Spain’s Picture Perfect Cadiz
Posted on February 07, 2013 by sguese
On the pointy tip of a tiny peninsula on the southern coast of Spain you will find Cadiz basking in its own beauty. The old town enjoys the warmth of the water and the warmth of buzzing plazas. The port city is largely of 18th and 19th century construction but it possesses a long and fascinating history. Of course, the main reason most have heard of this piece of southern Spain is for its riotous and rambunctious spring carnival. This is Cadiz.
For a good overview of the city, Museo de Cadiz supplies. The museum holds both a fine arts collection and an archaeology section. You can see traces of the area’s past through the two Phoenician marble sarcophagi and the monumental statue of Roman emperor Trajan. The fine arts collection in the museum presents works by the greats including Francisco de Zurbarán. It also features the painting that cost Murillo his life, the altarpiece from the city’s Convento de Capuchinas. Murillo died while creating the work when he fell from scaffolding.
After seeing some of Cadiz’ prized archaeological and artistic finds, you might be itching to see the city’s art in action. The Cathedral is a good starting point with its yellow dome and baroque and neoclassic elements. It stands tall and proud in a traffic free plaza so that you can enjoy its entire splendor without getting hit by a car. Construction on the Cathedral began in 1716 but it would not be completed until 1838. Another standout piece in the city is Torre Tavira. It remains the highest of the city’s old watchtowers. In the 18th century, Cadiz had at least 160 watchtowers, keeping a close watch on citizens. The idea was that locals would utilize the watchtowers in order to see the ships coming and going. Torre Tavira reminds visitors of that fact with its great panoramas.
To get a sense of Cadiz, you must explore one of its most picture perfect neighborhoods, Barrio del Pópulo. The neighborhood transfixes in between Plaza San Juan de Dios and the town’s cathedral. It is a small taste of medieval Cadiz. Here you can find several craft shops and galleries to explore.
Of course, Cadiz’s location must be enjoyed on the beach. Playa de la Victoria presents fine Atlantic sands. It stretches across four kilometers along Cadiz’ peninsula. In the summertime, the whole city seems to be here, basking in the lovely, wide ocean beach.
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