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Info La Coruna
A Coruña (La Coruña), is a city and municipality of Galicia, Spain. It is the second-largest city in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country. The city is the provincial capital of the province of the same name, having also served as political capital of the Kingdom of Galicia from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and as a regional administrative centre between 1833 and 1982, before being replaced by Santiago de Compostela.
A 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 Atlantic Ocean. It provides a distribution point for agricultural goods from the region.
|POPULATION :||• Municipality 246,056|
• Metro 419,800
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (GMT +1)|
• Summer (DST) CEST (GMT +2) (UTC)
|AREA :||37.83 km2 (14.61 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||43.365°N 8.410°W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.5%|
• Female: 50.5%
|AREA CODE :||981|
|POSTAL CODE :||15001-15011|
|DIALING CODE :||+34 981|
Tourism in A Coruña has increased in recent years to the point of receiving 62 cruise ships a year.
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 As Lapas, San Amaro, Oza and Matadoiro. These four beaches, along with Riazor and Orzán, were recognized with blue flag certification in 2011.
An important holiday is on the night of San Juan / Xan Xoán, celebrated with a massive fireworks celebration, parade, bonfires 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, with an offer of over 3,000 hotel vacancies. There are one five star-hotel and 11 four star-hotels, as well as many other hotels and hostels. The city is also focusing in business tourism, offering the Congress and Exhibition Centre PALEXCO, with room for more than 2,500 people; a new trade fair centre, EXPOCORUÑA, venue of concerts, exhibitions and festivals like Sónar.
The city is the site of the RomanTower of Hercules, a lighthouse which has been in continuous operation since possibly the 2nd century AD. It has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is surrounded by a large public park with a golf course and a former Muslim cemetery. The lighthouse features as the main emblem of the city's flag and coat of arms.
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. This fashion started in Ferrol in the 18th century when some of the technicians working for the Royal Dockyards had the 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 houses.
The Old Town (Ciudad Vieja in Spanish, Cidade Vella in Galician) is the name given to the oldest part of A Coruña. During the ninth and tenth centuries, the inhabitants of what was then called Faro Island (peninsula where the Tower of Hercules stands) were leaving the area due to constant attacks by the Viking fleet and settled in the area of Betanzos. In 1208 King Alfonso IX refounded the city at the present site of the Old Town and put it under his personal control, free from allegiance to the clergy or feudal lords. In the fourteenth century the scarcely-surviving city walls of the Old Town were built, as well as three harbours: the Parrote and San Miguel. It also preserves the stronghold known as the Old Fortress, now converted into the Garden of San Carlos, in which Sir John Moore is buried. The Old City of A Coruña kept streets and squares that revive the city's history and noble mansions and residences such as Rosalia de Castro's house, located on Prince Street. Notable buildings are the Royal Galician Academy, the institution dedicated to the study of Galician culture and especially the Galician language, the Romanicchurches of Santiago and Saint Mary, As Bárbaras Monastery (Romanicand Baroque) and the headquarters of the Operational Logistics Force of the Spanish Army. In July, a Medieval Fair takes place in the streets of the Old City.
The city has several museums, such as the Castle of San Antón Archaeological Museum, Fine Arts Museum, Unión Fenosa Museum of Contemporary Art (MACUF) and the network of scientific museums (Casa das Ciencias, which also includes a planetarium, DOMUS, made by Arata Isozaki and Aquarium Finisterrae). In 2012, the National Museum of Science and Technology (MUNCYT) opened a branch in the city. A Coruña's social scene is most popular on Summer nights. Most bars and clubs are on Calle Orzan, which runs directly parallel to Paseo Maritimo on the beach side. Another popular destination, for mostly a more youthful crowd, is Los Jardines (The Gardens), a park near the beginning of Calle Real and the Los Cantones Village Shopping Centre.
