CADIZ

Spain's Oldest City PHOTOS

Welcome to Cadiz, Spain

To describe the essence of Cadiz is no easy task. It’s an ancient city. In fact, Gadir as it was originally called, was founded in 1100 BC. That makes it one of the oldest cities of the western world.

Falla Theater in the old town of Cadiz, Spain
Tavira Tower in the old town of Cadiz, Spain
Santa María del Mar beach in Cadiz, Spain
Charming old town street in Cadiz, Spain
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The Phoenicians sailed onto these shores in their search for new commodities and found tin, silver and gold. The Romans came and then the Muslim Moors from Northern Africa, until finally the reconquest brought the Spanish empire.

Christopher Columbus started two of his four expeditions in Cadiz. And so began a new chapter in an already old city. Just as with its founding, gold and silver would once again make the city great. But this time, it wasn’t leaving – it was arriving.

With all of these new riches coming from the New World, Cadiz became a target for pirates. It was a constant fight and the city’s walls were continuously built for more than 300 years.

Cadiz was so well fortified that not even Napoleon and his troops could capture it. During the war it became Spain’s military high command and parliament. It’s also where the country’s first constitution was signed in 1812.

Today, Cadiz has mellowed. It’s a place where you can relax on the beach or stroll through the historic old town. The weather is blissful. The food is good. The locals are famously friendly and funny. While Cadiz’s essence may be hard to define, one thing is for sure – it’s good to be in Cadiz.

Patricia Palacios, co-founder of España Guide
About
PATRICIA PALACIOS
España Guide Co-Founder
Patricia is an engineer turned content creator who for over a decade has been helping travelers navigate her native Spain. In addition to her own website, her tips and recommendations have been featured on BBC Travel, CNN, El País & Lonely Planet, just to name a few.

This article might include affiliate links, allowing us to earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Check our disclosure page for more info.

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1/15  Charming street in Cadiz's old town
Charming street in Cadiz's old town, Spain
3/15  Camera Obscura at the Tavira Tower
Camera Obscura at the Tavira Tower – Cadiz, Spain
4/15  Chapel inside the Santa Catalina castle
Chapel inside the Santa Catalina castle – Cadiz, Spain
5/15  Remnants of the fortifications along the waterfront
Remnants of the fortifications along the waterfront – Cadiz, Spain
6/15  Cathedral seen from the Tavira Tower
Cadiz's cathedral seen from the Tavira Tower – Spain
7/15  Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square in Cadiz's old town – Spain
8/15  The meat boutique in Cadiz's central market
The meat boutique in Cadiz's central market, Spain
9/15  La Caleta beach seen from the Santa Catalina castle
La Caleta beach seen from the Santa Catalina castle - Cadiz, Spain
10/15  Santa María del Mar beach with the old town in the background
Santa María del Mar beach with the old town in the background, Cadiz – Spain
11/15  San Juan de Dios square
San Juan de Dios square in the old town of Cadiz, Spain
12/15  San Antonio square
San Antonio square in the old town of Cadiz, Spain
13/15  Detail of a building in the old town
Detail of a building in the old town of Cadiz, Spain
14/15  Alameda Apodaca Gardens
Alameda Apodaca Gardens in the old town of Cadiz, Spain
15/15  Falla Theater
Falla Theater in the old town of Cadiz, Spain
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