Cadiz, the oldest city in Spain

by Michelle on June 5, 2016 · 2 comments

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After Seville, we decided to visit Cadiz. Originally we planned to go there for surfing, but we were pretty unluckily weather-wise since it rained on and off for the two days we were there.

Instead, we explored the city, went on a walking tour, eat lots of tapas, were pleasantly surprised about everything we learned about this ancient port city. For example, did you know that of the four voyages Christopher Columbus took into the New World, two were taken from Cadiz?

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We did go to the beach for a bit, although we found ourselves walking around in the wind and rain with some other German and Russian tourists who also seemed determined to enjoy the beach despite the weather.

Luckily being from bad weather countries, if the temperature is over 20 degrees, it’s considered a good day (and that it was!).

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Cadiz is divided into two parts – the old walled city and the newer part. While we had a car which made travelling around super easy (until you have to find parking), we never ventured into the new part of the city since it’s mostly modern apartments and hotels. Apparently it’s nicknamed “Cadiz-Fornia!”

Locals from the old part of town say they’re from “Cadiz, Cadiz, Cadiz” after the area, city and state. While it’s quite a mouthful to say, being from there makes you seem super cool so it’s well worth it.

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Known to be the oldest inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest Europe, Cadiz was originally known as “Gadir” by the Phoenicians in 1100B, which means “walled stronghold.” Since then, the city was occupied by several different nations including the Carthaginians, Visigoths, Romans and Muslims.

Renowned for its international trade, there are routes from Cadiz that link Europe, Africa and America. Unfortunately the city’s wealth and location by the ocean meant that the city was regularly attacked by English pirates…for more than 200 years!

In 1576, the Earl of Essex even burned the city to the ground. Poor Cadiz!

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The old part of Cadiz is quaint and pretty. Although I’ve never been, it supposedly looks a lot like Havana.

In fact, one of the James Bond movies, Die Another Day (the one with Halle Barrie), was set in Cadiz because it looks more like Havana than actual Havana!

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Have you guys been to Cadiz? What was your favourite thing to do there?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Agness June 6, 2016 at 4:10 am

I’ve heard of Cadiz a lot from my Spanish friends but I never knew it was one of the oldest cities in Spain. I definitely need to return to the country and see a bit more of it, including a visit to Cadiz. It looks really cozy and so historical. What was the food like there :)?

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Michelle Michelle July 12, 2016 at 2:08 am

You’ll love it in Cadiz! The food is great! Tapas are very popular here, and seafood of course! 🙂

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