A Coruña spread from the peninsula where the Tower of Hercules stands, onto the mainland. The oldest part, known popularly in Galician 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 maritime 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 what are now France, England and Portugal. The town began growing, mainly during the 1st and 2nd centuries (when the Farum Brigantium Tower of Hercules was built), 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, A 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 deurbanisation that followed the fall of the Roman Empire also affected A Coruña. Between the 7th and 8th centuries, the city was no more than a little village of labourers and sailors.
The Muslim invasion of the Iberian peninsula left no archaeological evidence in the northwest, 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.
As the 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 several Viking attacks on the city, called at that time Faro or Faro Bregancio.
In the year 991, King Vermudo II 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 military garrison. 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 of Crunia. 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 Castile granted to A Coruña the title of "City". The Catholic Monarchs 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. Later, in 1522,Charles V conceded to the city of La Coruña the license to establish the House of Spices, being this the port chosen by Jofre Garcia de Loysa to set his expedition to conquer the Moluccans.
In the 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. Known as the Kennicott Bible, it is currently housed in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
During the Modern period, the city was a port and centre for the manufacturing of textiles. In 1520, king Carlos I of Spain, met in the courts of A Coruña and embarked from its harbour to be elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (as Charles V). He allowed the government of the Kingdom of Galicia to distribute space in Europe between 1522 and 1529. Commerce with the Indies was allowed between 1529 and 1575. The Castle of San Antón was built as a defense of the city and its harbour.
From the 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 Drakebesieged A Coruña, but was repelled, starting the legend of María 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.
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 created the School of the Boys of the Sea. In 1682 the Tower of Hercules was restored by Antúnez.
A Coruña 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 retreat. In this battle Sir John Moore was killed.
Spanish resistance during the Peninsular War was led by Sinforiano López, and A Coruña was the only Galician city that achieved success against the French troops. French troops left Galicia at the end of May 1809.
During the 19th century, the city was the centre of anti-monarchist sentiment. On August 19, 1815, Juan Díaz Porlier, pronounced against Fernando VII in defense of the Spanish Constitution of 1812. He was supported by the bourgeoisie and the educated people. But on August 22 he was betrayed. He was hanged in the Campo da Leña two months later. In all the 19th-century rebellions, A Coruña supported the liberal side. A Coruña also played an important role in the Rexurdimento, and there were founded the Galician Royal Academy in 1906 and the Brotherhoods of the Galician Language in 1916.
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.
20th and 21st centuries
At the beginning of the 20th century, A Coruña had about 45,000 inhabitants. The Great Depression, Spanish Civil War severely affected the economy through the 1930s to the mid-1950s. The 1960s and early 1970s saw a dramatic economic recovery, which was part of the wider Spanish Miracle. The international oil shocks of the mid and late 1970s severely disrupted the economy, causing many bankruptcies and high unemployment until the mid-1980s, when slower but steady economic development was resumed.
Elections of 1931
In the Spanish general elections, 1931, all the political parties knew that the electoral results had important political consequences. The campaign of Unión Monárquica 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, Spanish Socialist Workers' Party(PSOE) and the Radical Socialist Republican Party.
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, and the Radical Republican Party lost a lot of support.
From 1983 to 2006, the mayor of the city was Francisco Vázquez Vázquez (PSOE), and the city became devoted to services, but he also was criticised because of his being openly against Galician nationalismand his town-planning policies.
On 20 January 2006 Vázquez was named ambassador to the Vatican City, and was later replaced by Francisco Javier Losada de Azpiazu. In 2007 Municipal Elections the local government was a coalition of the Socialists' Party of Galicia and the left-wing nationalist Galician Nationalist Bloc party. The city celebrated its first millennium in 2008.
In the 2011 Municipal Elections, the conservative candidate Carlos Negreira (PP) obtained a majority, the first one for the People's Party in the city since the arrival of democracy.
