| Disadvantages: The weather can be a little unpredictable.
Hi all! After getting to know the famous Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, we spontaneously decided to take a trip to another nearby town. I must admit that all the time we were walking around Santiago, we were tired of the nasty little rain, and it was decided to go somewhere else. By the way, even at home we considered different options for a short trip from Santiago, at least for a few hours. We came to the bus station, and when we saw that a bus was about to leave for La Coruña, located on the northwestern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. We bought a ticket and took the bus. By the way, pilgrims from Great Britain get to Santiago de Compostela through La Coruña, which is the English Way.
And so, we enter the city, which from the first minutes appears to us smart, bright and so colorful.
We drove only an hour by bus, and the weather in La Coruña turned out to be quite different than in Santiago de Compostela, completely unpredictable. First, it was very windy, and secondly, there were leaden clouds in the sky, from which a real rainstorm suddenly came, lasting just 5 minutes, and then the sun appeared again. For us such weather seemed very unusual. It took me longer to get my raincoat out of my backpack than the rain itself. And so happened several times a day. My friend even left her raincoat at the hotel. But when it suddenly started raining, she was already adjusting a box to her head to my laughter, a man came out of the store. When he saw the lady soaking wet from head to toe, he grabbed her by the sleeve and dragged her into the store. A few minutes later she came out of the store with an umbrella. He just gave it to her! And that’s how helpful people are in La Coruña! Well, we went further to see the sights.
And first we wanted to see the main attraction of the city, the oldest in the world, the Roman lighthouse – the Tower of Hercules. By the way, it is still working at the present time. It is located on Mount San Pedro. And we reached it from the bus station by bus, because the station is generally quite far from all the sights. (Bus ticket is relatively inexpensive, 1.3 euros).
And here it is, the most ancient tower (built almost the second century BC), towering above the Bay of Betancos. There is even a legend that the Tower was built by Hercules himself, after he performed his tenth feat, when he defeated the giant Herion. It is believed that Roman legions set out from these shores to conquer Britain.
The road to the tower was guarded by such a protector, resembling a sumo wrestler. By the way, there is a park nearby, with the same name of the mountain (San Pedro), where, I think, it is nice to relax in good weather and enjoy the opening scenery. (I’ll be sure to write about it).
It turns out that La Coruña is completely washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Imagine, my friends, my delight when I stood on the ocean for the first time in my life! The gusty wind almost knocked me off my feet, the violent waves were crashing on the rocks. And the peculiar sea air further created an inexpressible atmosphere of raging elements. And here, at the very tip of the cape is the wind rose.
This coast, by the way, is called Costa de Muerte, which means the Cove of Death. There have been a lot of shipwrecks in these places. For mariners of all times, the local rocky shores were and are considered difficult. For example, in 1992, a Greek tanker hit the coastal rocks. Just imagine, the ship broke in half, and in addition, it caught fire. They even had to rescue the entire crew by helicopters.
We could see the city from the mountain. But because of the rain that suddenly fell again, the city looks a little dark behind its veil. In fact, the city is generally dominated by white hues.
It’s clear that if there’s an ocean, there must also be beaches. And so, at the foot of the Tower of Hercules, we saw a very small sandy beach (Las Lapas) in a tiny bay, protected by cliffs on all sides from the winds. After all, the water in the ocean is cold, and I wonder when the bathing season starts here and if people swim here at all. Of course there are other big beaches with developed infrastructure, but we didn’t manage to see them.
And we went down the mountain, walked along the path and came to the Oceanarium, which by the way was created for the dissemination of academic knowledge, i.e. it was not only a museum of Oceanography, but also a large research center. Well, we liked the Aquarium very much. (Ticket, by the way, costs 10 euros).
We even watched the sharks. Ew, they are disgusting.
And in general, except the Aquarium, there are a lot of museums in the city. These are the House of Sciences (National Museum of Science and Technology), the House of Man and many others.
By the way, we know exactly where the city’s name – La Coruña – comes from. Maybe from the word “crown”, maybe from the god Cronus, or maybe from the fact that “Corona” means “rocky place”. And, indeed, right in the city you can see real rocks.
After admiring the underwater beauty in the museum, we went back to the promenade. The quay in La Coruña is, well, very long, about 12-13 km, one of the longest quays in Europe. They say that the locals themselves laugh, they say La Coruña is one long promenade. It consists of a sidewalk for pedestrians, paths for cyclists and beautiful red lights. On the sea side it is bounded by a low railing, leaning on which you can admire the coastal scenery for a long time.
By the way, the semi-circular building is the local “colosseum” This structure is designed for various local events, even bullfighting.
There are buses running along the waterfront. On which we got to the center.
And the sky suddenly cleared, the city played straight with its whiteness. We went as far as Montoto Avenue, saw the port and then went to look for the historical center.
The port itself is on the east side, practically on the isthmus. And the isthmus is only 500 meters wide at this point. It is a pity that we learned only after the trip that, as it turns out, right at the entrance to the port is the Castle of St. Antonio. (Now it houses the Archaeological Museum).
