Cádiz is not only the oldest city in Western Europe, but it is also the southernmost European capital. It is situated on the Bay of Cádiz and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It is united to the rest of the Peninsula by a narrow isthmus. Cádiz is one of the eight provinces that form the Autonomous Region of Andalucía. The coasts of the province of Cádiz run along 260 km. and have countless beaches of fine, white sand. Its climate is mild. The average temperature is 17.6ºC.
Cádiz is a city with a long history. It was founded by the Phoenicians in the year 1.100 B.C., it was occupied by Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Muslims and it was an important port for the discovery of America.
The original city name in Phoenician, Gadir, means walled city. It evolved into the Greek Gadira, then the Latin Gades, and even Qadis under moorish rule. For this history, people from Cádiz are known as gaditanos. Cádiz is said to be founded by Hercules, whose name was Melkart.
Nowadays, Cádiz is a city with a University flair and its people are welcoming and friendly. The old city, considered to be a historic monument, is partially surrounded by walls. Its most important monuments are the Cathedral, the Church of Santa Cruz, the Castles of Santa Catalina and San Sebastián and the Puertas de Tierra (the old gate of the city).
The city has many beaches: La Caleta beach, in the old part, and La Victoria, Santa María del Mar and Cortadura beaches in the new part of the city. Cádiz also has important sport facilities and cultural festivals (Carnival, Semana Santa).
Some interesting facts:
The James Bond movie "Die Another Day" Havana scenes were filmed in Cádiz, on La Caleta beach, Castillo de San Sebastián (Cuban DNA replacement clinic - Jinx jumps backwards), Campo del Sur (when James Bond arrives in Cuba), Castillo de Santa Catalina (James Bond drinks a mojito with Jinx in Cuba), El Balneario (James Bond´s hotel in Havana), and don't forget the famous scene where Halle Berry comes out of the water in her bikini on La Caleta!
Other movies filmed in Cádiz:
- 2010: Knight and Day with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise (Running of the Bulls in the Calle Ancha!)
- 2006: Alatriste
- 2000: Besos Para Todos
Christopher Columbus set sail on his second journey to the New World from Cádiz in 1493, and his fourth journey in 1502.
Lord Byron lived in Cádiz and wrote a poem "The Girl of Cádiz".