The climate of A Coruña is temperate maritime, heavily moderated by the Atlantic Ocean. Autumn and winter are often unsettled and unpredictable, with strong winds and abundant rainfall coming from Atlantic depressions, and it is often overcast. The ocean keeps temperatures mild, and frost and snow are rare. In summer, it is quite dry and sunny, with only occasional rainfall; temperatures are warm but rarely uncomfortably hot because of the sea's cooling influence during the day, most often being around 22 °C (72 °F) between July and September. Spring is usually cool and fairly calm. Even the warmest month on record was relatively subdued, being August 2003 with an average high temperature of 25 °C (77 °F).Temperatures above 25 °C (77 °F) occur many days in the summer, while temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) are infrequent.
Climate data for A Coruña
|Record high °C (°F)||21.2|
|Average high °C (°F)||13.5|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||10.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||8.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−2|
|Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN)|
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 present dimensions.
A Coruña and Christchurch, New Zealand, constitute one of only eight pairs of cities in the world that are almost exactly antipodal.
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. The 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.
In 1975, the clothing company Zara, founded by Amancio Ortega Gaona, opened its first store in the city and has since become a national and international clothing chain.
Inditex, 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. Other important companies of the city are Banco Pastor (owned by Banco Popular Español), Banco Etcheverría (oldest in Spain), Hijos de Rivera Brewery, Abanca, R Cable Operator, the Repsol refinery, Gas Naturalcombined cycle power plant, General Dynamics factory, Alcoa aluminium plant and La Voz de Galicia, the main daily newspaper of Galicia. A Coruña is also an important retail center. El Corte Inglés, the main department store chain in Spain, has two centers in the city, one of them in the new commercial area Marineda City, opened in April 2011, the biggest shopping center in Spain, which also includes, among others,IKEA and Decathlon stores, cinemas, an ice rink, a bowling court and a kart circuit. Other hypermarket chains present in the city are Carrefour(two centers), Hipercor and Auchan (known in Spain as Alcampo).
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 wrecked and 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. The city also has a regional airport, used by 1.025.688 passengers in 2015.
A Coruña has five parroquias: A Coruña , Elviña, As Viñas, Visma, Oza.
- Cidade Vella / Ciudad Vieja
- A Mariña / La Marina
- Os Cantóns / Los Cantones
- Peixería / Pescadería
- O Ensanche / El ensanche
- Cidade Xardín / Ciudad Jardín
- Catro Camiños / Cuatro Caminos
- A Gaiteira / La Gaiteira
- Os Mallos / Los Mallos
- Atochas – Monte Alto
- Falperra – Santa Lucía
- Juan Flórez – San Pablo
- Os Castros / Los Castros
- A Agra do Orzán / Agra del Orzán
- A Sagrada Familia / La Sagrada Familia
- Labañou – San Roque
- Barrio das Flores / Barrio de Las Flores
- O Ventorrillo / El Ventorrillo
- Durmideiras / Adormideras
- O Birloque / El Birloque
- Os Rosais / Los Rosales
- Paseo das Pontes / Paseo de los Puentes
- Novo Mesoiro
- San Pedro de Visma
- A Silva - San Xosé / La Silva-San José
- Casabranca - As Xubias / Casablanca-Las Jubias
- A Zapateira / La Zapateira
- Santa Margarida / Santa Margarita
Prices in La Coruna
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.70|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€7.50|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€23.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€42.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€6.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€3.00|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€2.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€7.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.07|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€4.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.38|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€73.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€31.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€67.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€1.30|
45 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
168 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
The A Coruña airport (Alvedro) is located in the Culleredo municipal limits, 8 km (5 mi) from A Coruña. It has national and international connections and is used by Iberia, Vueling, Air Europa and TAP Air Portugal. There are some international connections (to London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, and to Lisbon) and frequent national connections (mainly to Madrid and Barcelona, several flights a day, but also to Seville, Bilbao and the Canary Islands). You can get to the airport by local bus (departing each 30 min.) or taxi. The (larger) airport of Santiago de Compostela (Labacolla) is an alternative, 50 km (31 mi) from A Coruña.
The train station (San Cristóbal) is close to the bus station. The train service is operated by RENFE, and there are long distance services to Madrid, Barcelona and the French border. Local services connect A Coruña with most other important Galician cities.
