Cádiz Travel Guide
Cádiz dates from 1104 BC, which makes it not only the oldest city in Spain but the most ancient city still standing in all of southwestern Europe. This is not a rich city by any means, but one with historicity and antiquities, piquant foods and beautiful beaches, and the prettiest women in the land. Plus, it boasts one of wildest carnivals in the world, Cádiz Fiestas de Carnaval, which fairly rocks this port city in February each year.
Cádiz is situated on a narrow spit of land jutting out into the ocean in the southernmost province of Spain, Andalucía, and is itself the southernmost Spanish city of any significance before reaching Gibraltar and the northern tip of the North African coast. It lies to the west of Ronda and Málaga, 66 miles (106 km) and 148 miles (238 km) respectively, and 61 miles (98 km) south of Seville.
Cádiz' interest lies mainly in its Old Town, bordered by the sea and the remnants of the ancient city walls, and characterized by narrow, winding streets that lead to centuries-old plazas. Among the principal sights here are the yellow-domed 18th-century Cádiz Cathedral which was more than a century in the making, the ancient Roman Theatre, the palatial Casa del Almirante (Admiral's House), and two fortifications overlooking the sea, Castillo de Santa Catalina and Castillo de San Sebastián. The hub of activity, however, is the 15th-century Plaza de San Juan de Dios, as well as La Caleta beach which provided the setting for the opening scenes of the James Bond film, Die Another Day. Both are worth a visit. As for museums, Museo de Cádiz is the best bet, for it has a rich collection of Phoenician and Roman relics and paintings by Spanish masters.
Cádiz' most famous son is composer Manuel de Falla, best known for his 1917 ballet piece, El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat). The city's most famous food is Tortillita de camarones, a wholly Mediterranean dish.
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