The Plaza de Mina in Cádiz

The Plaza de Mina in Cádiz

The Plaza de Mina in Cádiz is one of the most emblematic and historic squares in the city and is located in the heart of the historic center. The plaza’s name pays homage to General Espoz y Mina, a celebrated hero of the War of Independence and a businessman who donated the land to the city in the late 18th century.

Uncover the Charms of Cádiz with Clive: A Unique Audio Walking Tour with VoiceMap
Uncover the Charms of Cádiz with Clive: A Unique Audio Walking Tour with VoiceMap

The Plaza de Mina is part of the Visit Cádiz audio guided route. Check it out here: https://visitingcadiz.com/immerse-yourself-in-cadizs-rich-history-a-guided-audio-tour/

Or, just scan the QR code on the left with your mobile phone.

Plaza Mina Suites

Set in a former merchant’s palace dating from 1888, this refined “all-suite” hotel is close to the Plaza de Mina. It is a short walk to Genoves Park, which runs along the shores of the Bay of Cádiz, and 10 minutes to La Caleta Beach. The chic 1- and 2-bedroom suites feature Wi-Fi, kitchens and living/dining rooms, as well as French balconies, flat-screen TVs and Nespresso machines. Upgraded suites have furnished terraces and there is a rooftop terrace with a bar and fantastic views.

The gardens in the Plaza de Mina

The square has a quadrangular floor plan and is organized around a central gazebo. Radial paths connect the gardens with a wide perimeter promenade delimited by trees and benches with wrought iron backs. There are cast iron central lamp posts, and the central area is divided into flower beds.

One of the most notable features of the Plaza Mina is the large central fountain (top image.) This was built in the mid-19th century and is known as the “Fountain of the Four Seasons.” The fountain is adorned with four allegorical statues representing the four seasons of the year.

Ficus in Plaza de Mina
Images from https://josecelestinomutis.cadiz.es/en/ The official Cádiz city website with information about parks, gardens and natural areas.

The outer perimeter of the plaza is made up of four alignments of various species, among which, due to their size and uniqueness, several specimens of Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) of approximately 100 years, various specimens of fire tree (Brachychiton acerifolius ), plane trees (Platanus hybrida), tree of heaven (Ailanthus altíssima) or bottle tree (Brachychiton populneus). Likewise, the existing specimens of flamboyán (Delonix regia) stand out for their great beauty when in flower.

Look out for the four statues that represent the seasons.
  • Spring is represented by a woman carrying flowers. This is Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, gardens and spring.
  • Summer is also feminine and carries ears of grain. This is Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, crops and fertility.
  • Autumn is a young man with vine leaves and a bunch of grapes, representing the grape harvest.
  • Winter is an older, bearded and hooded man.
Whilst you are exploring the Plaza look out for 4 statues that represent the seasons
Whilst you are exploring the Plaza look out for 4 statues that represent the seasons.

Carved in white marble on a smaller scale than life, they all wear Roman togas or tunics and are displayed on cylindrical pillars.

Notable buildings surround the Plaza de Mina

The Plaza de Mina is surrounded by majestic houses that represent the bourgeois architecture of Cádiz from the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of these houses show Baroque influences, while others display late Neoclassical or Elizabethan styles.

Notable buildings in the plaza include the Museum of Cádiz and the Casa Pinillos (which is now a cultural centre.) This is also the birthplace of the musician and composer Manuel de Falla, commemorated by a tablet at number 3.

Other notable figures who lived in the surrounding buildings include the geologist José Macpherson and the philanthropist Ana de Viya, who devoted her capital to charity and was the founder of the Salesian Professional School.

A Salesian school is an educational institution run by the Catholic Salesian Congregation of Saint John Bosco (or Don Bosco), and one that uses his methods. Salesian schools are dedicated to helping young people, especially the poor, in an educational and formative environment.

The Museum of Cádiz in the Plaza Mina

The Museum of Cádiz was founded in 1970 after the Fine Arts and Archaeology collections merged.

The museum of Cádiz in Plaza Mina
Located inside the 19th century Convent of San Francisco, the museum is set on three floors. Archaeology on the ground floor, art on the first, and puppets, La Tía Norica de Cádiz, on the second floor.)
The art gallery

The art gallery has an impressive collection including works from Zurbarán, Murillo, Rubens, Zuloaga, Sorolla and Miró. Zurbarán’s complete works come from the Cartuja de Jerez de la Frontera, except “La Pentecostés”, which comes from the offices of the “Consulate of the Indies”.

The archaeology department

The archaeology department in the museum has some outstanding objects in its collection. Among them, the famous Phoenician sarcophagi that were found in the port of Cádiz in 1877.

Many other artefacts from the Roman era are available to see from local sites such as Baelo Claudia, Medina Sidonia, Carissa Aurelia, Sancti Petri or Gades (Cádiz) itself.

The collection is split into various categories installed inside 8 display rooms.

La Tía Norica de Cádiz

La Tía Norica de Cádiz, is a puppet show tradition dating back 200 years or more. The latest investigations date its existence to around 1790 and it’s considered to be of Italian origin. The puppets are recognised as works of art and have been awarded the Gold medal for merit in fine arts.

The collection was declared an asset of cultural interest by the Junta de Andalucía and some of the oldest pieces are located here in the Museum of Cádiz.

The Plaza de Mina has played an important role in the history of Cádiz, having been the site of many political and social events over the centuries. Today, it remains an important cultural and social hub in the city and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the rich history and culture of Cádiz.

See the full list of plazas in the city of Cádiz here: https://visitingcadiz.com/plazas-in-cadiz/

See more parks and gardens in Cádiz here: https://visitingcadiz.com/parks-and-gardens/


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