The Plaza Candelaria is a historic area located in the heart of Cadiz. The square is named after the Virgen de la Candelaria and is one of the oldest public spaces in the city.
Known for its impressive architecture and cultural significance. It is surrounded by several notable buildings, including the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. The houses that surround the square are, for the most part. from the end of the 19th century, with elements from the romantic period predominating. House number 15, known as “Asilo de Oviedo” and is built in the Elizabethan style. The Chilean insurgent leader Bernardo O’Higgins lived for years. Its magnificent façade stands out with its attached pilasters and corbels that have figures of eagles. Also noteworthy is house number 6, built in 1906 and in which glass and iron architecture are combined.
Another of the characteristic elements of this square is the bronze statue of Emilio Castelar, a great orator and last president of the First Republic, born in one of the houses facing the square, which presides over the central gazebo. Also, on one of the sides there is a small marble fountain.
Castelar was a prominent member of the Republican Party and was known for his eloquence and liberal ideas. He was elected to the Spanish Parliament several times and served as President of the Chamber of Deputies in 1873-1874. He also briefly served as President of the First Spanish Republic in 1873, but the republic was short-lived and was replaced by a monarchy a year later.
As a writer and orator, Castelar was highly regarded for his speeches and essays on democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression. He was a vocal opponent of authoritarianism and advocated for a more democratic and progressive Spain. He also supported the abolition of slavery and was a defender of women’s rights.
Castelar’s legacy as a politician, writer, and orator has been widely recognized in Spain and beyond. He is remembered as a key figure in the history of Spanish liberalism and as a symbol of democratic values and ideals.
The landscaped space is organized around a central gazebo with radial paths connected to a perimeter promenade, some of them covered by bougainvillea-covered pergolas. The external sidewalk that borders the square has a row of elm trees on the outer edge that, like other existing elm trees in the city, are gradually being replaced by other species such as hackberry, due to their poor health status. In the inner part of the sidewalk we find a row of bitter orange trees, which in spring perfume the square with the intense smell of their orange blossoms.
In the flower beds, among the tree species present, the following specimens stand out
An Araucaria or Norfolk Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) over 100 years old; a Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) also over 100 years old; Canary Island Palm (Phoenix canariensis), a specimen over 100 years old. A dragon tree (Dracaena draco) about 40 years old; a Livistona (Livistona chinensis) at more than 80 years; a silk floss tree (Chorisia speciosa), Orchid Tree (Bauhinia variegata), Cycad (Macrozamia communis), Coconut or Queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) and a Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens).
The Senator Cádiz Spa Hotel
Not too far from the the Plaza Candelaria is the Senator Cádiz Spa Hotel which is also close to the Canalejas park and plaza de las tortugas.
Set in a stately Mediterranean-style building and featuring wood floors. The warm, casual rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and desks, plus tea and coffeemaking facilities. Suites add separate living spaces. Room service is available. A breakfast buffet is available and there is a relaxed cafe/bar. Other amenities include a seasonal outdoor pool, a fitness room and a spa with hot tubs, an ice cave and saunas. There’s also a bright enclosed courtyard with a fountain and seating. The hotel also has parking.
See more parks and gardens in Cádiz here: https://visitingcadiz.com/parks-and-gardens/
See the full list of plazas in the city of Cádiz here: https://visitingcadiz.com/plazas-in-cadiz/
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