Top Historic Sights in Cádiz, Spain

Explore the historic highlights of Cádiz

Cádiz Cathedral

Cádiz Cathedral built between 1722 and 1838. The Plaza de la Catedral houses both the Cathedral and the Baroque Santiago church, built in 1635. The church was known as 'The Cathedral of The Americas' because it was built with money from the trade between Spain and America. The 18th century was a golden age for Cádiz, and the other cathedral that the city had got, Santa Cruz, was very small for this new mome ...
Founded: 1722-1838 | Location: Cádiz, Spain

Roman Theatre

The Roman theatre of Cádiz is an ancient structure discovered in 1980. The theatre, which was likely built during the 1st century BC and was one of the largest ever built in the Roman empire, was abandoned in the 4th century and, in the 13th century, a fortress was built on its ruins by order of King Alfonso X of Castile. The theatre featured a cavea with a diameter of more than 120 meters, and could house some 10,000 s ...
Founded: 1st century BCE | Location: Cádiz, Spain

Torre Tavira

Cádiz is known worldwide for its watchtowers. They are witness to the trade and prosperity which the city experienced in the 18th century. At this time, the Tavira Tower the official watchtower of Cádiz due to the fact that it is situated in the centre of town, and was also the highest point in the town at 45 meters above the sea level. Don Antonio Tavira was the first watchman of the tower and used his telescope to se ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Cádiz, Spain

Santa Catalina Fortress

Santa Catalina Fortress was built on a rocky outcrop that reaches out to sea. La Caleta beach is on one side, protecting it to the northwest. Built in the 17th century, it has an Italian-style star-shaped floor-plan, and served as a military prison.
Founded: 17th century | Location: Cádiz, Spain

Museum of Cádiz

The Museum of Cadiz was founded in 1970 after the merger of the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts with the Provincial Museum of Archaeology. It is on three floors, archaeology on the ground floor, art on the first, and puppets on the second floor. Entry is free for citizens of the European Union. The origin of the museum came in 1835, when art was confiscated from a monastery, including paintings by Zurbarán taken from the ...
Founded: 1970 | Location: Cádiz, Spain

Puertas de Tierra

Puertas de Tierra is a bastion-monument built around remnants of the old defensive wall at the entrance to the city of Cadiz. Built by academic architect Torcuato Cayón in the 18th century, the cover is carved in marble and was intended more as a religious altarpiece than as a military fortification. It is one of the most significant monuments of the city and on its walls flies the purple flag of its canton. The adjust ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Cádiz, Spain

San Sebastián Fortress

San Sebastián is a fortress located in Cádiz, at the end of La Caleta beach on a small island separated from the main city. According to the classical tradition of the location of the fortress, there was a Temple of Kronos, a Titan of the Greek gods, the father of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter and Hera. In 1457, a chapel on the island was raised by a Venetian boat crew recovering from the plague. In 17 ...
Founded: 1706 | Location: Cádiz, Spain

San Lorenzo del Puntal Fortress

San Lorenzo del Puntal Castle is one of the oldest fortifications in Cádiz, built in 1587. It was attacked by British-Dutch fleet in 1595 without conquest. However, it was destroyed by another attack in the early 17th century and rebuilt in 1629.
Founded: 1587 | Location: Cádiz, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.