Coruña ( ; ; also Corunna in English, and archaically The
Groyne) is the second largest city in Galicia in northwestern Spain, second only
in size to the port of Vigo in Pontevedra
The city is the capital of A Coruña Province
. It had been the
Galician capital from 1563 to 1982 before that role was moved to
Currently, the only official form of the name is the Galician
one, A Coruña.
Nonetheless, the Spanish form La Coruña
is a busy port located on a promontory in the entrance of an
estuary in a large gulf (the Portus
Magnus Artabrorum of the classical geographers) on the
It provides a distribution point for
agricultural goods from the region. Although much of the heavy industry is
based on the shipyards and metalworks of the neighbouring city of
Ferrol, there is an oil refinery
in A Coruña itself.
The city's traditional name in English is Corunna
The toponym derives from Crunia
, of unknown origin and
meaning. At the time of Ferdinand
II of Leon
(12th century) the name Crunia
documented for the first time. As usual in Galician-Portuguese (as
well as in Castilian Spanish), the cluster ni
evolved into the sound
(later abbreviated to ñ
) in the Spanish
orthography, and nh
in the Portuguese. The 'A' means
'the'; compare Castilian Spanish 'La' ('the').
etymology derives Crunia from Cluny, the
town and religious order from the south of France.
its height (c. 950–c.1130) the Cluniac movement was
one of the largest religious forces in Europe. There is another town
named Coruña in Burgos Province.
etymology incorrectly derives Coruña from the ancient
columna, or Tower of Hercules, which still exists, having been converted into a
light-house in 1791.
-A Coruña is the official name according to Law 3/1983 of the
Galician Council. Only this designation is valid in official
-La Coruña is the traditional name in Spanish recommended by the
Real Academia Española . Is usually used in extra-official
documents and in conversations between Spanish-speakers.
Now several groups of people are advocating elevating the form "La
Coruña" to official status, pointing to the provisions of the
Spanish Constitution of
. They claim that the Constitution is violated by not
allowing the use of Spanish, an official language, to name a city
and in official documents, and that no Autonomous Regional law can
prevail over the Constitution.
A Coruña is located on a peninsula, and its isthmus was at times
formed only by a small strip of sand. Erosion and sea currents
caused a progressive accumulation of sand, enlarging it to its
Parishes of A Coruña.
A Coruña is one of only eight pairs of
in the world that has a near-exact antipodal
city. Half of these antipodal pairs are in
Spain/Morocco and New Zealand – with Christchurch, New Zealand as A Coruña's antipode.
- Cidade Vella (Old Town)
- A Mariña (The Marine)
- Os Cantóns (The Cantons)
- Pescadería (Fishmonger's)
- O Ensanche (Development)
- Cidade Xardín (Garden City)
- Catro Camiños (Four Waies)
- A Gaiteira (The Piper)
- Os Mallos
- Monte Alto (High Mountain)
- Falperra – Santa Lucia (Falperra – St Lucia)
- Juan Flórez – San Pablo (Juan Florez – St Paul)
- Os Castros (The Hill Forts)
- Agra do Orzán
- Sagrada Familia (Holy Family)
- Labañou – San Roque (Labañou – St Roch)
- Barrio das Flores (Flowers Suburb)
- O Ventorrillo
- Adormideras (Opium Poppies)
- O Birloque
- Os Rosales (The Bushes)
- Paseo de los puentes (Bridges Street)
- Novo Mesoiro (New Mesoiro)
- San Pedro de Visma (St. Peter of Visma)
- A Silva – San Xosé
- Casabranca – As Xubias (Whitehouse – The Jubias)
- A Zapateira (The Shoemaker)
- Santa Margarita
climate of A Coruña is temperate
maritime and heavily moderated by the Atlantic Ocean; however it does display some characteristics of a
Autumn and winter are often unsettled and unpredictable with strong
and abundant rainfall
, coming from Atlantic depressions
and it is often overcast
. The ocean keeps temperatures
mild, and frost
are rare. In
summer, it is quite dry and sunny with only occasional rainfall,
temperatures are warm but rarely uncomfortably hot due to the sea's
cooling influence during the day. Spring is usually cool and fairly
spread from the peninsula where the Tower of Hercules stands, onto the mainland.
