Currently, Jerez, with 212,876 inhabitants, is the 25th largest city in Spain, the 5th in Andalusia and 1st in the Province of Cádiz. It belongs to the Municipal Association of the Bay of Cádiz, the 3rd largest Andalusian metropolitan area and the 12th in Spain, with over 650,000 inhabitants.
Its municipality covers an area of 1,188.14 km2 and includes the Los Alcornocales Natural Park and the Sierra de Gibalbín, also known as Montes de Propio de Jerez.
The city is located 12 km from the Atlantic Ocean, in the Campiña de Jerez, region appropriate to cultivate the vineyards that produce the famous sherry. Some famous places in to the city are Alcazar of Jerez, Church of San Miguel, Charterhouse of Jerez, the Cathedral of San Salvador.
Since 1987 the Grand Prix motorcycle racing has been held at the Circuito de Jerez in early May. On this weekend, the city welcomes tens of thousands of bikers from around the world. The same circuit has hosted several Formula 1 Grands Prix, including the 1997 final race of the season, which was marred with controversy for a notable high-profile championship-deciding incident. Other popular festivals in the city are Feria de Jerez or the Holy Week in Jerez.
Jerez is known as the city of flamenco, sherry, horses and motorcycles. In 2013, Jerez was the European Capital of Wine and 2014, it was the world's first Motorbike Capital.
The name Jerez goes back to the Phoenician Xera, Sèrès, later Romanized under the name of Ceret; the location of this settlement, however, remains unknown.
The classical Latin name of Asta Regia, unrelated to the present name, referred to an ancient city now found within Mesas de Asta, a rural district approximately 11 km (6.84 mi) from the center of Jerez.
The current Castilian name came by way of the Arabic name شريش Sherish. In former times, during the Muslim occupation of Iberia, it was called Xerez or Xerés (pronounced /ʃeˈɾes̪/ in Old Spanish). The name of the famous fortified wine, sherry, which originated here (although some argue that it originated in Shiraz, Persia), represents an adaptation of the city's Arabic name, Sherish. Frontera refers to a Spanish frontier, located on the border between the Moorish and Christian regions of Spain during the 13th century, a regular host to skirmishes and clashes between the two regions. Over two centuries later, after the Castilian conquest of Granada in 1492, Xerez definitively lost its status as a frontier city, but did not lose that designation.
After the Kingdom of Castile took Jerez on October 9, 1264, following the name given by the Muslims to the city in the period known as the Reconquista, the city was then called Xerez in medieval Castilian, transcribing the consonant /ʃ/ (like the English sh) with the letter ⟨x⟩, as was the rule at the time. In the 16th century, the consonant /ʃ/ changed into the consonant /x/, with the corresponding spelling of Jerez.
The old spelling "Xerez" as the name given to the city survived in several foreign languages until very recently, and today continues to influence the name given to sherry: Portuguese Xerez [ʃəˈɾɛʃ], Catalan Xerès [ʃəˈɾɛs], English sherry /, French Xérès [ɡzeʁɛs]. The city's main football team continues to use the old spelling, Xerez.
Traces of human presence in the area date from the upper Neolithic, and humans have inhabited Jerez de la Frontera since at least the Copper or Neolithic Age, but the identity of the first natives remains unclear. The first major protohistoric settlement in the area (around the third millennium BC) is attributed to the Tartessians. Jerez later became a Roman city under the name of Asta Regia.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Vandals and the Visigoths ruled it until the Arabs conquered the area in 711. In the 11th century it briefly became the seat of an independent taifa. Some years later 'Abdun ibn Muhammad united it with Arcos and ruled both (ca. 1040-1053). In 1053 it was annexed to Seville. From 1145 to 1147 the region of Arcos and Jerez briefly operated as an emirate under dependency of Granada, led by Abu'l-Qasim Ahyal. Later the Almohads conquered the city. In the 12th and 13th centuries Jerez underwent a period of great development, building its defense system and setting the current street layout of the old town.
In 1231 the Battle of Jerez took place within the town's vicinity: Christian troops under the command of Álvaro Pérez de Castro, lord of the House of Castro and grandson of Alfonso VII, king of Castile and León, defeated the troops of the Emir Ibn Hud, despite the numerical superiority of the latter. After a month-long siege in 1261, the city surrendered to Castile, but its Muslim population remained. It rebelled and was finally defeated in 1264.
The discovery of America and the conquest of Granada, in 1492, made Jerez one of the most prosperous cities of Andalusia through trade and through its proximity to the ports of Seville and Cádiz. Despite the social, economic and political decadence that occurred in the seventeenth century, towards the end of the Habsburg rule, the city managed to maintain a reasonable pace of development, becoming world-famous for its wine industry.
The city of Jerez is governed by the ayuntamiento (municipality) of Jerez, whose representatives, as in other towns in Spain, are elected every four years by universal suffrage for all citizens older than 18 years of age. The body is chaired by the mayor of Jerez.
Currently, the mayor is María del Carmen Sánchez Díaz, known as Mamen Sánchez, member of Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, who won the municipal election in 2015, by the aid of Ganemos Jerez and IULV-CA.
