Jerez de la Frontera
Jerez de la Frontera | Source: Texts and photos: Patronato Provincial de Turismo y Ayuntamiento de Jerez de la Frontera.
The Phoenicians came around 3,000 years ago to found the colony called Xera. Muslims left a deep mark in the city such as the urban layout of neighborhoods situated in the heart of the old Arab medina: San Lucas and San Mateo which hosts its namesake church, the Market Square (site of the Archaeological Museum) and the Riquelme Palace. But undoubtedly the most important Andalusian vestige is the Alcázar de Jerez in whose Tower; visitors can visit the original Dark Chamber.
The city possesses many and valuable samples from the Gothic period. In the neighborhood of Santiago, home of the bulería, is the Church of Santiago, from the 15th century, the convent of Santo Domingo Church and San Marcos Church are also good examples of this style. Nearby is the Cathedral, a beautiful baroque building. Outside, you`ll find, La Cartuja de Santa Maria de la Defensión, a monastery which is considered the most important religious monument of the province.
From the 16th and 17th century the city acquired an enormous economic boom attracting Genoese, English, Flemish, French, etc., that drive the commerce of the city and especially the wine sector. A visit to one of its many wineries or tabancos is an essential activity in your stay in the city.
Don’t forget to take a walk down the calle Larga, shopping center and hub of the city. From there you can get close to the Plaza del Arenal, the most emblematic of Jerez, to the Mamelon, to the Placita del Banco(Bank square), bustling with life and activity, to the Plaza Plateros or Rafael Rivero, welcoming and full of terraces where you can enjoy the rich gastronomy of the city. The District of San Miguel is the birthplace of Lola Flores; it is one of the stateliest districts of Jerez and at the same time the most popular. The palace houses, such as the Palacio de Villapanés, make up special character of the neighborhood.
For leisure you have several options: The Horse Fair, Semana Santa, the racing circuit, which annually hosts the Championship of Spain, and the zoo, which houses inside the Botanical Garden or the Royal School Foundation of Andalusian Equestrian Art offering the show “How the Andalusian Horses Dance”.