And what immediately surprised us were the glazed balconies. Whole galleries of bright buildings, all with glazed balconies. Maybe this is a way for the inhabitants to escape the strong winds from the ocean, or maybe from the scorching summer sun, I can’t say. But the gusts of wind in these places are the strongest, sometimes reaching up to 200 km per hour, and passing into a real hurricane.
And here we are in the center of the historic part of town – the Plaza Maria Pita.
The square was quite large, occupying 10 thousand square meters. The real highlight of the square is the town hall building, which looks more like a luxurious palace of some monarch.
In the center of the square is a monument – a bronze sculpture in honor of Maria Pita. She led the defense of the city against the attack of the British army at the end of the 16th century.
In one hand she holds a spear and with the other she cradles the lifeless body of her husband.
It is said that for this defense organization, King Philip II granted Maria Pita a pension for life and even gave her the right to deliver mules from Spain to Portugal.
We walked at random toward the arches and out into a long, narrow street.
And again, whole streets in the balcony-glass style. Maybe that’s why they called Corunia the crystal city.
Some balconies are so close that residents of neighboring houses probably communicate without leaving the house.
It turns out that there are not only glass balconies in the city, but also regular balconies. On one we even saw a sculpture of a man looking at something through a spyglass.
Limited in time, we did not really “bother” where we could get a bite to eat and ran in to “sharpen at least one burger.
La Coruña is considered the richest city in Galicia. It is clear that fishing and shipping are developed here. After all. exactly half of the fishing is caught in Galicia There is, incidentally, even an oil refinery and weapons production.
Incidentally, La Coruña is the financial center of the autonomy. And also here lives the richest man in Spain – Amancio Ortego, none other than the founder of the brand Zara. Friends, did you know that he started working in an ordinary clothing store as a “fetch-and-sell” boy. And in 1975, it was in La Coruña that he opened his first Zara store. Eh! And now how many of them there are around the world.
And again wonderful balconies.
After walking a lot through the city, we took a bus again (A4, I think) and went back to the bus station. On the way I continued to take pictures of a very pleasant city.
We left La Coruña even with regrets. Time to go back to Santiago de Compostela. And I confess, I did not want to leave. And on the way, the sun looked out, so strange and unexpectedly painted the surroundings in golden color as if in the fall.
So that was the end of our little trip to La Coruña. And we will long remember with warmth the snow-white city and the splash of the ocean waters. Thank you for your attention! Margarita was with you.
The sights of La Coruña
Tower of Hercules St. James Basilica Cape Finisterra San Antón Castle Santiago de Compostella Cathedral Obradoiro Stadium Riasor Medieval Town Betanzos Fortress St. Antonio Piazza Maria Pita Fortress walls of La Coruña
This site contains the sights of La Coruña – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in La Coruña, where to go and where to find popular and interesting places in La Coruña.
Tower of Hercules
The Tower of Hercules in La Coruña is the oldest lighthouse in the world. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. The lighthouse rises on a 57-meter high rock on a peninsula. The tower is 68 meters high. The lighthouse was built around the beginning of the 2nd century.
The tower received its legendary name in connection with the mythical tale of the Greek hero Hercules. Hercules was performing his tenth feat. He had to fight the giant named Geryon for three days in a row. In the end Heracles defeated the giant. In honor of his victory, Hercules decided to build a tower. This legend existed for so long and was so popular that eventually the official name of the lighthouse became “Tower of Hercules”.
Coordinates : 43.38572900,-8.40660100
The Cathedral of St. James
In the north of the country, Santiago de Compostela houses Spain’s greatest shrine, the relics of Saint James, the country’s patron saint. Santiago is the last city of the famous Route of Saint James, which included the whole of Europe. The remains of the apostle are buried in the city’s cathedral.
The construction of the temple began in 1211 and lasted another 400 years. Since the facades of the cathedral were built at different times, they are made in different architectural styles. The most impressive one, the central facade, is in the late Baroque style.
There is another valuable relic preserved in the cathedral – the thorn from the crown of thorns that was on Jesus Christ.
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Cape Finisterre is considered by many to be the westernmost point of mainland Spain, but this is a misconception. In fact, there is another geographic point nearby that is located west of Finisterre. Travelers can climb Mount Monte Facho, the highest point of the cape, which is 238 meters above sea level. There is a lighthouse on top of it. The history of these places is rich in events. In 1747, during the War of the Austrian Succession, two major naval battles took place near Finisterre between the English and French fleet. In 1805, during the Third Napoleonic Wars, another naval battle took place here. In the night from 6 to 7 September 1870, the British battleship Capeten was wrecked 20 miles off the coast, and the sailors who rescued her landed on Finisterre. One hundred years later, in 1990, a memorial sign was erected to commemorate the death of the sailors of the British shipwreck.
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San Anton Castle
The Castle of San Antón was built in the 16th century to defend La Coruña from the sea.
