The Story of Europe’s Oldest City

November 2024 9781911723615 324pp, 60 colour illus
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Available as an eBook
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This is the tale of Western Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city, a 3,000-year history of war and seafaring, culture and commerce, liberalism and resistance.

Helen Crisp and Jules Stewart offer a vibrant account of Cádiz past and present, from its ancient founding myths to its reinvention as a trendy tourist destination. They illuminate Cádiz’s experiences under Roman and Moorish rule; explore its centuries of maritime warfare, from Francis Drake to the Battle of Trafalgar; and probe its role in Spain’s ‘Golden Age’ of empire, when it dominated trade with the New World. As Spain’s de facto capital during the Peninsular War, Cádiz also produced Europe’s first liberal constitution in 1812. And in 1936, it was the port of entry for Franco’s troops, mustered to overthrow the Republic.

Cádiz has excited the passions of travellers for centuries. Lord Byron was enchanted by the ladies of the city, whom he described as ‘form’d for all the witching arts of love’. Benjamin Disraeli fell in love with Cádiz in 1830, seeing ‘Figaro in every street and Rosita in every balcony’. This beautifully illustrated book, the first to tell the full story of this intriguing and extraordinary city, brings its past to life.


Helen Crisp is fascinated by Spain’s history, landscapes and lesser-known museums. She is co- author, with Jules Stewart, of Madrid: Midnight City and Strike Up the Band: New York City in the Roaring Twenties.

Jules Stewart is a journalist and author, whose thirteen book topics include the NYPD and Prince Albert.

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