The economy of Jerez has traditionally been centred on the wine industry, with exports of sherry worldwide. Because it lacks the civil service that other cities enjoy, Jerez has based its economy on industry. The cultivation of fruits, grains, and vegetables and horse and cattle husbandry has also been important to the local economy. It is the home base for the Spanish Military Stud farm, the Yeguada Militar de Jerez de la Frontera.
After the wine crisis in the 1990s, the city is now seeking to expand its industrial base. Tourism has been successfully promoted. The city's strong identity as a center for wine, flamenco, and horses, its popular festivals, MotoGP hosting and its historical heritage have contributed to this success.
The city is the home of Jerez Airport and has also been positioning itself as a logistics hub for western Andalucia, through the integration between the airport, the rail system and nearby ports.
Jerez de la Frontera and the rest of the Cádiz metropolitan area has a Subtropical–Mediterranean climate with oceanic influences, characterized by very mild and wet winters and long warm to hot and dry summers. The average annual temperature is 24.4 °C (76 °F) during the day and 11.9 °C (53 °F) at night. The average annual precipitation is 570 mm (22.4 in) per year, concentrated in the months of October through April. December is the wettest month with 109 mm (4.3 in). The city averages 53 rainy days, 137 clear days and 2,965 hours of sunshine a year.
Jerez is known as the world capital of sherry wine. Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez. Jerez has been a centre of viniculture since winemaking was introduced to Spain by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC. The practice was carried on by the Romans when they took control of Iberia around 200 BC. The Moors conquered the region in AD 711 and introduced distillation, which led to the development of brandy and fortified wine. Sherry became very popular in Great Britain. Because sherry was a major wine export to the United Kingdom, many English companies and styles developed. Many of the Jerez cellars were founded by British families.
The city has many bodegas (wineries), many of which are of British origin. The most important are:
Brandy de Jerez is a brandy that is produced only in the Jerez area of Andalusia, Spain (exclusively produced within the "Sherry Triangle", the municipal boundaries of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in the province of Cádiz).
"Enoturism" is a quite new kind of tourism that looks for places where wines and distilled beverages are produced. Recently the Route of Sherry Wine and Brandy de Jerez has been established.
Also, Brandy de Jerez is being used in Spanish cuisine in recent years, especially with meats.
Jerez is the original home of the Carthusian sub-strain of the Andalusian horse breed, known as the Caballo cartujano in Spain. In the latter 1400s, the Carthusian monks began breeding horses on lands donated by Álvaro Obertos de Valeto for construction of the Charterhouse of Jerez de la Frontera (la Cartuja de Jerez de la Frontera). When the Spanish Crown decreed that Spanish horse breeders should breed their Andalusian stock with Neapolitan and central European stock, the monks refused to comply, and continued to select their best specimens to develop their own jealously guarded bloodline for almost four hundred years.
Jerez is the home of the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, a riding school comparable to the famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna.
Another famous equine institution headquartered in Jerez is the Yeguada Militar de Jerez de la Frontera (known outside Spain as the Yeguada Militar), the Spanish military stud farm dedicated to the breeding of purebred Andalusian and Arabian horses. Founded in 1847, it became the official stud farm of the Spanish military in 1893.
The 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games were held in Jerez at the Estadio Municipal de Chapín, which was remodeled for the event, from September 10 to September 22, 2002. This was the 4th edition of the games, which are held every four years and run by the FEI.
Jerez, the city where flamenco singing began, is also proud of its Andalusian Centre of Flamenco. It was founded in 1993 to safeguard and promote the values and standards of flamenco. It is devoted to the investigation, recovery, and collection of flamenco-related historical documents, whether they are in audio, visual, or journalistic form. It also has a collection of flamenco artifacts, including musical instruments, costumes, promotional posters, sheet music, and postcards. The Centre operates a museum and library to help educate the public and serve as a resource for scholars. Its origins date back to the 18th century and it is currently considered an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. Many of the most famous personalities of the city are involved in the performance of flamenco, including La Paquera de Jerez, Lola Flores and José Mercé.
Since 1987 the Grand Prix motorcycle racing has been held at the Circuito de Jerez in early May. Thousands of motorbikers from around the world come to the city this week to watch the MotoGP race disputed in Jerez annually. The race is disputed in this andalusian city being one of the most watched race in Europe.
Another popular festival is the Feria del Caballo, one of the most famous Spanish fairs, and the most important fair in the province of Cádiz. It is celebrated annually in the Parque González Hontoria for one week in May, occurring always after the Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix. All booths (casetas) at the fair are open to the public, so that attendees may walk into any one of them and enjoy the food, drinks, and dancing. This is one of the main features that differentiates the Feria de Jerez from the rest of the Andalusian Fairs, such as the Seville Fair, where most of the casetas are private and only card-holding members are allowed in.
Holy Week in Jerez, as in other cities in Andalusia, commemorates the Passion of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated by Catholic religious brotherhoods and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter.
During the Christmas season, from the end of November to the end of December, many peñas (religious clubs) celebrate the holidays with public festivals where anyone can go to drink, eat, dance and sing Christmas carols, accompanied by friction drums called zambombas.
