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Cadiz, die älteste Stadt des Abendlandes, Bild: Travel Faery / shutterstock

Cádiz – picturesque coastal town with a long tradition

For many people, Spain is one of the most popular destinations for summer holidays. But if you want to experience something special and get to know the country and its people, you usually have to stay away from the tourist strongholds. For this, a trip to Cádiz is recommended: The town on the coast bears witness to the interesting history of the entire Mediterranean. But which sights are actually particularly attractive there?

Reachable in a short time

For holidaymakers, Cádiz is particularly useful because the city can be reached by plane from Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich – the journey time is three to five hours, depending on the connection. Despite the Mediterranean climate and the light breeze that blows steadily from the sea over the land, the temperature here can heat up to a constant temperature of over 30 degrees Celsius, especially in summer. Excursions in spring and autumn are therefore more pleasant – especially since the beaches and alleys are not yet overcrowded. Good opportunities to get into conversation with locals.

Immerse yourself in history

Cádiz – capital of the province of the same name that surrounds it – looks back on a long history. Whether the site is around 3,000 or only 2,800 years old is disputed in research. What is certain, however, is that the coast was used by seafarers from the entire Mediterranean region as a base long before the birth of Christ to conduct trade or to station their own armies here. Under the influence of Phoenicians and Carthaginians, the area, once ruled by fishermen, craftsmen and farmers, developed into a prestigious city that gained importance for rulers, scholars and religious followers. But which tourist highlights should guests actually see in Cádiz?

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The Archaeological Museum

From the above, it follows that a visit to the city’s archaeological museum should definitely be used not only to learn more about the long history of Cádiz – but also to marvel at the numerous finds from earlier eras that have been excavated here on land and in the water. Vases, statues, preserved mosaics: relics from times long past that tell of the splendour and wealth of the coastal town. Particularly worth seeing are the paintings by various European painters from the past three centuries, which are shown in a constantly changing exhibition.

Museums in Cadiz:

  1. Museo de Cádiz: This museum combines archaeological finds, art and a puppet collection. It was formed in 1970 from the merger of two previous museums and houses works by Zurbarán, Murillo and Rubens, among others.
  2. Museo Iconográfico e Histórico de las Cortés y Sitio de Cádiz: This museum commemorates the Constitution of 1812 and houses objects from the 18. and 19th century, including weapons, copies of the constitution and paintings.
  3. Museo Catedralicio: The Cathedral Museum of Cádiz exhibits various sculptures and religious artifacts, including the impressive Inmaculada Grande.

The Cathedral of Cádiz

Cathedral of Cadiz
Cadiz Cathedral, Image: Andreea Photographer / shutterstock

The double bell tower, which extends on both sides of the cathedral, can be seen from afar. Built in the 18th century, the building is surrounded by restaurants and shops, from which it emerges as a symbol of religion – a meeting place for people and a melting pot of cultures. The wonderfully designed altar, the tomb of the composer Manuel de Falla and the view from the tower are just three good arguments to enter the cathedral. Here continues what was already started in the archaeological museum: Cádiz is richly decorated with statues, pictures and works of art that range from classicism to the present day.

Castillo de San Sebastian

Around the same period as the cathedral, the Castillo de San Sebastian was built. The fortress, located directly on the sea, was intended to offer protection to the locals when attackers came across the water. In later years, a lighthouse was also built for this purpose on the small hill on which the castle is located. Today, its premises also serve as a museum, mostly containing evidence of the local civilization from the last centuries. Especially in the warm season, the area is also often used for concerts and art events.

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The Parque Genovés

Cádiz has a lush nature in the hinterland. If you shy away from the hikes there, a trip to the Parque Genovés is recommended: Here you can admire a variety of different plants – from the small flower to the tall palm tree. Some of the trees look back on a lifespan spanning several centuries, some of them are rare breeds. The grounds are also inhabited by colorful birds and beautiful butterflies. And with a little luck, you can even see small monkey species high up in the branches. An excursion that invites you to relax and dream, but at the same time provides interesting information.

Enjoy the day in Cádiz

It is also worth spending a few hours on the beach and swimming or diving in pleasant water temperatures. On the coast, you can find providers of boat tours that allow a trip of several hours to the deep blue sea. In the village, on the other hand, a stroll through the old alleys is not to be missed. From the Mercado Central de Abastos – a market with regional specialties – you can go to one of the numerous restaurants serving Mediterranean cuisine with fish, olives and white wine. But above all, it is the conversation with the people that allows you to really get to know the country and its people.