If you are going to visit Andaluzia, Cádiz is a city that you cannot miss, as it is one of the most extraordinary cities to visit.
The oldest city in Western Europe is Cádiz, which was founded by the Phoenicians 3,000 years ago. The diverse populations that came here left behind significant cultural legacies that continue to shape the city's inhabitants today. Due to its commercial prominence, this peninsula on the Andalusian Atlantic coast has been able to preserve a significant historical history together with great beaches and delicious local food.
The former Phoenician Gades and Roman Gadir enjoyed its most glorious era when it held the trade monopoly across South and Central America in the 17th century (Spanish empire).
The city fortified itself by building defensive bastions, castles, and watchtowers on every flat roof . These defenses were required because of the wealth, which drew pirate raids.
These are some of the features of the city, and balcony railings are a standout among them.
Puerta Tierra, the gateway between the walls and the line separating the old from the new Cádiz, is a possible starting place for a visit. Wide boulevards, beaches (La Victoria, Santa Mara, and La Cortadura), sailing clubs, and contemporary sports facilities are all on one side. On the other hand, there is an older Cadiz with more character and history, one that is represented by the old neighborhoods, such as Santa Maria, a living flamenco temple, La Via, a fishing community, and El Pópulo, an old medieval town.
Streets that have diverse personalities but have kept their houses' exterior designs consistent make an incredibly lovely pattern when combined.
The Cathedral, constructed in a Baroque and Neoclassical style, rises on the Atlantic front with its yellow tiles and dome. Beside it are the old Roman theatre and the old cathedral.
What once was a royal square, parade ground and market, originating on land won from the sea, the Plaza de San Juan de Dios, where the Neoclassical structure of Cádiz City Hall stands, looking towards the nearby port.
In the Plaza de España, beside the port, stands the palace of the Provincial Government and Monument to the Liberal Cortes (Parliament).
In the tree-lined Plaza Mina you can visit the Cádiz Archaeological and Fine Arts Museum, which has interesting Phoenician exhibitions, while in the Plaza de San Francisco you can visit the church of the same name.
The city's most important shopping streets begin around the Plaza de las Flores. There is a good reason why the Central Market located here.
Another square, that of Tío de la Tiza, is the heart of the district of La Viña, where the Carnival begins with the traditional satirical verses.
Important religious structures in Cadiz provide insight into Andalusian religious sentiment. The Convent of Santo Domingo and the church that gives the neighborhood its name, Santa Mara, are significant. The parish church of La Palma is located close to La Via, and the church of Carmen is located at the opposite end of the city, close to Candelaria Bastion.
Right in the centre of Cádiz you can visit the Tavira Tower, one of the most symbolic in the city, and the Oratory of San Felipe Neri, a National Monument in which the Liberal Constitution of 1812 was debated.
For the best views of the Atlantic Ocean there is nothing like a stroll in the garden walks of the Alameda de la Apodaca, the Genovés Park and La Caleta beach. which is the only one in the old town and is framed by the Santa Catalina and San Sebastián castles.
But it's the city's life, its streets, its inhabitants, that make Cádiz such a fascinating city. A stroll through its narrow and old streets, a visit to one of the many Tapas bars, a meal in one of the typical restaurants, to taste the traditional food of the region, make a visit to the city truly unforgettable.