Cádiz: About the City and Carnavales
Cádiz is a great place to visit because not only is it the oldest urban area in Western Europe, but the town as a whole can be defined as different, ancient, decadent, and fun. Once you pass through the modern part of the town, you will reach Puerta de Tierra, the “Gate of the Earth,” the original yet well-restored city walls. Cádiz is known as the city of the watchtowers due to the tower on each house from which residents can watch boats entering into the port.
Many beautiful monuments define the historical area of Cádiz, such as the original cathedral of Santa Cruz, San Felipe Neri’s Oratory, and the Neo-classical cathedral, defined by its circular form and great vaults. You can also find a number of museums in Cádiz, including the Museum of Fine Arts, which boasts works by Goya, an archaeological museum containing Phoenician artifacts, and the Museum of Sacred Art.
You can also find La Pepa, a monument dedicated to the 1812 Constitution, in Plaza de España. Cádiz has a number of parks and squares of to enjoy such as Plaza Mina, San Juan de Dios, Plaza de los Flores, and Mentidero, among others.
February marks the beginning of Cádiz’s festivals with the start of Carnival, when lights and color enliven the city. The Carnival officially opens on the first Sunday in February with a ceremony called the Óstioná y la Pestiña, in which ostiones (shellfish) and pestiños (sweets) are distributed. Shellfish is again given out the following Sunday, called the Erizá.
On Friday is the final performance at the Gran Teatro Falla, at which the musical groups present their songs. Their lyrics often criticize society, the government, or celebrities, along with praising their homeland, the people of the area, and their beautiful wives.
Saturday of Carnival is when the entire town dresses up, all in costume, marching around the streets until the early hours of the morning. This day also marks the choosing of the Carnival Queen and her helpers. Sunday afternoon is marked by a parade with the choirs on floats passing through the Plaza de las Flores.
Carnival is known for crowds of people eating fried fish and drinking Manzanilla on the streets. Carnival lasts until the end of February and is followed shortly by the beautiful Easter Week celebrations. October 7th is the Fiesta de la Virgen Del Rosario, the town’s patron saint.
Throughout the summer, there are festivals celebrating cinema, Ibero-American theater, and flamenco. Cádiz’s white sandy beaches and its lively nightlife are also great reasons to visit during the summer.
To experience the excitement of carnival, join us on our upcoming trip!
We hope you have a great time in Sevilla and Cádiz!
Your friends at DiscoverSevilla Excursions
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