Cadiz (Gadir) is thought to be the oldest city in Europe and began as a trading post in about 1100 BC.
Located on the Bay of Cadiz it is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The Phoenicians called it Gadir and used it as a trading point for tin, silver and amber. Later the Carthaginians developed it into a busy port which ulimately prospered under the Romans because of its strategic location to make trade with the New World.
The Moors came to rule Cadiz in the 16th century and their influence over the city and its charachter is obvious today with narrow cobbled streets and Moorish architecture. During the 16th century Cadiz was used as a launching point for the newly discovered lands of America and was twice used by Christopher Columbus on such expeditions.
The 18th century saw Cadiz grow substantially but it was also a time of unrest having seen the invasion by Sir Francis Drake and its near capture by Napoleon. In 1812 the provincial government set down the Liberal Constitution, Spain´s first constitution.
Cadiz is a fine place to spend time and soak up the sights and the culture. The port is busy yet feels relaxed and is safe to wander about. There are lots of things to see and do and the province of Cadiz boasts of a 260 km coastline containing inumerable beaches of fine white sand and beautiful shores (see Costa de la Luz). And, if you're lucky enough to be visiting in February you will be able to experience one of Spains wildest and most entertaining carnivals.