The oldest part,
known popularly as Cidade Vella (Old City), Cidade Alta (High City)
or the Cidade (City), is built on an ancient Celtic castro. It was
supposedly inhabited by the Artabrians
the Celtic tribe of the area.
The Romans came to the region in the 2nd century BC, and the
colonisers made the most of the strategic position and soon the
city became quite important in maritume trade. In 62 BC Julius
Caesar came to the city (known at the time as Brigantium) in
pursuit of the metal trade, establishing commerce with the regions
that would eventually be France, England and Portugal. The town
began growing, mainly during the 1st and 2nd centuries (when the
Torre de Hércules
but declined after the 4th century and especially with the incursions of the Normans
, which forced the
population to flee towards the interior of the Estuary of O Burgo
After the fall of the Roman Empire
Coruña still had a commercial port connected to foreign countries,
but contacts with the Mediterranean were slowly replaced by a more
Atlantic-oriented focus.The process of deurbanization that followed
the fall of the Roman Empire also affected A Coruña. Between the
7th and 8th centuries AD, the city was no more than a little
village of laborers and sailors.
The 11th-century Chronica
names Faro do Burgo (ancient name of A Coruña) as
one of the dioceses that king Miro
the episcopate of Iria Flavia
"Mirus Rex Sedi suae Hiriensi contulit Dioceses, scilicet
Morratium, Salinensem, (...) Bregantinos, Farum..."
[King Miro granted to his Irienses headquarters the dioceses of
Morrazo, Salnés (...). Bergantiños, Faro...]
The Muslim invasion of the Iberian peninsula left no archeological
evidence in this area, so it cannot be said whether or not the
Muslim invaders ever reached the city. As Muslim rule in early 8th
century Galicia consisted little more than a short-lived
overlordship of the remote and rugged region backed by a few
garrisons, and the city was no more than a village amidst Roman
ruins, the invaders showed the same lack of interest in the ruined
city as they did generally for the region.
city began to recover during the Middle
Ages the main problem for the inhabitants was the Norman raids, as well as the ever present threat of
raids ("razzies") from Al-Andalus to the south.
During 9th century there were
attacks on the city, called at
that time Faro or Faro Bregancio.
In the year 991, king Vermudo
began the construction of defensive military positions on
the coast. At Faro, in the ruins of the Tower of
Hercules, a fortress was built, which had a permanent
To pay for it, he gave power over the
city to the bishop of Santiago. The bishop of Santiago became the most
important political post in Galicia, and
remained so until the 15th century.
In 1208, Alfonso IX
re-founded the city
. Some privileges, such as those of disembarking
and selling salt
without paying taxes, were
granted to the city, and it enjoyed a big growth in fishing and
mercantile business. The city grew and extended through the
isthmus. In 1446 John II of
granted to A Coruña the title of "City". The Catholic Kings established the Royal Audience of the
Kingdom of Galicia in the city, instead of Santiago.
A Coruña also became the headquarters of
the Captaincy General
During the Modern period
, the city
was an important port and centre for the manufacturing of textiles.
king Charles I of Spain (future
Emperor Charles V of Germany), met in the Courts of A Coruña and embarked from
its harbor to be elected Emperor.
Charles I allowed the
Government of the
Kingdom of Galicia
to distribute space in Europe between 1522
and 1529. Commerce with the Indies
allowed between 1529 and 1575. The Castle of San Antón
was built as a
defense of the city and its harbour.
port of Ferrol in the
Province of A Coruña,
Philip II left to marry Mary Tudor in 1554, and much later, in
1588, from the same port the Spanish
Armada would set sail to the Spanish
Netherlands and England.
