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History


The province of Cadiz is the southernmost of the Iberian Peninsula . It has a perimeter of 586 Km, 260 of which are coastline. It has a surface area of 7,385 Km, divided up into 44 municipal areas. Its population totals just over one million, with the density being just over the national average.

Cadiz has an ancient history. The Tarshish and Phoenicians visited these lands more than three thousand years ago. It was here that they built the old Gadir (Cadiz) around 1,100 B.C., making it the oldest capital in the West. The Romans and the Visigoths also left their marks here. After 711, it was ruled by the Muslims until Alfonso X The Wise reconquered it in the middle of the 13th century and it became part of the Kingdom of Castilla.

The province played an important role in the discovery and colonization of America during the 15th century. Christopher Columbus and other famous sailors set sail from these ports on their voyages to the New Continent.

The 18th century, Cadiz's Golden Century was dominated by the growth of overseas trade, giving the city its cosmopolitan character and introducing new liberal ideas and opening the door for democracy which came to fruition with the drafting of the constitution in 1812.

The province of Cadiz is an exceptional and unique area, whose qualities will delight those people seeking tourism that reflects true cultural, festive and ecological values, together with the authentic and essentially Andalusian customs and monuments.

Art and Culture Many cultures have left their mark throughout Cadiz 's long history. Examples of this are the "Tajo de las Figuras" cave paintings in Benalup; two Phoenician sarcophagus es currently in Cadiz 's Museum; the Roman remains of "Baelo Claudia" at Tarifa, and the "Carteia" at San Roque.

The province has over 30 castles and fortresses, many of which are in a good state of repair.

In the field of religious art, the province also boasts an extraordinary collection of monuments. Good examples of this are the Cartuja in Jerez or the cathedrals of Cadiz and Jerez.

As far as paintings are concerned, examples of works by El Greco, Murillo, Zurbarán and Goya can be found in many of the province's churches and museums.