

In 1564, a Jesuit college and adjoining church were founded on the edge of present-day Plaza de la Catedral. After they were destroyed by Anglo-Dutch troops in 1596, only the Church of Santiago (Santiago Apóstol) was rebuilt in 1647. The octagonal bell tower was added in the 18th century. Iglesia de Santiago is seen through the western city gate. The Arch of Santiago was constructed in the 13th century by order of Alfonso X, the King of Castile and León. Now it is called El Archo de la Rosa. The namesake for the Rose Arch is the Our Lady of the Rose chapel. Others claim it was named after Captain Gaspar de la Rosa.

Plaza de la Catedral, 10, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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39 Bell Tower of Cádiz Cathedral in Cádiz, Spain

The Catedral de Santa Cruz de Cádiz is the architectural masterpiece of the city. Construction began in 1722. The project was not finished for 116 years. What started with a Baroque design acquired Rocco, Gothic and Neoclassical elements by the time it was done in 1838. The standout features of the Cathedral of Cádiz are the twin, 131 foot bell towers. The entry fee for the cathedral includes the opportunity to climb the winding ramp to the top of Torre de Poniente (West Tower). The observation deck provides spectacular views of Casco Antiguo (Old Town) plus the seas encircling the city. If the bell chimes during your visit, it will definitely get your attention.

Plaza de la Catedral, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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40 Golden Dome of Cádiz Cathedral in Cádiz, Spain

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cádiz was established in 1241. In less than 25 years, the first cathedral was built. During the next 450 years, many Catholic churches were added, usually attached to monasteries and convents. These did not seem adequate when Cádiz began to experience its Golden Age in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The compelling desire to showcase the city’s prosperity prompted the commissioning of architect Vicente Acero to design Catedral Nueva. The cathedral’s yellow-gold dome is not only gorgeous but symbolic of this period of exuberance in Cádiz’s history. Along the base are sculptures of the Apostles. Inside the dome are painted scenes of the Passion of Christ including the Last Supper and Crucifixion. Beneath it is an elaborate altar surrounded by two side naves and 16 chapels.

Plaza de la Catedral, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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41 Cathedral Museum in Cádiz, Spain

Tucked between the Old Cathedral (now Santa Cruz Church) and in the shadows of the New Cathedral’s bell towers is a cluster of four historic buildings called the Halls of the Cathedral Complex. They are approached from Plaza Fray Félix. The Mudéjar style brick spire in the center is the crown of Casa de la Contaduría. The House of Accounting was constructed during the 16th century. This is now the Cathedral Museum. Inside is an interesting collection of religious artifacts, vestments, paintings, sculptures and documents.

1 Plaza Fray Félix, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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42 Old Cathedral Now Santa Cruz Church in Cádiz, Spain

Alfonso X was the King of Castile from 1252 until 1284. During his reign, he commissioned the construction of a cathedral on the site of a Muslim mosque. After Cádiz’s oldest church was finished in 1263, it was expanded multiple times. In 1596, most of the city was looted and burned by English and Dutch troops. Although some sections of the cathedral were salvaged, most of the existing structure you see was rebuilt by 1602 by architect Cristóbal de Rojas After a replacement cathedral was finished next door in 1838, this became the Parish Church of Santa Cruz.

Av. Campo del Sur, 2D, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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43 Ruins of Roman Theatre in Cádiz, Spain

The Carthage Empire occupied Gadir (present day Cádiz) beginning in 500 BC until 206 BC when they were defeated by the Roman Republic in the Second Punic War (218 – 201 BC). In 49 BC, Julius Caesar renamed the city Gades when granting it municipal status. During this prosperous 1st century BC, Lucius Cornelius Balbus the Elder – a rich Roman and Caesar’s personal secretary – built an amphitheater capable of seating an audience of 20,000. The Roman Theater was abandoned in the 4th century and later buried beneath a 13th century fortress. The ruins were discovered in 1980 and are still being excavated.

Calle Mesón, 11-13, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
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