San Fernando, Cradle of Modern Constitutionalism, played an important role during the War of Independence, specifically in 1810. The then Villa de la Real Isla de León and its neighbour the city of Cádiz were the only territory free from the French invader.
San Fernando then housed the Government of the Nation and arranged the first Cortes Constituyentes of our contemporary history. The role our city represented during the War of Independence was of vital importance in the development of the events that gave rise to geophysics.
This route will allow us to visit those emblematic places where these and other circumstances took place that were of great importance for the future of our country.
In this building of the Villa de la Real Isla de León, the Deputies of the General and Extraordinary Courts met for the first time, on the morning of September 24, 1810.
At nine o’clock in the morning, all the deputies (property members and alternates) attended and gathered in the Chapter House of the Town Hall, converted into the Royal Palace of the Regency, where the formula for the oath that should be sworn in the course of the same votive of the Holy Spirit in the Greater Church.
After the previous formal act, they all went in procession to the Main Church, where a mass was celebrated “imploring that Divine Grace enlighten their intelligence in their deliberations and agreements.”
Once concluded, the assistants pronounced the oath approved shortly before. This moment was immortalized by the painter Casado de Alisal, in a painting that is currently preserved in the Congress of Deputies (Madrid).
Subsequently, the entourage, formed by the deputies of the members of the Regency Council, moved to the Comic Theater, the first seat of National Sovereignty.
The Island’s Comedy Theater was designated as the most suitable place to hold the Court sessions, and had to be adapted to the needs of the moment. Until February 20, 1811, the Cortes remained in their headquarters to move to Cádiz, due to an outbreak of yellow fever.
Later it was determined that this place would be renamed Teatro de Las Cortes, being declared an artistic historical monument on March 19, 1935.
On July 17, 2001, SM Juan Carlos I, granted it the title of Royal in attention to its historical values. and constitutional.
This place housed the Regency of the Kingdom during the War of Independence, so from 1810 to 1812 the nuns were forced to leave the house.
Currently it continues to be a teaching center that, established in our city in 1760, has been dedicated to this work since then until today with the parenthesis of the War of Independence.
This church was founded by the community of Carmelite friars in the early 18th century and is the oldest religious building in operation in San Fernando today. It is a traditionally Cádiz church, where the Baroque and the Neoclassical live together in harmony.
The historic interest adds to its artistic interest, since after the signing of the Cádiz Constitution it was at this church where the Cortes Generales of Parliament continued their sessions between 14th October 1813 and 15th January 1814, before it was impossible to continue with this at Comedy Theatre after the refusal by its owner.
On 27th November 1813, the Cortes Generales approved between these walls our current name “San Fernando” in honour of King Ferdinand VII and the concession of the title of “City”.
It is a defensive complex that was erected in the late 16th century for the land defence of Cádiz. The most important element is the bridge itself, erected over a Roman aqueduct along with different defensive batteries.
It is a historic site, declared a Cultural Heritage Site Decree in 1949.
San Fernando, cradle of Parliamentarism
The Cultural Meridian is based on the singular history of the city of San Fernando, which is the military history of Spain, the constitutional history, the history of the great flamenco singer, the history of sailing and of the study of the stars.
José Monje Cruz, Camarón de la Isla, is the character who best represents the city of San Fernando internationally, and for this reason, preserving the honor of the world flamenco myth, a route has been designed in his hometown that shows where he was born and grew up in his early years.
La Isla de León was born in the 18th century thanks to merchants who invested their profits from trade with the Indies and to the centralisation of the modern facilities of the Navy in the area, both because of its privileged geographical location and because of its traditional ship repair and supply activities.