By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises
Cádiz is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula, and possibly the oldest in all of southwestern Europe.
Think of it as a frontier town, the Wild West of Europe.
Today I went with a group of guests to the splendid city of Seville, about 90 minutes away. The gems of Seville include the Alcazar, a palace constructed for the Catholic royalty but mostly designed by and built by Moorish artisans after the reconquest of Spain.
SEVILLE, SPAIN: THE ALCAZAR
SEVILLE: THE CATHEDRAL
The spectacular Cathedral of Seville includes the tomb of Christopher Columbus…or someone like him…or maybe not. Nice tomb, though.
A CADIZ ALBUM
Cádiz was part of the Muslim realm of Al-Andalus, now the Spanish region of Andalusia.
Its history and culture are built on a base of Moorish or Muslim cultures, and by earlier forces: the Iberians, the Carthaginians, the Greeks, the Roman Empire, the Vandals, and the Visigoths.
The Phoenicians built an outpost here about three thousand years ago and called it Gadir, which means walled stronghold. And for most of its existence, that was its role: a fortress and an armory.
During the Age of Exploration, the city was re-energized.
Christopher Columbus sailed from Cádiz on his second and fourth voyages.
By the middle of 16th century, when the Spanish Empire ruled or traded with much of the world, Cádiz was the receiving end of the treasure train from Asia and the New World.
Spanish Galleons would pick up gold, silver, and other treasure from Mexico, South America, Japan, China, the Philippines and other parts and try to get it past the real Pirates of the Caribbean.
The intermediate goal was one of their local strongholds including Cartagena in Colombia or Havana, Cuba. And then from there they would cross the Atlantic to bring the treasure back to Spain, through Cádiz.
All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.