One of my personal favorites in Spain, Cádiz is the oldest city in Western Europe, rich with history, culture, and breathtaking sites. Here are a few pictures I took in 2015 from one of my many trips to this beautiful city.
If you travel around this city and it seems familiar, it might be because it was featured in a James Bond movie as Havana, Cuba. Another movie that this city has been featured in is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
The “Carnaval de Cádiz,” a costume carnival that celebrates Spanish music and culture is the second most famous carnival in the world. (The first being Rio de Janeiro’s.)
The name “Cádiz” has a rich history itself. The Phoenicians called this city Gadir, meaning “walled stronghold,” and according to Greek legend, Hercules himself founded this city and named it Gadeira. Finally, during the Moors’ 500 rule, they knew it as Qadis.
As I mentioned at the beginning, Cádiz is the oldest inhabited city in Spain and in Western Europe. Throughout history, it has been inhabited by the Carthaginians, the Visigoths, the Romans and the Moors. This city has been a principal home port of the Spanish navy since the 18th century, when the Bourbon royal family rose to the throne.
There are way too many “fun facts” about this city to include them all in this blog, but here are a few more:
- Columbus sailed to America from here
- The city was regularly attacked by English pirates for over 200 years
- Lord Byron, an extremely famous English ‘romantic’ poet, lived in Cádiz after moving from Seville, also in Southern Spain. It is said that during a night at the opera in Cádiz, he saw a beautiful woman who inspired him to write The Girl of Cádiz.
- Manuel de Falla, one of Spain’s most famous composers, was born here in 1876.
- The city has more than 100 watchtowers, the official one being the Tavira Tower.