During the attacks in 1589, the fortress saved the Spaniards many times, but years later, the castle, adapted to artillery, was no longer militarily effective. When San Antón became obsolete, it began to serve a different function – it became a prison.
Currently, the structure houses the Archaeological Museum, where you can learn about the history of the fortress of San Antón. There is also a café on the outdoor terrace overlooking the Atlantic and La Coruña. The castle is open to visitors from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 21:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 15:00. A fee of two euros per person is charged to visit the castle.
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella
The most famous pilgrimage site in Spain is the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, built between 1075 and 1211. Several great masters of architecture and architecture took part in its construction, creating the largest cathedral on the Iberian Peninsula.
The original temple was consecrated in 1211 under King Alfonso IX. Over the centuries the outside appearance of the cathedral has undergone various changes which have turned it into an important monument of Spanish art, incorporating a variety of styles.
In the Middle Ages, pilgrims traveled for months on the route of the Holy Apostle James, at the end of which they arrived in Santiago de Compostela. The Cathedral houses the relics of St. James. The column in the doorway bears the imprint of those times – a depression has formed in the stone from the many hands laid on the column to rest. The sacred relics are in a silver chest next to the main altar. Above the tomb of Saint James stands a statue studded with precious stones, the embrace of which has become a tradition for pilgrims who come to worship the shrine
Coordinates : 42.88039800,-8.54478800
The square of Obradoiro is the historical center of Santiago de Compostela. Around the square there is a unique ensemble of historical and architectural monuments, most of which are made of granite mined in this area. All this creates a very special, harmonious atmosphere.
One of the highlights of Piazza Obradoiro is the western façade of the Baroque temple from the 18th century. Among the sculptures with which the facade is decorated, the image of St. James occupies a special place. Nearby is the so-called “Portico of Glory” (1168-1188) with beautiful sculptures of prophets and apostles. At the very entrance to the temple, pilgrims are greeted by a figure of a saint with cones. There is a belief that by touching the sculpture with your forehead you can gain good luck and wisdom.
Another jewel of Obradoiro Square is the 18th century Paso de Rajoy palace with the famous “Obradoiro façade”. It is a magnificent example of Baroque style. Opposite the Cathedral is a beautiful monument of civil architecture – the City Hall, built in 1772. Near the town hall is the “Reyes-Katolikos” palace, built in the 17th century as an inn and hospital by the “Catholic kings”. It is now one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Riasor Stadium is located in the city of La Coruña, Spain. It is the home arena of the Real Club Deportivo de La Coruñ a soccer club. In addition to soccer matches, it also hosts some social events.
The stadium opened in 1944. Originally it had a capacity of 30,000 spectators but was attended by a much smaller number of fans. However, after changes carried out in 1982 for the FIFA World Cup, the stadium became one of the best in Spain at the time. The running tracks were removed and its usual oval shape was changed to a horseshoe shape. Its capacity was also changed, increasing to 34,600 people.
The stadium is the home arena of the Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña. Also, from time to time it hosts the Spanish national team matches.
The medieval town of Betanzos
In the bay of Betanzos, on a high rock is the town of the same name – Betanzos. It is located on the site of an ancient Roman settlement. Today you can see fragments of medieval walls, old houses and the church of Santa Maria do Asoke, built in the XII century.
It is believed that before the arrival of the Romans in this land, the Celtic King Breogan founded the kingdom of Brigantia in the early 2nd century. The capital of the kingdom was at the site of today’s Betanzos. Brigantia had an active trade with the British Isles and was a fairly prosperous settlement. However the kingdom was ravaged by the Vikings in the 9th century. In the Middle Ages, Betanzos no longer had the same economic prosperity as La Coruña had become its main port city.
The Fortress of Sant Antoni
Fortress of Sant Antoni is the landmark of La Coruña. It is located on a small island in the bay of La Coruña. The fortress was built in the 16th and 18th centuries and was intended primarily for defense. Today the building is home to the Museum of Archaeology and History. It has a collection of gold and silver jewelry from the Bronze Age.
Maria Pita Square
In the center of La Coruña there is a splendid square surrounded by ancient buildings. The square is named after the national heroine María Pita, who defended La Coruña against the English in 1589. When the English fleet landed off the local coast Maria was actively involved in the defense of the city. She was able to prevent the planting of the British flag over the fortress of La Coruña.
There is a monument to Maria in the square depicting the figure of the heroine during the storming of the city. Also overlooking the square is the magnificent neo-Renaissance city council building. Nearby is another baroque palace. And along the perimeter of the square there are cozy outdoor cafes.
The Walls of La Coruña
In the 14th century La Coruña was enclosed by a fortress wall. It is believed to have been erected by the ancient Romans. A part of the wall survives to this day. There are three well preserved gates: St. Michael’s Gate, the Sorrow Gate and the Gate of the Cross, as well as the fortress bastion. From the wall you can admire the scenery of La Coruña.
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