Wednesday, October 17, 2012


     Two weeks ago I took a day trip to Cádiz from Sevilla. Cádiz is a peninsula, bordered on three sides by the Atlantic. It proudly claims to be the oldest city in Europe, having been founded around 1100BC by the Phoenicians. Since then, the city has been occupied by the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Moors, and finally the Spanish in 711. The city's ports have been the sight of departure of many voyages to America, including Columbus'. The city's Golden Age was in the eighteenth century, when Cádiz practically had a monopoly on overseas trade. It was also the site of the first Spanish constitution, written in 1812.

(The entrance to the old part of the city, with statues of Hercules. Legend says that Hercules separated Europe from Africa and thus formed the straits of Gibraltar).

     I arrived in Cádiz on an overcast morning, eager to smell the saltwater air. The old part of the city, the only part worth visiting for historical reasons, is small and very walkable. 

I made my way to the Cathedral, which was begun in 1772 and completed in 1838 (relatively recent by Europe's standards). It's a beautiful cathedral, with a golden dome and high barrel-vaulted ceilings. It began to rain while I was walking there, so I decided to go in and sit down for a while Mass was held. 

     Next I went to one of the city's two castles, Castillo de San Sebastian, constructed in the 18th century. To get to it one walks down a long jetty, passing fishermen with 15ft long poles and no reels. It was interesting to think that I was looking for the first time from the other side of the Atlantic, in the direction of the United States. 

I continued my walk around the city, finding a couple of small parks with different types of trees, including some very, very old cypress trees. 

The rest of the day was spent walking around the city and admiring the ocean. It is a city full of history, which is important to experience, but for being surrounded by the ocean it felt a little stagnant. Maybe it was because I was alone, or because it was cloudy and raining, or because it is removed from the rest of the country with only one way out. Nevertheless, I am glad I went, though it is certainly a place to visit for only an afternoon. 


  1. did you take any pictures of the spanish fisherman who row?

  2. ay cadiz is that town in kentucky with the mcdonalds we stop at dude.