Conil de la Frontera
Conil de la Frontera
Conil de la Frontera is a town from Cádiz, Spain. It is a coastal enclave, with an area of 87 km² and with a population of 18.979 inhabitants.
The white country house that until a few decades houses a farmer and fishermen population, with a limited but constant tourism, starts to be considered, one of the most interesting enclaves to the tourist investments of the Gaditana coast.
The origin of this town goes back the Phoenicians age, that in those times they set up and exploited the first tunny fishery in Conil, a fishing art that lasts nowadays. Through its lands have passed Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, Byzantines, Vandals and Christians, leaving their personal trace that you can observe nowadays. The proximity of the big Gadir favoured the growth of many city centres in the outskirts.
The history of these lands where Conil de la Frontera is settled starts with the settlements in the prehistory. But it was not until the arrival of the Phoenicians, 1.200 years B.C, when the town of Conil de la Frontera was founded, just as it is known nowadays. From the Phoencians we have to emphasize that they were the ones who started the progress with the first tunny fisheries, and they saw that the red tuna was very important for the local economy, the sustenance to the citizens. After the Phoenicians arrived the Carthaginians, who kept the infrastructures and developed the tuna fishing, building places for the salted fish.
After the Carthaginians the Romans arrived and the town turned into a point of reference of the alleyways in the Roman Empire, because it was part of the Vía Heráclea that linked Málaga with Cádiz and took the temple of Hércules in Santi Petri. The garum (a type of fermented fish sauce condiment) was extracted from here, and in Rome it was one of the delicious dishes for the emperors.
At the beginning of our era, the Roman Empire started its decline, and in Conil was very important, a situation the vandals, the Visigoths or the Byzantines took advantage of to sack the town.
In 711 the Moslems arrived to Conil and other towns of the coast. The Moslem colonization in Conil was present for five centuries, specifically until 1265, year of the Reconquest in the town, and when Conil received the name De la Frontera, like other nearby towns such as Vejer, Chiclana, Arcos or Jerez, towns with the name De la Frontera.
Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, under the mandate of Monarch Fernando IV was the first who governed the town in these new times, the Tower de Guzmán was built to defend the town of possible invasions and Conil de la Frontera started its evolution like town of Cádiz, with an economy based on the red tuna fishing through tunny nets.
In 1456, the monarch Enrique IV visited Conil just like his predecessors Sancho IV, Fernando IV or Pedro I de Castilla visit the villa de Conil de la Frontera that was being settled very fast. In the XVI century the town has a crisis, caused by the fights of the nobility between the Guzmanes and the Ponce de Leon, two established and powerful families, whose rows reflected in a negative way in the tunny fisheries.
After many centuries with internal fights, illnesses, quarrels, and small crisis, in the XVII century Conil de la Frontera became the core of the economy in the area, because in the XVI century it had 1.800 inhabitants and in the XVII 2.700, a very important increase. It became in the motor town of the Atlantic area of Cádiz, so much so that in the XVIII century the tunny fisheries had a small crisis, the town retrained to other sectors like the agriculture and the livestock farming, keeping its level and development, an increasing development in spite of the fights between the lordships, that had one of its consequences in the creation of the Síndico Personero in the XIX century during the Napoleonic invasion. In the XVIII century it had 5.000 inhabitants.
At the beginning of the XX century Conil de la Frontera was a settled town, and the economy was based on the agriculture, the fishing and the cattle farming. However, Conil received the new century immersed in a very important trade union and worker tension, a small crisis and the social inequalities favoured at the beginning of this year tensions and conflicts.
As years go by, specifically in the sixties, Conil starts to stands out like touristic destination, there were few, but increased a lot the families from Sevilla who went here to enjoy the beach and the peace for summer seasons. These days, Conil is a point of reference in the national and international tourism, and its economy is more based on the tourism than on the fishing or the agriculture, this is a characteristic that has in common with other tourist towns in the province of Cádiz, such as Chiclana or Tarifa.
We can observe in the streets of Conil Muslim characteristics, typical features from the towns in Andalucía, with white and low houses, a characteristic that has lasted with the as years and centuries go by, since Sancho IV, in 1288, started the Castilian repopulation in Conil.
Conil, nowadays, bases its economy on the service sector, tourism, although it must not be forgotten the importance of other sectors like the agriculture, the cattle farming or the fishing, the 50 percent of the soil is destined for the farming and more than 500 families live off the fishing.
Casa de Arrafán
House of the Count of Las Cinco Torres
Church of Nuestra Señora de las Virtudes
El Baluarte (The Bulwark)
Shrine – Chapel of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno
Hermitage del Espiritu Santo
Hospice of La Misericordia
Church of Santa Catalina
Mesón del Duque
Puerta de la Villa
Towers Almenaras de la Costa
A sailor town par excellence, but where the agriculture has an important role, that has developed a typical gastronomy with its products, where starting from a first-class material the delicious and easy dishes are cooked.
If we talk about the country, we can taste traditional stews like: cabbages, rice with golden thistles, artichokes with peas, stews, seasoning potatoes, tagarninas, etc.
We have to mention some products from the pig slaughter like black puddings, spicy pork sausages (longanizas), pork scratching (chicharrones), manteca colorá (lard with meat, paprika and other species), stuffed loin and the typical slaughter stew or guiso de cochino.
And if we talk about the fishing, dishes cooked with very ancient receipts, like roast urta (a kind of fish), tuna cooked with onions (atún encebollado), marinated or with tomato dogfish, stuffing, fried or grilled squids or cuttlefishes with potatoes. We cannot forget the salted fish from the tuna: belly tuna in oil, dried salted tuna and the hueva curada.
With regard to the confectionery, we have to taste the rosquetes (a small cake made in a spiral shape) and sponge cakes from Easter, pestiños (honey-dipped fritters) and oil round flat cakes in Christmas.
How to get there
The new Motorway A-48 (Chiclana-Conil) is the main communication access, it links with the Motorway that passes by Puerto Real and with the Motorway that comes from Sevilla or the Motorway that arrives from Cádiz.
Conil is located to 42 kilometres from Cádiz, to 54 kilometres from Jerez de la Frontera, where you can find the nearest airport, to 140 kilometres from Sevilla (airport), and to 200 kilometres from Málaga, from where you can access the Motorway Jerez-Los Barrios or through the Nacional IV.
To Cádiz 43 km
To Barbate 24 km
To Sevilla 146 km
To Medina Sidonia 37 km
To Vejer de la Frontera 16 km
To Chiclana de la Frontera 19 km