Cadiz: An intriguing little city sitting above the ocean
Welcome to what is the oldest continuously inhabited place in Europe! Yes, Cadiz has been home to settlers for well over 3,000 years and is full of the history and culture that is so typical of this region. The old town, which is really old, is almost completely surrounded by water, and is a wonderful place to explore with tiny streets and alleyways heading off while gulls make their noise above you and the air fills with the aroma of fish being cooked. Charm doesn’t say enough about this ‘place.
Famous for its seafood, sands and its fascinating and plentiful monuments and museums, Cadiz is also home to cheerful locals who arrange mad carnivals and upbeat music of the region to make you feel you really are in the heart of Spain.
Be sure to take a walk to the San Sebastian Castle which was constructed on a small island is access by a stone walkway from the nearby beach. Great views of the city and inside the castle are exhibitions. The Casa del Obispo is another place you must visit while in the city as this huge museum has glass walkways which allow the visitor to walk above excavated ruins while you learn about Cadiz’s past. The Casa was originally Phoenician and later a Roman temple and a mosque, before it was established as the Episcopal Palace.
The Roman theatre, in Barrio del Populo is another throw back to ancient times and a good place to imagine life of the times, nearby is the Centro de Interpretacion del Teatro Romano where more information is available.
Cadiz’s people are best known for their love of fun and it’s recommended to go there during the spring carnival, which is Cadiz’s largest annual event, and one that is prepared for months in advance by all the residents. Yes Cadiz is well worth seeing and a great place to use as a base to explore southern Spain. September is still very warm in Cadiz Province and with many of the crowds from the summer having gone it is a great time of the year if you like to be near the sea.
Cadiz, unlike many other cities in Spain, doesn’t have famous buildings, like the Alhambra in Granada or the Guggenheim in Bilbao; nor does it have the stamp of any well-known architects. But what it does have in abundance is cobbled streets that have been used for centuries by Andalusians. Houses painted in tasteful colours, typical cafes and of course those lovey narrow streets more than make up for the lack of a famous structure.
Before you leave, and as the sun sets, head on over to Cadiz’s 17th century cathedral, which is next to the Casa del Obispo, and watch the sunlight turn this beautiful building yellow. A magical sight with which to remember this lovely city!