Category Archives: Monuments in Cádiz

The watchtowers of Cádiz

The Watchtowers of Cádiz are a series of defensive structures built during the 16th and 17th centuries in Cádiz, Spain. They were part of the city’s fortifications and were used to watch for incoming ships and to provide early warning of potential attacks by pirates or foreign powers. Some of the towers have been preserved and are now used for various purposes such as museums or tourist attractions.

Influenced by North African architecture but without doubt pure Andalucian, the watchtowers of Cádiz are one of the most characteristic elements of our city.

Whilst walking in the narrow streets, many of the ornate towers are hidden from view. But, from the sea, they create a picturesque and distinctive silhouette of the city that has become famous the world over.

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Puerta de Tierra

The Puerta de Tierra is a historic gate located in the city of Cadiz. It dates back to the 16th century and served as one of the main entrances to the city, protecting it from sea attacks. The Puerta de Tierra is a symbol of the city’s rich history and has undergone several renovations throughout the years to maintain its original appearance. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction, offering a glimpse into Cadiz’s past and providing stunning views of the surrounding area. The Puerta de Tierra is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of Cadiz.

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The fortress of Santa Catalina

After the Anglo-Dutch sack of the city in 1596, King Felipe II sent the engineer Cristóbal de Rojas to Cádiz to carry out a defense project. Rojas considered that the quickest and most effective way to protect the city was to design a fortification in the bay of Santa Catalina. So, in order to defend the most vulnerable maritime borders of the city of Cádiz, the fortress of Santa Catalina was built.

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The fortress of Santa Catalina

The building represents an important example of modern military architecture and has survived to this day without any major changes or warfare damage. It has a star-shaped plan with two well defined fronts. One is formed by triangular bastions that rest on the beach and the other open towards the city where the only gate to the enclosure is located. This is protected by two bastions and a moat/ditch which used to regulate the level of water through various locks. Access is across a bridge to a simple door protected by an upper guardhouse. Here there is a plaque that commemorates the completion of the works during the reign of Felipe II.

Inside the fortress, the different pavilions are organized around a parade ground. The chapel of Santa Catalina was built in 1693.

The fortress of Santa Catalina

The fortress has been transformed into a large multipurpose cultural and leisure space which includes temporary exhibition halls, educational workshops for students. Artistic, craft workshops and concerts are also organized in the Plaza de las Armas del Castillo along with outdoor activities during the summer.

The fortress of Santa Catalina

Ask in the tourist office or your hotel for information about any upcoming events here.

Opening times
  • Monday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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