Things to see and do - Cádiz
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CadizPedestrian, 6 km, 2 days
This fortified peninsula, connected to the mainland by a narrow coastal strip, would have been one of the first cities founded in Europe around 1100 BC by the Phoenicians of Tyr. Its prosperity stemmed from a trade monopoly with America dating back to the 18th century. Today, it’s a modern city of 158,000 inhabitants that holds all of its charm in its rational 19th century layout, its tall, colourful buildings, straight streets and squares with exotic vegetation and colonial style.Customise this route and add it to My travel book
Formerly known as the Corredera square, it is the oldest square in Cadiz along with that of San Antonio, it has been there since the 16C. Its location opposite the port makes it the heart of the town and for a long time it was the site of the market. On one side stands the neoclassical facade of the town hall, by Torcuato Benjumeda (1799), and by the side, the Baroque tower of the Church of St-Jean-de-Dieu. You will also find the Tourist Office, in an attractive neoclassical house.
The Arco de los Blancos will lead you into the renowned district of Pópulo. Built in the 13C, this gate was formerly called the Gate of the Earth.
Built at the end of the17C following the Baroque style of the age, the house has an attractive doorway in marble from Gênes. Very similar to the la casa del Almirante, it is differentiated by the two wreathed columns which flank the door.
Built by Admiral Diego de Barrios at the end of the 17C, the house is a fine example of a Baroque palace. You will notice a characteristic common to this type of palace, the pre-eminence given to the doorway in marble from Gênes, which combines Tuscan columns in the lower registry and wreathed columns in the upper.
In this street you will see some of the best examples of Baroque civil architecture in Cadiz. You will remember the facades of nos 9-10 (called the «House of Lilas» because of the decor of the door) and the patio of nos 17-19, whose staircase is worth a look. Don't miss the old tobacco factory, a brick and iron building in the Congress palace, a perfect example of 19C industrial architecture nor, opposite, the Santo-Domenico convent.
Standing in Santa María street, this house is an example of Baroque civil architecture in marble from the start of the 18C.
Located just behind the Church of Santa Cruz, it has preserved in a good state a part of the approach steps and some underground galleries.
On this walk you will discover two districts, which are very typical and individual, imbued with the gypsy spirit and where Flamenco traditions mingle with daily life. The Pópulo district is on the site of the early Medieval town, while Santa María is a suburb born in the 15C beyond the arch of the Whites. At last they have begun the restoration and renovation of the houses (many are from the 17C) and the streets of these streets which are run-down in spite of their beauty.
Begun in 1722 in a pure Baroque style, it was not finished until 1838. The facade is a play of concave and convex surfaces flanked by two towers topped by small temples, resembling two astronomical observatories. 1844 marked the completion of the great roof covering the transept; since then, the dome, on some misty days, seems to float above the town. The inside, in the shape of a Latin cross and ambulatory, is surprising by its size and the quality of light
Built at the end of the 16C on the site of the first one (13C), the people of Cadiz designed it like the old cathedral. The sober exterior is only enlivened by some varnished ceramic elements. Robust Tuscan style columns separate the three naves, of attractive proportions. You can see it from the small square of Fray Félix which has been the religious centre of the town for centuries. At no.1 you will see the Baroque house of Estopiñán.
This group of four buildings admirably restored and harbouring a 16C Mudejar patio contains the cathedral museum that has objects, garments and various liturgical documents including a letter signed by St Teresa to the baby Jesus. Notice especially a monstrance in gilded silver created by Enrique Arfe known as the Custodia des Cogollo and the monstrance of a Million (18C), since it has, so they say, a million precious stones...