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Your friend in Chiclana

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History/Politics of Spain
Battle of Chiclana
Written by Yvonne Ferrier   
Thursday, 03 February 2011

Translated by Dave Fisher from: La Batalla de Chiclana en Pocas Palabras
The leaflet is available in Spanish from Tourist Information Offices or in PDF form here.

Battle of Chiclana

On the 7th of February 1810, the French army entered Chiclana, which was known in those days as “the Villa of Chiclana” and settled down in it to establish part of their forces that would be blockading the city of Cádiz. The following morning the Chief magistrate dictated a decree “That all inhabitants will open their doors to the French to admit they will gladly lodge them as friends and allies without causing them even the smallest molestation; facilitating them with aid that is corresponding, avoiding everything controversial and displeasing them”.

Alcalá de los Gazules – a very brief history
Written by Bob Lloyd   
Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The history of Andalucía is fascinating and rich in examples of both conflict and cooperation between cultures.  Dig just a little beneath the surface of any town in Andalucia and you find yourself in the midst of historic upheavals, shifting populations, changes in languages, cultures and beliefs.  Much of the history of these towns is buried in memoires in local libraries or odd paragraphs in larger works, but I've tried to put my town, Alcalá de los Gazules, in the context of the major events in a whistle-stop tour and hopefully give a taste of the fascinating events that took place in these parts


 The beautiful and historic town of Alcalá de los Gazules


In the beginning...

Although Cádiz was known as a port in Phoenician times, until Romanisation in 206BC most of Southern Spain was ruled between three tribal groups, the most powerful of which the Turdestani, lived along the Guadalquivir, the river running through modern Seville to Córdoba.

The Romans called what is now Andalucia, Hispania Baetica and it provided the Empire with salt, olives, and fermented fish sauce (called garum).  It was a wealthy region populated by the up-and-coming commercial types along with freed slaves and was so stable that the Romans didn't even maintain a garrison here.  The area was so completely Roman in culture that the citizens of Baetica spoke a form of Latin and enjoyed the same legal rights as the citizens of Rome itself.  Baetica even provided two Roman emperors, Trajan and Hadrian.
Sancti Petri Castle
Written by Andrew Brown   
Tuesday, 10 February 2009



Castillo de Sancti PetriPhoto by David Bosque

Sancti Petri Castle is one of the iconic images of the Costa de la Luz, but how much do you know about it? When was it built? Why is it of such archaeological and historical importance? Why did Hannibal and Julius Caesar visit it? 

1812 – The First Spanish Constitution
Written by Andrew Brown   
Wednesday, 19 November 2008

You can’t have failed to notice all the references to the huge celebrations that are being planned for 2012 in Cádiz. They will be the culmination of a series of events over the next three years during which the city will be the centre of attention not only throughout Spain but across the whole of the Central and South America. The 21st Iberoamerican summit – a meeting of Heads of State held every five years – will be in Cádiz in 2012, and the city has been appointed Iberoamerican City of Culture for the same year; both in recognition of the importance of the city’s commemoration of the bicentenary of the Constitution.

So, what is everyone getting so excited about? And what exactly happened in 1812?  

Battle of Barrosa 1811
Saturday, 01 November 2008
This battle is generally known by the Spanish as the Battle of Chiclana. This was a very short but very bloody battle in which nearly five thousand soldiers lost their lives. British and Spanish forces defeated French forces blockading Cádiz. It was a tactical victory but failed to lift the blockade or affect significantly the continuing occupation of Spain by Napoleon’s armies. How much do you know about this bloody battle and do you know what links Barossa Valley wines, guerrilla warfare and Pinar de los Franceses?
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