This is Cádiz

Apasionada de mi tierra, quiero contaros por qué tenéis que venir y la mejor forma de conocer Cádiz

Puertas de Tierra

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Puerta Tierra from Plaza de la Constitución

Located in the Plaza de la Constitución, we are facing one of the key monuments to understand the city in many aspects.

The first news about its existence date from the early sixteenth century. After the Discovery of America, the population of the city increased considerably and houses adjacent to the existing wall began to be built. This external framework provided a situation of insecurity in the face of increasing attacks, such as Barbarroja or Drake. For this reason, the defense of the city was extended with this new construction, which consisted of a wall of land and was destroyed, without much effort, in the Anglo-Dutch looting of 1596.

With the reconstruction of a new defensive system, the city was able to resist a new attack in 1625, and it is from then on that he decides to surround the existing city with defenses.

The major changes in the wall begin to take place in 1731. The reforms were entrusted by the engineers Ignacio Salas and Juan Martín Cermeño. It follows the same style that is being applied in all European main cities and incorporates the system of vaults, glacis, contramines and barracks. To get an idea of ​​what it looked like at this time, you can visit the Museum of the Cortes of Cádiz, where we will find a model of the city made between 1777 and 1779. Here you can also see that it was built in the narrowest part from the city.

The current name is received in the eighteenth century and since then its design has hardly changed. Due to the necessity of the passage of vehicles, the whole is remodeled, with a change of the tower (in its upper part) and the opening of two large arches, which currently runs the traffic The wall is made with stone oyster, another characteristic symbol of Cadiz architecture.

As a curious fact, look at the left side of the wall, you can find embedded one of the old entrances. Crowning the central axis, the tower is erected, where they have passed since the Christmas lights, to a Hercules in Carnival. In its front we find a set of paired columns, designed by José Barnola. In front of it, we have a fountain (Ojo !, which for some will be the most important) which is where the promotions of Cádiz CF are celebrated. And safeguarding the fountain, on columns, are the patrons of the city; San Servando and San Germán, sculpted by the Genoese brothers Andreoli.

Before the transformation
(Cadiz architecture guide)

On the inner side of the wall, we find the surprise of a marble townhouse as a triumphal arch, made by Torcuato de Cayón. From here you can access the vaults that give access to the monument. You will have to explore a little to find the access to the upper walk, but there is, don’t leave. Once there, you can access the interior of the tower, where there are images that show the most recent evolution of the walls.

Why should you visit?

Who does not like to inquire about a walled enclosure? Without a doubt, I am one of those who with the simple fact of walking through them, I move to another era and I love discovering that they saw from there.

Views, views and more views. From this point we can contemplate:

  • The Bastion of San Roque and Santa Elena that close this walled complex.
  • The Puerta Tierra zone (yes, I know, we are in the Puerta Tierra, but it is what is called everything built from the Plaza de la Constitución to the Carranza Bridge).
  • The Old Town ,the roofs of the de Santa María neighborhood, the Cathedral in the background and the port on the right, are worth the prospect. And from here you can start to see something very characteristic of our city, the lookout towers.
  • The Pepa Bridge (or the new bridge).

More information about the defensive architecture of the city and about the monument. It is a good starting point to get a general idea.

You are crossing a border without being asked for a passport. Here is the most symbolic axis of the city, separating the new, old part, Cadi. This is something that always draws attention to the one that is not from the city, the old town we call Cadi (Cádiz). And those born and / or residents outside the walls, are called Bedouin (there I enter). And this, is totally true.

And now that I’ve seen it, what?

You have gone up and down, it is not a great height, but if the day is sunny, surely it has taken its toll.

So to regain strength I propose two options that I really like. The first is the Saja River, from a beer to eat. If you have not been curious about the place on the outside, go through his profile on instagram, which will surely crave something.

If you prefer to take something with the sea in the background, then go to El Pelicano (they open at 6:00 p.m. so it is not an option for the morning).

If it is not time to take something, or just do not feel like it; Do not go too far. In the bastions of San Roque and Santa Elena, which are the ones that close the set, we have two more cultural options for our plan. On the one hand the Puppet Museum and on the other the Lithographic Museum. We’ll talk about both in later posts.

