Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in La Coruna
The port of La Coruña, traditionally known in English as Corunna, lies in the northwestern corner of Spain on a peninsula in the bay formed by the rías of El Ferrol, Ares, Betanzos and La Coruña. It is the largest city in Galicia, an important international port, a garrison town and a fishing port, with large fish-canning plants. The numerous glazed galleries (miradores) on the house-fronts have earned it the name of the ciudad de cristal ("city of crystal"). Although the first impression of La Coruña is of a not particularly attractive port and industrial town, there are many romantic nooks and corners in the hilly old part of the town.
La Coruña, originally an Iberian settlement, was used by the Romans as a port, under the name of Ardobirum Coronium; an imposing relic of the Roman period is the lighthouse known as the Torre de Hércules. It was occupied by the Moors, captured from them by the Portuguese and then taken from the Portuguese by Spain. In 1588 the "Invincible Armada", with 130 vessels and 29,000 men, sailed from here for the invasion of England but lost half its ships and half its men as a result of severe storms and English counter-attacks and returned defeated to La Coruña. In 1589 an English fleet commanded by Sir Francis Drake appeared in the bay and attacked the town; the attack was beaten off thanks to the courage of a local heroine named María Pita, but the town suffered much destruction. During the Napoleonic wars, in 1809, a British and Spanish army under the command of Sir John Moore was defeated in a battle at Elviña, just outside the town, in which Moore was killed. During the fight for a liberal constitution at the beginning of the 19th Century La Coruña was always on the side of the liberal forces.