"And out of the mist appeared a city." Medina Sidonia by Beach_dog

Medina Sidonia Travel Guide: 51 reviews and 119 photos

Our visit.

Our second day in Cadiz province and we decided to visit the beautiful historic town of Medina Sidonia. It was a bright and sunny day down on the coast and we had a 30 minute drive to get to Medina Sidonia. We left after breakfast, driving through the pleasant low lying hills, following the road signs to the town. Two kilometers from our destination we drove into a bank of fog, lights on, we crawled the last few kilometers at a snails pace. Pulled into a petrol station to ask directions for parking, where we were told by the cheerful attendent that the fog was in for the day. Not totally dishearted we decided to explore anyway, parked the car and walked through the very narrow streets, not being able to see the other side of the road. We visited the church, the tourist office (for the much needed map) and walked up the hill to the castle. Photography was not too good and we could see hardly anything. As we walked back down to the town, thinking our day of tourism should maybe be cancelled, an opening appeared in the cloud, the sun forced its way through and within minutes it was a clear blue day. Later that day we drove back to the castle to get the views we wanted of the town below.

The town and sights

The town is in central cadiz province sandwiched between the hills to the north and the low lying countryside to the south. It retains very much of its original character, the moorish style, with narrow streets, whitewashed exteriors with red tiled roofs, tiled facades and patios.

The city has some interesting sights, three Moorish gates. Roman sewers, bridge and roadway. The Church Santa Maria la Coronado, in fine Gothic style and which was built on the foundations of a Mosque. The town hall which is a Baroque 17th century building. Also a castle upon the hill above the town.

A little history.

Medina has seen its fair share of the different civilisations. Prehistoric remains have been found in the caves nearby and since that time it has belonged to the Phoenicians, Romans and the Visigoths. The Moors conquered the town in the 8th century and it was eventually reconquered by the Christian northerners under Alfonso X in 1264. Between these periods in the 8th century it was even sacked by the Normans.

It has a famous son, after the reconquest the lands were granted to the family of Guzman el Bueno, they became the dukes of Medina Sidonia. The seventh duke, Don Alonso Perez de Guzman el Bueno was in charge of the Spanish Fleet or Armada which unsuccessfully attempted to invade England in 1588. On being given command of the fleet he told the King Phillip II... "The undertaking is so important that it would not be right for a person like myself, possessing no experience of seafaring or of war, to take charge of it . . .". Maybe he was a wise man as history prove him right.

  • Last visit to Medina Sidonia: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (5)

  • alucas's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2006 at 2:37 PM

    This may well be our stop-off town on the way to Marbella - looks interesting, despite the fog !

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2005 at 11:46 AM

    Evocative and interesting page.

  • andal13's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2004 at 6:03 AM

    That dog did not understand you... He speaks "Medinandoggish" and you speaks "Beachdoggish" ;-) What a lovely town... full of Andalusian charm!

  • diageva's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2004 at 4:23 PM

    Beautiful pics, Medina sidonia is a beautiful place

  • Carmela71's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2004 at 1:05 AM

    hehehe you should include the before and after photos lol.... Revisitng the city


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