Just a bit of basic information

All the information needed to visit this monument (Puerta Tierra)
Top ride

Schedules Monday to Friday: 9:30 – 13:30 / 18:15 – 20:15 Saturdays: 10:00 – 13:00
Free admission

How to get there:

Be careful, because if you ask in Cádiz , you run the risk of being told that : “That is near” (Cádiz is small, but still, you do not feel like walking). Do not trust Cadiz very much in that aspect, which as I said, we are exaggerated “pa tó”! But in honor of the truth, is that in Cádiz you can walk everywhere.

By urban bus: On Avenida Andalucía we have a very close stop, where lines 1,2,3 and 7 pass. So you have access from almost any area.

If you come from outside: Past the monument, and going down the Cuesta de las Calesas we have the bus and train stations.

You already know that I am very addicted to maps, so this time will not be less. I leave you all the sites indicated above and we will expand it little by little.

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Conversion of Calle Ancha into a pedestrian street.

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That cities change over time, is evident. But there are parts, which one assumes that they have always had the current configuration.

This is the case of the Ancha street, which was a traffic area until 1973.

As it was narrated then: “this main artery of the city reserves its space for the pedestrian exclusively, in the style of the great European cities”

Source: Diario de Cádiz
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Holy Week in Cádiz (basics)

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Once again I have to congratulate you if you have decided to spend the days of Holy Week in Cádiz. It is not one of the most famous in Andalusia, we are not going to deny it, but coming to Cádiz is always a good option, and if it coincides with a party, that is what you get.

The first thing is that I’m not a “capillita”, so do not let anyone get angry with the post. What I tell you, is my experience of this party from outside, yes, with all the love, because I love the traditions of my land and I appreciate what differentiates them from the same traditions elsewhere. Everything has its charm, and here, even if it is smaller, it also has a lot. This year is comprised between April 12 and 21.

How is Holy Week like in Cádiz?

I would say that it is “pequeñita”, and with this, I mean it is manageable. You can cover it completely without saturating yourself, or without having to wait for hours and hours and more hours.

As in much of Spain, the Brotherhood procession through the streets of the city, with his step (s), penitents, his band and in many cases, behind the step you will see the penance. The party is concentrated in the Old Town of the city, although we also find some Brotherhoods that come from Puerta Tierra (Stripped and Prayer in the Garden).

Within the route we have what is called Official Race, a part that procession all the Brotherhoods and among which is the Cathedral, where a penance station is made.

And what is different about it?

The first and obvious is the framework, the city itself. There are spectacular corners, and if I had to tell you one that I think is beautiful is the Campo del Sur. If you still do not know, Cádiz has a very special light and see a step bathed in that light and the sea is incredible.

Vocabulary is another thing:

  • We have steps instead of thrones like in Malaga.
  • Here the brothers who procession with their tunic and capirote are penitents, instead of Nazarenes as it is called in Seville.
  • The bearers is also something of Seville, here they are shippers, and this is basically because they carry it on their shoulders.
  • At fork pitch: The fork is the rod that the handlebars carry (the loaders that go out of the way) and with it they set the pace to the loaders that go inside. It should be added that the fork was used to hold the steps when they did not have legs.
  • The loading of the steps in Cádiz is like the walk itself, it rocks a little. There are also times when the step rocks in a place without moving, I do not know if it is because it is what I have seen all my life, but for me it is very beautiful.
  • The lollipop of Havana, will there be something more iconic? Basically it is a caramel shaped sugar cap (hence the Havana) and water. There is nothing more typical than eating the lollipop with paper, although in recent years I do not know what happens until it is completely detached. An authentic entertainment for children (and adults) at 2 for 1 €. You must know that the lollipop lord and other sweets go ahead. It is like the cross of guide of the own cross of guide of the step.
Lollipop of Havana

What do you eat?

There are several things that are typical of Holy Week in Cádiz. Because of the situation, or because they become family traditions and less than millennia in some cases, I leave notes of some.

Eat an ice cream in The Italians. The opening coincides with this party and although there are already many ice cream shops in the area, this is the one of to’la vida. And if you want to be the most typical, ask for a topolino (I’ll let you discover what it is)

A pie of Galician. It is open all year, but its strategic location in front of the Cathedral makes it an irresistible stop to anyone in the vicinity. I would even say that these days you know richer. The place is called Casa Hidalgo, although I also tell you that maybe because of that name you do not know much.

The lollipops of Havana mentioned above.

The torrijas, which are eaten throughout Spain, but one thing does not take away the other. Here we already have a universe of varieties, with sugar, with honey, with syrup. This is like the omelette, in each house there is a different recipe.

