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Jerez

 
Jerez is famous throughout the world for its sherry wine and brandy production. Jerez is equally known for its horses and long standing Flamenco tradition.
 
Jerez, also known as Jerez de la Frontera, is located in Andalucia, about 20 kilometers inland from the Atlantic coast. It is the largest city in the province Cádiz and the fifth largest in Andalucia, with a population of just over 200,000. Jerez was founded by the Phoenicians with the name of Xera, and the old quarter dates back to Moorish time.
 
   
 

Jerez is famous throughout the world for its sherry wine and brandy production. The word Jerez is derived from Arabic and has now become synonymous with the English word "sherry". Jerez is equally known for its horses and long standing Flamenco tradition. Surprisingly, the sherry production houses, or Bodegas, are located in the center of the town. Flamenco dancing is centered around the Barrio de Santiago, which faces the cathedral. On the Plaza de San Juan, the Andalucian Flamenco Foundation can be found within a stylish eighteenth mansion. Here you can learn something of this Andalucian dance form and visit the museum.

Feria de Caballo (horse Fair) takes place in the first half of May. This week long fair is one of the biggest spectacles in Andalucia. Parades of horses with their riders dressed in traditional clothes pass through the town, accompanied by music and dancing. At the headquarters of the Royal Andalusian School of the Equestrian Art, you can attend a demonstration of how the horses are trained, and experience some of the things they are trained to perform.

No visit to Jerez would be complete without visiting some of the many Bodegas (wine manufacturer), such as Gonzalez Byass, Pedro Domecq, Sandeman or Tio Pepe. Each of the Bodegas have guided tours, where you can learn about the traditional and modern winemaking methods and taste the different types of Jerez wine.

Like many cities in Andalucia, the old quarters of Jerez has a strong Moorish influence. The old town of Jerez is is very charming with beautiful palm lined squares. The 11th century Moorish fortress, or the Alcazaba, has been partially restored, and houses the Arab Baths and a mosque converted to a church, the Chapel of Santa María la Real. The city's main Christian symbol, the San Salvador Cathedral, is very close by.

Jerez Airport is located 5 km north of the city center. The passenger terminal was built in 1992, and the airport has about 1,4 million passenger movements per year. Some lowcost airlines have direct flights to and from the UK and other European cities, and there are domestic flights from several places in Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona.

 

 

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