In the following year, during the Anglo-Spanish War
, Francis Drake
besieged A Coruña, but was
repelled, starting the legend of María
, a woman who took her dead husband's weapon and continued
shooting until she captured a flag of the British enemy.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the wars of the Spanish monarchy
caused a great increase in taxes and the start of conscription. In
1620, Philip III
School of the Boys of the Sea. In 1682 the Tower of Hercules was
restored by Antúnez
was the site of the Battle of Corunna during the Peninsular
War, on 16 January 1809, in which British troops fought against
the French to cover the embarkation of British troops after their
The Obelisk, dedicated to Don
Aureliano Linares Rivas in 1895.
In this battle Sir John Moore
resistance during the Peninsular War
was led by Sinforiano López,
and A Coruña was the only Galician city that achieved success against the French
French troops left Galicia at the end of May
During the 19th century, the city was the centre of anti-monarchist
sentiment.On August 19, 1815, Juan Díaz Porlier
, pronounced against
in defense of the Spanish Constitution of 1812
He was supported by the bourgeoisie
the educated people. But on August 22
was betrayed. He was hanged in the Campo da Leña two months
later.In all the 19th-century rebellions, A Coruña supported the
side.A Coruña also played an
important role in the Rexurdimento
there were founded the Galician
in 1906 and the Brotherhoods of the
Regarding the economy, in 1804 the National Cigarette Factory was
founded, and there the workers' movement of the city had its
origins. During the 19th century other businesses (glass,
foundries, textiles, gas, matches, etc.) were slowly established,
but it was maritime trade and migrant travel that attracted
Catalan, Belgian, French and English investments. The Bank of A
Coruña was founded in 1857. The new provincial division of 1832
also influenced economic development.
At the beginning of the 20th century, A Coruña had about 45,000
inhabitants. After the decade of 1960, it recovered the business
initiative that had been lost, with Barrié de la Maza
Aluminio de Galicia, Genosa, Emesa, etc.).
Elections of 1931
In the Spanish general
, all the political parties knew that the
electoral results had important political consequences. The
campaign of Unión
was very important in A Coruña and was supported by
El Ideal Gallego
Republicans and socialists constituted a block, made up of ORGA
, independent republicans, PSOE
and the Partido Radical
.In the elections, the republican parties obtained 34
of the 39 council seats. The best results were of the ORGA
and of the Partido Radical Socialista
the Partido Radical
lost a lot of
During the dictatorship of Francisco Franco
After the Spanish civil war
supporters of the Republic were forced to go into exile, and those
who remained in the country suffered repression by the new
government. Supporters of the Fascist faction occupied all
important positions, and obtained university degrees "by
war".During this time, the Nazis murdered 13 citizens of A Coruña in Mathausen.
During World War II, the following German
U-Boat had been reported as sunk somewhere near the port of A
A group of Franco supporters, lead by Pedro Barrié
, bought the estate known as
the Pazo de Meirás
and gave it
. In the year 1970,
almost managed to assassinate Franco in A
Coruña, but failed at the last moment.
From 1983 to 2006, the mayor of the city was Francisco Vázquez
), and the city became devoted
to services, but he also was criticised because of his offenses to
the Galician language
town-planning policies.On January 20, 2006 Paco Vázquez was named
ambassador to the Vatican
City, and was later replaced by Javier Losada.
Since the 2007 Municipal Elections the local government has been a
coalition of the two left-wing parties, PSdeG
The province and city of A Coruña during the 20th century
Trafalgar (1805) and the War of
Independence (1808–1814), the fortunes of Ferrol began to
deteriorate. The largest port in northern Spain, site of one
of the three Royal Dockyards,
together with Cartagena and Cadiz, almost
became a “dead” town during the reign of Ferdinand VII. By 1833 the City and
Naval Station of Ferrol saw its
civilian population reduced to just 13,000. During the
administration of the Marquis de
Molina, Minister for Naval affairs in the mid-19th century new activities sprang up, but
Ferrol never fully
returned to its former glories.
