Cádiz (Spain)

Cádiz is a true old city of Europe. In the Middle Ages it already had a long history as a trading centre, underpinned by its location and being almost completely surrounded by water. In the East a huge lagoon, the Bay of Cadiz, protected the city from its enemies, while to the West, a safe natural harbour provided ships access to the Atlantic. Merchants settled here in large numbers to trade with other countries and Spain’s overseas colonies in America.

Today Cádiz’ age and limitations in space are a blessing. There is hardly any opportunity for Spain’s typical overdevelopment and so the old town is homogeneous and closed.

But what is really special about Cádiz is the skyline. From the historic watchtower Torre Tavira at the highest point of Cádiz (over 45 meters), the roofs of the old town are dotted with towers!

The merchants in the Middle Ages were naturally keen to know of the arrival of their ships as early as possible. What could be better than building a lookout tower on the traditional flat roof from which to see the horizon. Soon nearly every house in Cádiz was graced by such a tower, of which there were different styles – tower only, tower with turrets, tower with terrace, and combinations of all. Today there are 126 of these old towers, which gives the silhouette of the city a unique character.