A Coruña

September 17, 2018

The following is a summary from information derived from Wikipedia (reposted from my April, 2018 one day visit here after completing the Primitivo route of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela)

Located in in the province of Galicia, Spain, A Coruña is the 17th most populated city in Spain. It is the political province of the same name having also served as the capital of the “Kingdom Galicia” from the 16th to 19th centuries and as a regional administrative center between 1833 -1982, before being replaced by Santiago de Compostela. It is located on a large gulf on the Atlantic Ocean. La Coruña is the Spanish name, A Coruña is Galician. The oldest part of this city is built on an ancient Celtic Castro.

The Romans ruled in second century BC. After the fall of the Roman empire, marine trade declined, with the city being no more than a little village of laborers and sailors in the seventh and eighth centuries. During the middle ages, there were many Norman and Viking attacks.

In the year of 991, King Vermudo II began the construction of defensive military positions on the coast. In the ruins of the Tower of Hercules, a fortress was built with a permanent military garrison. To pay for it, he gave power over the city to the Bishop of Santiago.

In 1208, King Alfonso IX refounded the city and it enjoyed big growth in fishing and mercantile businesses. In late Middle Ages, before the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, a thriving Jewish community created a rich artistic heritage in the city. The most lavishly illuminated Hebrew Bible in medieval Spain was created in A Coruña in 1476.

The castle of San Antón was built as a defense of the city and it’s harbor in the 1500s. Philip II, left the port in the province of A Coruña to marry Mary Tudor in 1554.

During the Anglo Spanish War in 1589, Francis Drake besieged A Coruña but was repelled, starting the legend of Maria Pita, a woman who took her dead husband’s spear, killed the flag bearer of the British forces and rallied support to deny a breach in the wall to the enemy.

◦ There’s much sport in the city but I will mention that the Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña, their soccer team, was founded in 1906 and since the Spanish league system was established in 1928, they have spent all but two seasons in the top two tiers.

Today, after being lucky enough to see the historic monument of the Hércules Tower appear briefly out of the fog, we hiked down to a most idyllic little beach called the Playa de las Lapas and had a picnic brunch of queso (cheese), pan (bread), salami, aceitunas (olives) and Abariño wine which we picked up at the St Augustine Market earlier. We got socked into the fog again and the salvamento de la playa (lifeguard) had little to do, yet we enjoyed ourselves immensely!! After our nearly eight mile morning we hung out at the hotel pool(s) – actually a Huge local sports complex with 3 pools, basketball court, workout facility and restaurant- jumping with action AND relaxation (we were in the latter category)!!! We will don our best to wait around for the local 8:30 dinner time…

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