It should be noted that
during those years, most of the Spanish
Colonies in Latin America
succeeded in gaining independence
from their former metropolis
population of the City of A
Coruña in 1900 reached 43,971, while the population of the
rest of the province including the City and Naval Station of nearby
Ferrol as well as
Compostela was 653,556.
Dome of coal in Corunna.
A Coruña's miraculous growth
happened during aftermath of the Spanish Civil War
at a similar rate to
other major Galician cities, but it was after the death of Francisco Franco
when the city of A Coruña
left all the other Galician cities behind (i.e.: with the exception
of Vigo of course).The miraculous meteoric increase of
population of the city of A Coruña and to a lesser degree Ferrol and Santiago de
Compostela, during the years which follow the Spanish Civil War during the mid 20th
century, can only be explained when we see the figures of the
number of villages and hamlets of the province which disappeared or
nearly disappeared during the same period.
We are talking
here about an economic revolution and not so much to an explosion
of births or a substantial increase in living standards which of
course has happened too, but looking to the overall picture what
has happened is that the fields have been abandon due to the
introduction of new machinery and most of the population has moved
to find jobs in the main cities increasing the number of people
working in the Tertiary
The city of A Coruña today
|City's Metropolitan area
The municipality of A Coruña has 245,164 inhabitants, and has one
of the highest population densities of Spain and Europe, with
around 6,700 inhabitants per square kilometer.
A Coruña and its metropolitan area have more than 419,800
inhabitants. Including the city of Ferrol and the
municipalities of Bergantiños and Betanzos, the population of the
conurbation is 634,000, making it the most populous area in
Galicia, and the second most populous in the northwest region of
Spain, after Asturias.
Tourism in A Coruña has increased in recent years to the point of
reaching received 62 cruise ships a year. One of the drivers of
this tourism is the promenade that skirts the entire city, the
longest in Europe. It measures 10 kilometers. There is also a tram
and a bike path that runs through most of the journey. Also, there
is a cultural tour, passing several museums such as The House of
Man and La Casa de los Peces (Aquarium Finisterrae) and it also
visits the Castle of San Antón, which contains the archaeological
museum, or the Tower of Hercules.
The two main beaches of A Coruña (Orzán and Riazor) are located in
the heart of the city and are bordered by the promenade above. This
location makes them a great attraction for tourists, being also a
meeting point for surfers much of the year. Moreover, the city has
other beaches like Bens Creek, Las Lapas, Adormideras, San Amaro
beach or Oza.
An important holiday is on the night of San Juan, celebrated with a
massive fireworks celebration, parade, burning fails and the
ancient fires on all city beaches well into dawn.
In 2006 and for the first time ever, the number of tourists has
doubled the population of the city, virtually to 500,000 the number
of people who chose the city as a tourist destination.
The city has an extensive network of hotels, international chains
and local businesses offer between them a hotel offer over 3,500
beds, which puts the city at the forefront of Galicia. La Coruna
has a five-star hotel, Hotel Finisterra, (Hesperia chain).
Four-star hotels, Alfonso Molina, María Pita Trip, the Trip Cuatro
Caminos, Hesperia John Florez or the Eurostars Ciudad de La
city is the site of the Roman Tower of
Hercules, which is a lighthouse that has been in continuous
operation for nearly 2,000 years.
- The city is also well-known for its characteristic glazed
window balconies, called galerías. Originally, this type
of structure came about as a naval architecture solution for the
challenging weather, particularly designed for rainy days.
fashion started in Ferrol in the 18th
century when some of the technicians working for the Royal Dockyards had the wonderful idea of
using the shape of the back of a war ship in a modern
building. Soon, afterwards, most sea ports in northern
Spain, including the Basque region were
adding these glazed window balconies to their city-port
- In the summertime, the Orzan and Riazor beaches are immensely
popular destinations, located directly opposite of the port in the
central part of the city.
- The city also has a robust social scene at night, especially in
the summer. Most bars and clubs are on Calle Orzan, which runs
directly parallel to Paseo Maritimo on the beach side. Like other
parts of Spain, most clubs on Orzan do not open until 11 pm at the
earliest and do not close until maybe three or four in the morning.
