CADIZ

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CADIZ, the principal port, and one ot the handsomest cities of Spain, is situated at the extremity of a long tongue of land projecting from the island of Leon. The narrowness of the land communication prevents its capture by a military force, while the garrison is master of the sea. This was exemplified in the long blockade of 1810, 11, 12. It is walled, with trenches and bastions on the land side, and, the population being large (70,000), the houses have been built high, and the streets are narrow. It has been much extended, and adorned with handsome buildings, since 1786. The chief buildings are the great hospital, the customhouse, the churches, and 13 monasteries. From the harbor, the town has a fine appearance. The bay of C. is a very fine one. It is a large basin enclosed by the main land on one side, and the projecting tongue of land on the other. It is from 10 to 12 leagues in circumference, with good anchorage, and protected by the neighboring hills. It has 4 forts, 2 of which form the defence of the grand arsenal, La Caraca, in which are 3 basins and 12 docks. This bay is the great rendezvous of the Spanish navy. C. was the centre of Spanish American trade, and the commerce of the port was very extensive, before the separation of the colonies. An important branch of industry in the vicinity is the preparation of salt: the pits belong to the government, and supply many of the fishermen of different countries of Europe. The city was taken by the earl of Essex in 1596, and from its bay Villeneuve sailed, previous to the battle of Trafalgar, in 1808. In 1809, it became the seat of the central junta, and afterwards of the cortes. It sustained a long blockade from the French (Feb. 6, 1810, to Aug. 25, 1812), which was not raised till after the battle of Salamanca. In 1823, the French entered it (Oct. 3), after a short siege. In 1829^ it was declared a free port. On the island of Leon, the village of Las Cabezas is also situated, where Riego began the military revolution, Jan. 1, 1820. (See Spain,)