Discover Jewish heritage in Cadiz, place known as the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe! This millenary seaport is a multicultural, elegant and vibrant peninsula surrounded by ancient seawalls swept on three sides by Atlantic waves. Cadiz’s old town streets forge a maze in which history unfolds at every corner, thus providing a perfect opportunity to go a journey through 3000 years, and gain an in-depth knowledge about Jewish history with our Cadiz Shore Excursion!
Identified by some historians as the biblical Tarshish, Cadiz was founded as Gadir by the Phoenicians around the VII century BCE. In 45 BCE, under Julius Cesar, the city became a Roman municipality. On the edge of the labyrinthine Barrio del Pópulo that looks towards the sea, you can admire the well-preserved remains of a Roman theatre, dating from the late 1st century BCE and, originally, with a capacity of 10,000 spectators.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Andalusian city experienced a period of successive invasions by the Vandals, the Byzantines, the Visigoths and finally the Moors, who spread their power throughout southern Spain and beyond between 711 and 1492 CE. Their presence in Cadiz, which lasted until 1262, when they were finally ousted by Alphonso X of Castile, left a deep mark on the city’s atmosphere.
Cadiz’s Jewish history in a nutshell
Under Muslim rule, there were probably Jewish settlements in Cadiz. Even after the city’s Reconquista in the 13th century, records prove the presence of a Jew, Samuel of Cadiz, who was allowed to settle down among others. Thanks to silt from the Guadalquivir River, Cadiz ceased to be an isolated peninsula and became connected to the mainland, thus facilitating commercial interactions and allowing the Jewish community to develop. Evidence of the presence of a community of Conversos in the city at the end of the 15th century were found in records of the inquisition. When the Jews were eventually expelled from Andalusia, Cadiz’s Jews moved to Castile. After1492, when the Catholic Monarchs promulgated the edict of expulsion of all Jews from Sefarad, 8,000 Jews left Cadiz and the majority went to North Africa.
On our Cadiz Shore Excursion, we will explore the fascinating and tragic story of Cadiz’s and Sefarad’s Jewry in depth!
Our private Jewish tour throughout the centuries of the history of Cadiz, a millenary city on the Atlantic Ocean, will also include some general Cadiz highlights, such as, the city’s baroque-neoclassic jewel, the beautiful yellow-domed Catedral Nueva. Don’t miss a climb up the cathedral's (eastern) Torre del Reloj: the view on the ocean and the peninsula is absolutely breath-taking!
You can delve deeper into the city and Cádiz Province’s culture and history at the Museum of Cádiz, whose collection includes both Phoenician and Roman archaeological treasures and Spain’s finest art works from the 18th to early 20th centuries. Outside of the museum, the local art scene is waiting to be explored: the quality of the local light attracts artists from all over Spain, making Cádiz’s art one of the most vibrant cultural scenes of the southern Spain.
Time to chill out? Sunbathe and enjoy a dip in Cadiz’s glamorous beaches, Playa de la Caleta and Playa de la Victoria; sip a cold drink in one of its many chiringuitos (beach bars), as you make your way back into town.
Don’t leave the city without tasting Cadiz’s delicious seafood dishes! The best choice is probably “El Faro”, a very popular tapas bar among Gaditanos (Cadiz’s citizens).
Enjoy all of Cadiz’s colors and flavours on our Cadiz’s shore excursion!