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Cadiz, Spain

Visit the oldest city in Spain

"Cadiz, Sweet Cadiz!" as Lord Byron exclaimed in a letter home to his mother. Of course, at the time, he was marveled at a certain young woman, but for many Spaniards, the sentiment portrayed by those words would not be too far from the heart.

This most ancient of cities, not just for Spain, but for all of Western Europe, Cadiz has a history that spans over 3,000 years (which is even older than Rome)! It was from this small but cozy Spanish port at the mouth of the Rio Guadalete that Christopher Columbus set sail over the ocean in search of a westerly passage to the Indies, instead found America.

Located in the sun-kissed region of Andalucia, Cadiz is practically an island in the Gulf of Cadiz and the Atlantic Ocean, connected with the mainland by a 3-km (1,8 miles) bridge.

The architecture of Cadiz is characterized by the typical Andalusian mix of Arabic and European style.

The many architectural monuments left over the city’s many centuries will bedazzle: the Catedral de Santa Cruz, the Roman theater in the El Populo district, and the Tavira Tower, the tallest of the remaining watchtowers of the city.

If you are interested in art, visit the church of St. Catalina with the unfinished canvas by Murillo "The Wedding of St. Catalina", which is the last work of the great Spanish artist.

Moreover, the Museum of Cadiz houses objects of ancient cultures, found during archaeological excavations in the city, as well as the department of fine arts - paintings by Murillo, Ribera, Rubens and Zurbaran.