And according to the traditions of each house, on Good Friday meat is not eaten. You fall porridge or pescao yes or yes.

They also eat many nuts between step and step, and especially “fitetu” pips. In fact, this year the City Council of Cadiz will distribute pipelines (paper bags to throw the shells).

Easter processions per day

  • Viernes de Dolores : Servitas
  • Domingo de Ramos : La Borriquita,Despojado, , Las Penas, 
    Sagrada Cena y Humildad y Paciencia
  • Lunes Santo : La Palma , Nazareno del Amor, Prendimiento, y Vera Cruz
  • Martes Santo : Sanidad, Piedad, El Caído, Columna y Ecce Hommo
  • Miércoles Santo : Luz y Agua, Sentencia, Cigarreras y Angustias (Caminito)
  • Jueves Santo : Oración en el Huerto , Afligidos, Nazareno de Santa María y Medinaceli
  • Madrugada : Perdón
  • Viernes Santo : Siete Palabras, Expiración, Descendimiento y Buena Muerte
  • Sábado Santo : Ecce-Mater-Tua y Santo Entierro
  • Domingo de Resurrección : Resucitado

On this occasion we have also prepared a map and we leave you a pdf with all the routes of the week (for those who want to dispense or add to the paper). We remind you that the map will be updated. And let’s hope that weather respects.

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Eloisa D’Herbil

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Following up of the fact that today is working woman day, we wanted to release the Cádiz character section and we have not thought of a better choice than her, Eloísa María Dolores Juana de la Santísima Trinidad D’Herbil de Silva.

Perhaps many people do not know who we are talking about and, of course, it can not be due to the fact that they are not a relevant person, although unjustly left in oblivion by the land that saw them being born.

Daughter of the baron of Saint Thomas, Joseph d’Herbil, Eloísa was born in Cádiz in 1842. From an early age, she already demonstrated her mastery of the piano. He received classes from famed pianist Franz Liszt, who claimed that the little girl played Chopin’s pieces in the same way as the pianist. That is why he was nicknamed as the “Chopin with skirts”. Being young he still lived in Cuba, where some authors have mistakenly placed his birth. There he received classes from the American pianist Louis Moureau Gottschalk.

Source: New York Public Library

The Spanish chronicles of the time, such as La Gaceta Musical, La Época or El Nacional, highlight the prodigy of the funny girl when playing the piano. She gave concerts before Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, with only eight years; at the Teatro Real de Madrid and before Her Majesty Isabel II of Spain.

According to “La Gaceta Musical”, Her Majesty the Queen has deigned to present the interesting girl and famous pianist, Eloísa D’Herbil, with a magnificent dressing, consisting of a breast pin and a pair of earrings of diamonds and pearls large, set with exquisite taste.

Even the foreign press praises in praise the child prodigy, as it is collected in La España Artística (July 5, 1858) The London newspapers publish the highest praises of our distinguished compatriot the girl Eloisa d’Herbil, who has presented herself to perform the most difficult pieces of her repertoire in some concerts. It’s nice for us the welcome that this young artist gets in all the foreign capitals where it is presented, and it is not less the news we have received of his coming back to Spain, where as always, he will receive the just ovations that her merit conquers.

Source: Digital newspaper library (National Library of Spain)

Some years later, Eloísa began to compose. Later she emigrated to Buenos Aires, where she met her later husband, the Uruguayan Federico de Silva and Barboza, for which she is also known as Eloísa D. Silva. Is in Buenos Aires, in 1872, during a concert at the Teatro Colón, where he presented his habanera “Vente a Buenos Aires”. From then on he composed other tangos, such as “Que sí que no”, “Yo soy la rubia”, “Che no calotíes” and “Por la calle de Arenales”, among many others.

Throughout her artistic career, she composes more than a hundred pieces and is considered the first tango composer. Casi ná! She spent much of her life in Argentina (where she is known as the baroness of tango.) Until 1943, when she died at 101 years of age.

Unfortunately, the information that has remained of such a great composer is very scarce.

We leave a link to your piece “Que sí que no”.

