Two thousand years ago, the Romans built a large lighthouse near the city of Brigantium, in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Its mission was to help sailors who took on the dangerous routes between the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic. The Tower of Hercules, now a world heritage site, still lights up the city of A Coruña today; a cosmopolitan, tolerant and welcoming city with a wealthy heritage in art and culture, and an economic and business fabric that makes it the driving force of Galicia.
The footprints of history can be seen and felt in A Coruña. From the archaeological excavations at Elviña hill fort to the Old City and its magical spots like the convent of Saint Barbara, via the oldest churches in the city and the square named after María Pita, the heroine who fought against the English under Sir Francis Drake.
It is also a city made for walking. You can choose from among city walks, from the Gardens of Méndez Núñez to the windowed balconies of the Marina via the bustling Cantones, or go for the coastal promenade and its nine kilometers, going past the Tower of Hercules and its sculpture park, the Domus and the Aquarium (two of the three scientific museums, which together with the Science Museum and the future National Science and Technology Museum make A Coruña one of the best-known cities in Europe as far as scientific dissemination is concerned). At the end of the promenade is the Monte de San Pedro, a magnificent park with the best possible views over the Atlantic from the panoramic elevator and viewing point. The tourist tram follows the same route and is another of the city’s leisure attractions.
Illustrious people were born in the province – like Salvador de Madariaga, Castelao and Eduardo Pondal, known in literary circles as “The Bard”, a name given to the ancient Celtic poets who sang the deeds of their heroes. Two of the best writers in all Spanish literature also lived here – poetess Rosalía de Castro and distinguished novelist Emilia Pardo Bazán.
A Coruña is, furthermore, one of the economic driving forces of Galicia, in both the generation of employment and in productivity and contribution to the region’s GDP. The region’s most innovative companies are based in the city and it has become a true benchmark in the textile sector.
The major multinationals choose A Coruña to expand in the north of Spain thanks to the excellent communications, soon to be improved with an extension to the runway at Alvedro airport, the intermodal station, prepared for the high speed train, and the new outer port at Punta Langosteira, the largest civil engineering project currently underway in all Europe and which will place the city in an incomparable situation to compete on the highways of the sea.
The sea is one of the city’s symbols, a source of wealth and a perfect opportunity for leisure and sport. The waters of the Atlantic are the best frame for the city and its characteristic sound track. In fact, the murmur of the waves on Orzán beach was recently chosen as the most beautiful sound of the sea in the world.
A Coruña is therefore a city with a thousand possibilities. From the calm seascape to cosmopolitan and bustling streets lit up by the sun or by neon lights. From stall owners’ voices in the fish market to walks in the Old City and along the promenade, on beaches of fine white sand. Places to relax and natural spaces to enjoy the spectacular views and landscapes. From art and museums via restaurants, taverns, pubs and bars to discos, the casino and concerts by the Symphonic Orchestra of Galicia, the city’s cultural emblem.
But the best part of the city is without doubt the people; welcoming and proud of their city, its neighbourhoods and streets, always ready to accompany visitors so that they really feel at home. And no doubt the delegates at the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities Congress will also feel at home here, under the light of the only Roman lighthouse still working today. We look forward to seeing you here.
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