The town was consituted in the 13th century, becoming in the 15th and 16th centuries one of the most important ports of the trade which connected the Atlantic with the Mediterranean.

The most important buildings are:
The Castillo de Santiago (15th century),
Las Covachas (15th century),
La Iglesia de la O,
The Palace of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia
and the Palacio de los Duques de Montpensier