Study Spanish in Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz is a place of staggering beauty, replete with a mysterious allure that maps its millenary heritage. The oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere, an incredibly popular destination for Spanish courses, and one of the oldest cities in Europe, Cadiz has been home to a variety of civilizations over the past 3,000 years. From the audacious Phoenicians to their ambitious offspring, the Carthaginians, past the Romans, Visigoths, and Muslims, the city has long been a prominent settlement of strategic importance both for military and commercial reasons.
Consequently, Cadiz has taken on many personalities throughout the ages, leaving behind an eclectic mix of styles for both its visitors and 125,000 residents to admire today. At the same time, the topography of the city's utterly breathtaking location has limited the growth of the population to the closed quarters of the narrow slice of land that protrudes from the mainland and reaches out into the sea.
At the same time, the historical importance and natural beauty of the area has transformed the Bay of Cadiz into one of the busiest and most active hotspots in Spain, helping to develop areas in the vicinity of the city, both at the foot of the jutting peninsula and on the opposite end of the bay. Such has been the case with Puerto Real and Puerto de Santa Marta, both within ten miles of Cádiz, and San Fernando and Rota, slightly more distanced from the capital of the province.
All in all, the Bay of Cadiz boasts well over half a million people, and, as such, features every conceivable service and commodity expected from a modern city. At the same time, the Mediterranean lifestyle and the very special atmosphere (the charming locals, the smell of fish, the longheld traditions) that make up day-to-day life in what is ultimately a (huge) fishing village make Cadiz a very desirable place to learn Spanish and spend some time in one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in Spain.
The Stuff of Legends
As the story goes, Cadiz was founded by none other than the mighty Hercules, all the way back in the days when heroes were real and immortal. Such is the tale of the great Greek legend, whose intemperance was to cost him plenty of perils. The son of Zeus and the most beautiful woman in the world, Alcmene, Hercules was the recipient of all the hatred of Zeus' wife, Hera, to the point where she sent the goddess of childbirth, Ilithyia, to stop his mother from giving birth to him, after tricking Zeus into promising that a descendant of the House of Perseus born that very night would become the ruler of all those around him.
Hera's choice for High King was Eurystheus, who was born two months prematurely, while Heracles only came to the world seven days later, through the guile of his mother's servant, who tricked Ilithyia into losing her grip on Alcmene's womb in a crucial moment. Many years later, Hera's undiluted hatred for Hercules led him to suffer an outrageous fit of anger one night, while feasting with his wife and two children in Thebes, which culminated in him slaying both his son and daughter. Hercules was cured from his madness by Antikyreus, who gave him an antidote, only to be ordered by the Oracle of Delphi to atone for his guilt through ten years of service under King Eurystheus.
Unaware of Hera's hand in the Oracle's divination, as well as in the appointment of Eurystheus, instead of Hercules, as the king of Argos, the latter followed suit, more confused than relieved. What ensued was the famous myth of the Labors of Hercules, of which there were originally ten, before being extended to twelve due to the fact that he was aided by his nephew, Iolaus, the charioteer, in the slaying of the Hydra, and he exacted payment for the cleaning of the stables of Augeas.
It was during the accomplishing of the tenth task, herding Geryon's cattle, that Heracles came to the Bay of Cadiz: Geryon's kingdom was centered in the small island of Erytheia, right at the end of the world, which corresponds to present day San Fernando. That is why the coat of arms of Cádiz contains the pillars of Heracles, which he is said to have erected as a sign of the westernmost point of his travels.
Learn and Enjoy
Great beaches, sweeping views of the sea, and long, palm-lined promenades complement the town's lively bars, fantastic museums, bustling commercial activity, and spectacular cathedrals – all of this awaits you in the unparalleled environment of this extraordinary place. So come learn Spanish in Cadiz and discover it all for yourself!
Want to learn a bit more about Cadiz? Check out our handy Cadiz travel guide to discover all this seaside destination has to offer: things to do, what to see, when to go, interesting facts, and much more!