Rota is a town of approximately 27,000 people in the Andalusia region of Spain, located in Cádiz province, across the Bay of Cádiz from the city of that name. Rota is bordered by the towns of Chipiona, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María. It is located on the Atlantic coast, approximately halfway between Portugal and Gibraltar. Archaeological evidence suggests that there was a Bronze Age settlement on the present site of Rota. The current town was founded by the Phoenicians at approximately the same time as Cádiz. Rota is assumed to be the same city known as Astaroth of the Tartesian empire. It later passed to the Romans, who knew the town as Speculum Rotae.
Following the arrival of the Moors in Spain, the city became known as Rabita Rutta ("watchtower of Rota"), from which it derives its present name. From 1248 onwards, the Moors were gradually expelled from Spain, and the city became Christian. In 1297, Sancho IV awarded the town to Alonso Pérez de Guzmán in honour of his defence of Tarifa. Later, Pérez de Guzmán gave it to his daughter, Isabel, as a wedding present when she married Fermin Ponce de León, Maestre ofAlcántara and First Lord of Marchena. Construction of the Castillo de la Luna (Castle of the Moon) had begun in 1295, two years prior to the bequest to Pérez de Guzmán, as part of Sancho IV's effort to develop strong coastal defenses, especially near the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. During the Middle Ages, the town was an important port for trading with North Africa. In 1780 the 11th Duke of Arcos died without issue, and the city was rendered to the Duke of Osuna.
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