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Encyclopedia > Cadiz
This article is about the Spanish city. For other cities and meanings see Cadiz (disambiguation).

C diz is a coastal city in southwestern Spain, in the region of Andalusia, and is the capital of the province of C diz. As of the 2003 census its population was 134,989, and the population of the entire urban area was estimated to be 406,095, ranking as the 16th-largest urban area of Spain.


The city was originally founded as גדר (Gadir, meaning walled city) by the Phoenicians, who used it in their trade with Tartessos. The Greeks knew it as Gadira or Gadeira. Traditionally, its date of establishment is about 1100 BCE, although as of 2004 no finds have been found that date back further than the 9th century BCE. It is regarded as the most ancient still existing city in western Europe. According to Greek legend, Gadir was founded by Heracles after killing Geryon. Indeed, one of its notable features during this era was the temple dedicated to the Phoenician god Melqart. Some historians think that the columns of this temple gave origin to the myth of the Columns of Hercules (Melqart was associated by the Greeks with Heracles, or Hercules).


In about 500 BCE the city fell into the hands of the Carthaginians. In the 3rd century BCE, the Romans conquered the city and renamed it Gades. The city flourished under Roman rule, but, with the decline of the Roman Empire, Gades' commercial importance began to fade.


During the Age of Exploration the city had another rennaissance: Columbus sailed from Cadiz on his second voyage in 1495, and the city later became the home port of the Spanish treasure fleet.


Sir Francis Drake destroyed a Spanish fleet in its harbor in April 1587. In the Anglo-Spanish War Admiral Robert Blake blockaded C diz from 1655 and 1657, during which one of his captains, Richard Stayner destroyed most of the Spanish treasure fleet. A galleon of treasure was captured, and the overall loss to Spain was estimated at 2,000,000.


In the 18th century, the city surpassed Seville as the port monopolizing commerce with Spanish America.


C diz was the seat of the liberal Cortes fighting Joseph I of Spain in the Peninsula war; the Spanish Constitution of 1812 was proclaimed there. C diz is also famous by its carnival with Chirigotas (amateur satirical choruses) competing for a prize.


Since the 1950s, a power line crosses the bay of Cadiz. The pylons on which they are mounted are from unique design.

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Cadiz enjoys a warm climate with an average temperature of 14 degrees in the winter and 22 in the summer and more than 300 days of sunshine a year.
Cadiz itself is a fascinating and beautiful city with a rich history, as is nearby Jerez, the home of sherry.
The cultural heritage of Cadiz continues to thrive, the large population of gypsies in the area means that the art of flamenco is popular and the region is responsible for the famous Andalucian horse as well as for raising bulls used for bullfighting.
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Cadiz (369,382) is the residence of the bishop, and is situated on the Isle of
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Cadiz and Algeciras, granted by Clement VI in 1352.
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