Another popular destination, for mostly a more youthful crowd, is
Los Jardines (The Gardens), a park near the beginning of
Calle Real and El Puerto mall.
A Coruña is nowadays the richest region of Galicia and its economic
engine. There have been various changes in the
city's structure over the last few decades—it now shares some
administrative functions with the nearby city of Ferrol. Companies have grown, especially in sectors
such as finance, communication, planning, sales, manufacturing and
technical services, making A Coruña the wealthiest metropolitan
area of Galicia.
port itself unloads large amounts of fresh fish, and with the
increase in other port activities like crude oil and solid bulk,
which make up 75% of Galician port traffic.
Harbour of A Coruña.
In 1975, the clothing company Zara
founded by Amancio Ortega
, opened its first store in the city and has since become
a national and international clothing chain.
the main textile manufacturer of the world, has its headquarters in
the nearby town of Arteixo. A Coruña concentrates the 30% of the GDP of
Galicia and in the period between 1999 and 2001 it grew 35%,
surpassing Vigo which was
traditionally economically stronger.
companies of the city are Banco Pastor
, Martinsa Fadesa
, the Repsol-YPF
refinery and La Voz de Galicia
, the main daily
newspaper of Galicia.
Over the last few years, emphasis has been placed upon better
access and infrastructure, especially cultural, sporting, leisure
and scientific areas. Following a spectacular oil spill
when the Aegean Sea
exploded, considerable resources have been used in the recovery of
the shoreline and strengthening the tourist sector. All this has
reaffirmed the city's existing character as a centre for
administration, sales, port activities, culture and tourism.
also has a regional
airport which operates services by Iberia, Spanair,
and Portugalia to Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Seville, Lisbon and London.
the winter of 2007–2008, the airline Pyrenair linked A Coruña with the Aragonese city of
Huesca, one of the
most important winter sports centers of Spain.
The city has a football
Spain's top division, Deportivo de La Coruña
had been mayor of the city from 1983; however, after
becoming the Spanish ambassador
, he was replaced by Javier Losada
on February 10, 2006.
Ayuntamiento of A Coruña.
- José Andrés
Cornide Saavedra (1734–1803), writer
- Ramón de la Sagra
Peris (1798–1871), botany teacher, philosopher and social
- Emilia Pardo Bazán
(1851–1921), novelist, journalist, essayist and critic.
- Eduardo Dato Iradier
(1856–1921), lawyer and politician.
- Ramón Menéndez
Pidal (1869–1968), writer.
- José Millán Astray
(1879–1954), founder and first commander of the Spanish Foreign Legion.
- Santiago Casares
Quiroga (1884–1950), lawyer and politician.
Fernández Flórez (1885–1964), narrator, journalist and
- Salvador de Madariaga y
Rojo (1896–1978), writer and poet.
- Fernando Casado
D'Arambillet (1917–1994), better known as Fernando Rey, actor.
- María Casares (1922–1996),
- Luis Suárez
Miramontes (born 1935), football player and manager.
- Amancio Amaro Varela (born
1939), football player.
- Emilio Pérez Touriño (born
1948), former president of the Spanish autonomous community of
- Manuel Rivas Barros (born
1957), writer, poet, essayist and journalist.
- Andrés Díaz
Díaz, (born 1969), athlete.
- Decree of the Xunta de Galicia 146/1984, 27
September, which follows on the principles of Law
3/1983, 15 June, of Linguistic Normalization, article 10 
- Converted into a light-house date and other details taken from
Pronouncing Gazetteer By Thomas Baldwin, Sixth
Edition, (1847). 
- Historia de la ciudad de La Coruña, page 509
(José Ramón Barreiro
Fernández), Biblioteca Gallega.
- Population figures and other data taken from the Universal
Pronouncing Gazetteer By Thomas Baldwin, Sixth
Edition, (1847). 
- Population figures and other data taken from the Encyclopædia Britannica,
Eleventh Edition, (1911).