Que sí, que no
que sí será.
Cuanto te canto,
te canto, te canto,
para verdad.
Que no, que sí
que sí, que no,
si vos mentís mucho,
que mucho, que mucho más
miento yo.
Y unos afilando
y otros desfilando
se afilan, se afilan,
la piedra rodando, rodando que afila,
que afila,
tú serás que es un primor.
Y ellos y ellas
cortando, pinchando,
se afilan, se afilan,
que sí, que no.
Y al fin todos
cantan la piedra rodando,
si vos mentís mucho,
más miento yo

Que si que no -Eloisa D’Herbil-
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ABC of the Carnival of Cádiz

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“Qué bonito, qué bonito, que bo..
Qué bonito está mi Cai,
Qué bonita es mi ciudad,
Qué rebosa de alegria,
Ay, cuando llega el carnaval”

-El profesor majareta y los niños probeta (1979) –

Nothing more to add to this popular and, unfortunately, more and more lost refrain of these holidays. If you are going to approach these carnivals to Cádiz, you have made the right decision! These days, more than ever, the streets will be full of joy, songs, art, lots of humor and, of course, more serious lyrics, of those that they give you goosebumps (“de pellizquito”, so you can become familiar) and, although it sounds “exagerao”, I guarantee that it will be like that.

When to come?

Officially, the carnival begins on February 28 and ends on March 10, officially… Now, I’ll explain how we measure the carnival unofficially, which is how it really works. If you are a fan of the contest, you have already had more than a month of carnival. For those of us who are more street, the carnival has three weekends, and that is how we all understand each other when it comes to staying. The first, the “Final”. The second, which for many people is the best. And the third, which is known as “Carnaval Chiquito” or “Carnaval de los Jartibles” (of the “pesaos”, to understand us)

How is the party?

If something characterizes the carnivals of Cádiz are their lyrics that, of course, are not suitable for the most sensitive to offense. The irony is the queen who, mixed with the art (that there is plenty) and social denunciation, review everything that happened during the last year. So, in summary, the carnival is heard.

Although there is the Concurso Oficial de Agrupaciones (COAC), whose Grand Final is Friday night, during the rest of the carnival, the groups sing on the street, and this is where we are going to find the first big difference. On the one hand, there are the contest and, on the other, the so-called “Las ilegales”, which are no more than those that go directly to the street to sing.

“Las ilegales” are usually groups of friends, families, etc … and, if they had not squandered enough imagination to write, do not miss detail of the “tipo” (el disfraz), because they are true works of art of recycling.

What should I know to not look like a “guiri”?

Here I am going to disappoint you because, to have tables on this, you will have to visit us on more than one occasion (and in more than two …). But do not worry, I’m sure you have not left yet and you’ll be thinking about going back!

  • The first important thing: Not all groups are “chirigotas”. (If you already knew this, we started better than good).

“La chirigota es la gracia,
La comparsa es diferente,
El cuarteto es la ironía,
Y el coro… y el coro son mucha gente … ”

– Tampax goyescas (2001) –
  • The instrument par excellence of the festival is “el pito de carnaval”.
  • The carnival of the street is free, and a lot of applause, but do me the favor of not being stiff and buy a booklet or a plate, which ask for the will “na ‘más”
  • Here there is no confetti, here they throw “papelillos”.
  • A very repeated cry: “amoscuchá”. The word itself says it, but I explain it to you: “Quillo”, I said that we did not find out and here we come to “escuchá”.
  • People dress up on the first Saturday. The rest of the days you will find some accessories, wigs, glasses … Actually, whatever you want, and for the most traditional ones, of course, some “coloretes coloraos”.
  • Leave the beer to one side because these days the purists drink manzanilla or moscatel, and the degree of antiquity of the personal can be seen according to the glass that should be useful. Glass of plastic, those who leave the step, hanging on one side, those who take the step, the hung and the straight, those are already professionals.

With this, and with the “pechá” of people there are those days, you will not attract much attention.

Basics to get

To get to Cádiz

If you come on Saturday or Sunday directly to spend the day, come armed with patience to start because, although we already have two bridges, jam you’re going to catch. So the best, come by public transport, because, if it’s already difficult to park in Cádiz a normal day, in carnival forget it.

To get to the center

In fact, almost all the carnival programming is concentrated in the center of the city or, as we also say here, in “Cai”. Although there is an extra fleet of buses these days, the truth is that they tend to be quite full and, if the weather is nice, with how close everything is, I recommend you take a walk down the promenade, because that is priceless.

If you want to have access to maps with the official program, with zones to listen to choirs, illegal and more tips, do not miss my next post.

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