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

Varberg Fortress

Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.

King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.

The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.

It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.