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The famous and historic city of Cadiz is found at the tip of a narrow, rocky peninsular that juts out into the eastern Atlantic Ocean. According to the ancient legend, Cadiz was first founded by Hercules, although in reality it was the Phoenicians who first established a settlement here about 1100 BC, making this certainly one of the oldest and continuously inhabited places in Europe. They were followed by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors who all came and went, but it was not until the eighteenth century that Cadiz saw its greatest period of wealth when it was probably the most important Spanish centre for trade with the then New World. Most of the cities fine neo-classical buildings were constructed during this period.

Today, it is still a busy port and the old town centre is dominated by the eyecatching yellow dome of the Nueva Catedral. Building of this Baroque-style cathedral was begun in 1722 but money soon started to run out and the building was not finally finished until 1853. The crypt contains the tomb of the famous composer Manuel de Falla. Next to his birthplace in the Plaza de la Mina is the Cadiz Museum, which is arranged over three floors and contains a great collection of paintings including some by Zurbaran, Rubens and Murillo. There is also a display of Roman, Greek and Phoenician ancient artifacts that have been excavated from around the province. Another museum worth a visit is the Museo de las Cortes de Cadiz, which traces the history of the towns unsuccessful attempt to establish a new and democratic constitution in 1812 whilst Spain was still at war with France.

The main Cadiz beach, Playa de la Caleta, is found next to the Barrio de la Vina area of the old town. It is particularly scenic in the late evening when the mighty dragon trees are floodlit. The beach was recently used as the location for one of the James Bond films in which actress Halle Berry emerges like Ursula Andress did from the ocean. Playa de la Caleta can get very busy in the summer season, so try the excellent Playa de la Victoria beach as another option if you want to do some quieter sunbathing. Nightlife in the town takes place aroundthe bars and discos found near the harbour.

Cadiz fiestas are also famous especialy its carnival in February, probably one of the biggest and finest in Spain. Many of the local people spend many months making their costumes for this 10-day festival, which is marked by many parades, concerts, processions and fancy dress displays and competitions. The carnival attracts tourists from all over Andalucia, so hotel rooms are usually booked up well in advance, so book early.

Cadiz train station is situated in the Plaza de Sevilla just a short walk from the citys Plaza San Juan de Dios. There is a frequent train service to Seville, Jerez de la Frontera and the nearby resort of El Puerto de Santa Maria.

The Amarillos bus company has regular routes to the local resorts of Chipiona, Sanlucar and El Puerto starting from the Avenida Ramon de Carranza, while Comes has long distance coaches to Seville, Algeciras, Granada plus Cordoba from the bus terminal in the Plaza de la Hispanidad.
Lots more travel advice and tourist information about Cadiz, Spain can be viewed on Cadiz

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