The building boasts being the largest Town Hall in Andalusia and the third largest in Spain. Its construction work began with the architect Torcuato Cayón in the mid-18th century, but continued up to the 19th century, so there were several architects who left their imprint on the building, enabling us to discover and enjoy the different styles we find in its interior.
After its incorporation into the Crown in 1729, it experienced a significant population increase in the first half of the 18th century, which led it to propose the need to establish totally autonomous forms of government in the city. This was one of the reasons why a little later the city had own representation in the municipal councils held in Cádiz. Faced with this situation of a clear population spike, it was soon deemed necessary to create an autonomous council that controlled all matters of the nascent town.
Therefore by Royal Licence of Charles III of 28th January 1766, the Isla de León Town Hall was formed. The town was therefore officially constituted, and granted civil and criminal jurisdiction, conferring upon the main Mayor the obligation to look after political and economic governance.
The first mayor of the town, Sebastián Ventura de Sedano, did not have a suitable place to gather the corporation, so they would meet in two rooms situated next to the Old Prison (today establishment of “The first on the island”), home of the mayor.
In 1773, the Town Hall proposed obtaining appropriate land for the construction of buildings, so it studied different offers. It finally considered the proposal of the Lorión family, since they donated the land needed and other neighbouring lands were also bought from them to carry out the work in better conditions.
The project and plan were done by the main architect of Cádiz, Torcuato Cayón, who would charge 15,000 reals a month for this work. Projects of other buildings in the province are also thanks to this architect, such as La Cartuja Bridge in Jerez and in Cádiz the New Cathedral, San Juan de Dios Tower, etc.
Its project consisted of forming the Square, Chapter Houses, Prison, Granary, Bakery, Butcher, Slaughterhouse, Fishmonger and other municipal departments. This project was supported from the Courts by his son-in-law Ventura Rodríguez
It is a defensive navy complex that protected the land entrance to the Island and Cádiz. The bridge, of Roman origin, owes its current layout to the Renaissance era, from when it began to be fortified with knights and batteries. It has remains of the shipyard that gave rise to the La Carraca Naval Station.
During the War of Independence this place plays an important historical role being the seat of the Council of Regency of Spain, which convenes the Cortes in September 1810. For this reason, the Religious Sisters were transferred to Cadiz, adapting these facilities for state offices, troop lodging and hospital. This educational center, established in 1760, continues to perform educational functions today.
Dating back to 1733, it is the oldest religious building preserved in the city. Here is venerated the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of the city and the Navy. It was the scene of some sessions of the Cortes de Cádiz and in its enclosure was granted to the then Villa de la Real Isla de León, the current name of San Fernando and the title of City in the year 1813, in recognition of its work during the War of Independence and its constitutional role.
The Royal Institute and Observatory of the Navy in San Fernando is an important scientific center and the oldest observatory in Spain. Its origins date back to the 18th century. It is located on the hill of Torre Alta and is an important example of neoclassical architecture. It is here where the official time of Spain is established.
Inaugurated in 1804, it is a building of great historic and artistic value. In September 1810, it housed the first sessions of the Cortes Generales and Cortes Extraordinarias of the Parliament that gave rise to the first Spanish Constitution, for which its interior underwent a renovation. This building, declared a Constitutional Monument, has since then had several uses. It boasts the Royal title and was declared a Historic Monument in 1935.
Due to the population increase experienced in Villa de la Real Isla de León, construction on this temple began in 1756. The original design was done by the architect Alejandro Perdía, slightly modified by a French engineer and completed by Torcuato J. Benjumeda. Baroque in style in the first body and Neoclassical in its towers, this place bore witness to an important historic event which was depicted by the painter José Casado del Alisal in a painting that decorates the east wall of the floor of the Congress of Deputies in Madrid.
The existence of the Real Carenero shipyard was the background to the conception of the construction of this 18th century industrial enclave. This led to the repair duties performed by that enclosure being transferred and expanded with the creation of the new La Carraca Naval Station. The enclosure’s initial plans date from 1720, its layout being very organic and functional. Years later, the main gate of the wharf, the dry pit, the Battalion Barracks and the Penal de las Cuatro Torres prison were all built, with the other buildings completed in the late 18th century, that is, the General Warehouse Gate, the New Church and the Puerta de Tierra, all pure Neoclassical in style.
The privileged geographic location of Isla de León on the coast made this a more or less stable settlement site of man since very faraway times. This led to the exploitation of marine resources, especially for conserved and salted goods. This conservation industry created another auxiliary one: the pottery maker, necessary to manufacture the containers (the pots). The Phoenician and Punic furnaces are exhibited in the rotunda of the same name and constitute an exceptional complex in the west, both for the high number of production structures excavated and for their state of preservation. In it, the remains of two important pottery workshops related to the city of Gadir are exhibited: the Late-Punic pottery of Alta Tower and the Phoenician furnaces of Camposoto Sector III.
At the mouth of the channel of the same name is the island of Sancti Petri. Sources of Classical Antiquity place in this area the famous temple of Melkart, a divinity of Phoenician origin that links with the cult of Hercules (Rome) and Heracles (Greece). The current fortress was built in the 18th century. It is a magical place of great beauty where the Cultural, Historical, Natural and Landscape Heritage are combined.
Although it is difficult to date it. Diverse investigations place the origin of the San Romualdo Castle in the 13th century. It is inserted in the line of medieval fortifications Cadiz of the Atlantic coast along with the castles of Rota and El Puerto de Santa Maria. In 1931 it was declared a National Historic Monument.