The bus station has numerous connections both international (operated mainly by ALSA) as well as numerous local services, operated by (among others) Arriva Noroeste, Autos Cal Pita or Monbus. Some local connections include the immediate metropolitan area (municipalities of Oleiros, Culleredo, Sada, Betanzos...), as well as most of the Costa da Morte area, Ferrol/Rías Altas. There are relatively frequent connections with the Lugo coast (Ribadeo, Viveiro, Foz...).
Transportation - Get Around
If you want to go along the seafront promenade (paseo marítimo) you can use the tram for €2, which will carry you from the football stadium (Riazor) to the other side of the city, near the town hall.
Taxis are white, with a green light on the top showing they are free. A ride from the centre within the city might cost you around €5-€7, depending on the traffic.
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You will find a huge selection of typical Spanish cafeterias. Most restaurants offer sea food dishes of good quality.
You will also find a good number of hamburgueserias, a few Italian restaurants/pizzerias and at least one typical Mexican restaurant.
Prices are similar to the rest of Spain.
Sights & Landmarks
In the Cidade Vella, you can find (among others):
- Castelo de San Antón. This Castle holds an interesting Archaeological museum. It used to be located in an island.
- Church of Santiago. Located in the Old Town, the church is originally medieval, but has seen major changes.
- Colexiata de Santa María. Now hosting the Museum of Sacred Art
- Museo Militar. The Military Museum holds collections of weapons, uniforms, maps and so on.
- Museo Emilia Pardo Bazán. A museum dedicated to one great Spanish writer of the XIX century. The building also houses the Galician Language Academy
- Xardín de San Carlos. A beautiful and romantic garden. Often used for wedding photoshoots, and where the remain of Sir John Moore (a British General that fought in the Elviña battle during the Napoleonic wars) lie.
Some other sights:
- Torre de Hércules—Roman lighthouse. Apparently, this is the oldest lighthouse in the world that is still in use. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Castro de Elviña—Castros are Roman or pre-Roman settlements. This particular castro has been neglected for a long time, and is undergoing major archaeological work. Many findings are on display on the Castelo de San Antón.
- The port
- Casa de las Ciencias—Science Museum
- Domus—Another science museum, dealing with the human body.
- Aquarium Finisterrae—An aquarium, very close to the Domus.
- Picasso's home which you cannot visit; there is simply a small plaque to identify it.
- María Pita´s square, with the Council Building
- Fine Arts Museum
Things to do
- Beaches. The beaches of Orzán and Riazor (situated on the Western side of the peninsula) provide a nice sandy beach within the city itself. However, if you are used to swimming in the Mediterranean, you might find the water slightly cold.
- Paseo Marítimo. The seafront promenade that surrounds the peninsula provides an opportunity for nice strolls. Starting by the La Marina, you can proceed on to the Castelo de San Antón, the Dique de Abrigo, towards the Torre de Hércules, Casa de los Peces, Casa del Hombre, Orzán and Riazor beaches, Millennium monument, and proceed towards the area known as O Portiño, on the flanks of Monte de San Pedro. This last bit of the promenade is outside the main city.
The local beer is called Estrella Galicia.
- La Gloira (Tea Bar la Gloira), calle San-Francisco. In the old city. a lovely tea bar with a miscellaneous accumulation of objects as an unlikely decoration. Drinking a mint tea in this place sat on sofas or cushions is a real pleasure.
- A Repichoca, Orillamar, 13. One of the best places in town to have a truly Galician night. Drink licor café, buy handmade crafts or just enjoy one of the spontaneous parties that happen every now and then with people bringing their own instruments to play and dance to traditional Galician music.
- Momos, Santo Domingo 16. A great little restaurant with a witches’ theme. A good place to drop in for a drink and complementary tapas. The Menu del Dia (€8) offers several choices, quality food and unbeatable value. You may have to queue or reserve a table but it’s well worth it.