There are also:
The old quarter of Jerez, dating from medieval times, has been named an "Artistic Historic Complex". The Easter week celebrations in Jerez are of "National Touristic Interest", and its remarkable Horse Fair (Feria del Caballo) in May is an event of "International Touristic Interest".
The Andalusian Flamenco Centre is located in the Pemartín Palace (Palacio de Pemartin) and offers a library, displays, video films and live demonstrations of the art of flamenco dancing.
The city of Jerez is the first motorcycling world capital. It is the site of Circuito de Jerez, formerly called the Circuito Permanente de Jerez, where the annual MotoGP Motorcycle Grand Prix is contested.
The race course is also a prime destination for Formula One teams wishing to perform off-season testing. In the past it has hosted the F1 race itself, namely the Spanish Grand Prix between 1986 and 1990, before the race moved permanently to the Catalunya Circuit near Barcelona. Since then Jerez hosted the Formula One races a few times, with the designation of the European Grand Prix in 1994 and the controversial race in 1997.
The Complejo Municipal de Chapín is a complex of sports facilities that includes a football stadium and field, a baseball field, equestrian facilities and a Sports Hall, as well as a futsal field and basketball and volleyball courts.
The Estadio Municipal de Chapín, a multi-purpose stadium, was built in 1988 and seats 20,523 spectators. In 2002 the stadium was remodeled to hold the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games. The whole grandstand was covered with a roof, and a hotel and spa-gym were added. It was historically the home of Xerez CD, the city's club founded in 1947 and known simply as Xerez, which played in the top division in the 2009–2010 season. Currently, the stadium is the home of Xerez Deportivo FC, founded in 2013 to replace the old Xerez club.
The stadium, which has a running track, was designated as an Olympic Stadium. The most important track team training there is the Club Atletismo Xerez Deportivo FC, which won the Spanish championships in 2001–2007..
Canasta Unibasket Jerez and DKV Jerez are the city's basketball teams; they play in Palacio Municipal de Deportes de Chapín.
Venenciadores de Jerez, the city's baseball team, is currently without a home field and awaits completion of one in the Complejo Municipal de Chapín.
The main futsal team in Jerez is Xerez Deportivo FC (also known as Xerez Toyota Nimauto for sponsorship reasons). It was founded in 2014 and currently plays in the Ruiz Mateos Sports Center and the Palacio Municipal de Deportes de Chapín in Segunda Andaluza.
The most important rugby club is Club Rugby Xerez, which trains at the Pradera Hípica in Chapín.
The Domecq Stadium was the first football stadium in Jerez de la Frontera. It was the home of Xerez CD and Jerez Industrial CF before its demolition. The Stadium del Parque (Park Stadium) was built in 1923 and remodeled (with the name of Domecq Stadium) in 1932 by the architect Francisco Hernández Rubio. It held 20,523 and it was demolished in 1988.
Currently, the Juventud Stadium is the oldest stadium in the city. It holds 5,000 and is the home of Jerez Industrial CF, founded in 1951, the main rival of Xerez.
Formerly, the football field belonged to the youth hostel which is located in the vicinity thereof, hence its name.
It is the CD Guadalcacín stadium, which plays in the Tercera Division. It is placed in Guadalcacín, a neighborhood northern Jerez.
The 2014 Vuelta a España cycle race began in Jerez de la Frontera on 23 August, with a 12.6 km (7.8 mi) team time trial. The race followed a 21-stage route, finishing in Santiago de Compostela on 14 September.
Club Natación Jerez, is the main Swimming Club in Jerez. It has won the "Campeonato de España Master" ("Championship of Spain Master") many times.
There are 76 elementary schools, 41 secondary schools, 12 adult education centres and 10 public libraries in the city of Jerez.
The University of Cádiz, the provincial university, has a campus in Jerez. It specializes in socio-political studies.
The city is also home to a member of the Official School of Languages (Escuela Oficial de Idiomas) and a centre of the National Distance Education University (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, UNED).
El Aeropuerto de Jerez, also known as Aeropuerto de La Parra, is the main airport in the province of Cádiz. It is located 8 km (5 mi) north of the city centre and is connected to the city by train and bus.
It was built in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War by the Nationalists in order to transport soldiers from Africa to Spain. The airport was open to civil traffic in 1992. It is the third most important airport in Andalucia after Malaga and Seville.
Jerez has had a railway line since 1854, which was one of the first in Spain. The line went between Jerez and El Puerto de Santa María and transported wine barrels for export. La estación de Jerez is the station with more passengers than Cádiz and is the fourth busiest in Andalucia.
Next to the Aeropuerto de Jerez, there is a new train station which connects the airport to nearby Jerez, and also to Cádiz, Sevilla, Lebrija, Utrera, El Puerto de Santa María, and San Fernando.
The city of Jerez has 16 bus lines:
Jerez has 41 km (25 mi) of bike lanes that follow the main avenues of the city.
According to official population data from INE, the municipality of Jerez had 212,876 inhabitants as of January 1, 2015. This makes Jerez the most populous city in the province, fifth in Andalusia, and 25th in Spain.
Evolution of the population of Jerez de la Frontera from 1842