A brief history…
Tens of thousands of years ago, the area was populated by stone age Paleolithic tribes, the buried remains of their villages now archeological digs, such as La Mesa. The Phoenicians arrived by boat in the first century and on a small rocky island off the Atlantic coast erected a temple to their god of commerce, Melqart. The Greeks called him Heracles, as did the Romans, but using a different spelling (Hercules). In the immortal words of one of the temple’s visitors, Julius Caesar, the legions came to the Iberian Peninsula, saw the prosperous villages and conquered the fertile land of Hispania. The locals must not have been too pleased with their Latin rulers. In the 2nd century, they vandalized a statue of the emperor and heaved it into waters of what is now Sancti Petri (“of Saint Peter” in Latin), their handiwork unknown for nearly 2000 years, until the statue was discovered in 1905.
Chiclana: more than just the castle.
Ermita de Saint Anne (shrine of Santa Ana) sits at the peak of a hill, with views stretching from Chiclana, to the Bay of Cádiz, to its mountains. Together with the castle, they are are the focus of two of the seven magic points found in the area, click here for the complete list.
Iglesia de San Juan Bautista (Church of John the Baptist) doesn’t have amazing vistas but is referred to as a masterpiece of the Gaditano neoclassical style of the 16th century, also found in its stately mansions such as Casa-palacio del Conde de Torres. A fitting name, given the importance of towers. One serves as the spine of the city crest. The tall turrets of Torre del Puerco (Pork Tower) and Torre de Bermeja (Blond Tower) guard the coast, while the Torre de Reloj (Watch Tower) rings the bells in the city center on the hour.
Chiclana coat of arms
Ermita de Santa Ana
Iglesia Mayor de San Juan Bautista
Torre del Reloj
Torre del Puerco
Where to eat in Chiclana de la Frontera
The city center of Chiclana offers a plethora of Spanish bars and restaurants, where you can try local and regional delicacies. El Mercado Municipal de Abastos (Abastos municipal market) is located in the aptly named Plaza de la Bodegas (Winery Square). Near here you can find two of the many wine makers and sellers of fino, a sherry made from the grapes harvested nearby. But most of the local bodegas are across the Iro River.
El Mercado de Santa Ana is on the west side of the river, not too far from the main church. Food stands sell small plates of culinary specialties, from local tuna and cheeses, to Argentinian meat and locally sourced sushi, all to be tasted and savored in a relaxed and airy setting.
If you’re heading to La Barrosa beach, restaurants and bars lines the boardwalk, offering everything from sandwiches and pizzas to traditional Spanish tapas and more.
Visiting Chiclana?Take a tour with a multilingual guide (English, German & Spanish) from Visit Chiclana. Learn more about its history, people and food, including some of the best places to try the local delicacies.
Curious about the food?
To learn what you can expect on the menus of Chiclana and a little about the accent of the waiters