I have read about A Coruna since I was a boy. It was always the port all sailors which started their cruising in Scandinavia made land to after crossing the fierce Bay of Biscay, seeking a well-deserved rest after encountering violent gales and massive waves. In their tales it was often with great relieves they found shelter in A Coruna, but I can’t remember anyone describing A Coruna, it was only about the crossing, I guess they were occupied with recovering themselves and repair what was broken. Of course, I built a picture of A Coruna in my head. I saw a small rugged but also cosy fishing village inhabitant by a handfull seasoned fishermen. As we started our trip in the Mediterranean 4½ year ago I never got the opportunity to visit A Coruna. Hence the detour via A Coruna on our way home to Lagos Portugal.
When arriving I quickly realize that my picture could not be more wrong, we arrived to a major historical town with ca 250 000 inhabitants
A Coruna Harbor
A Coruna is a very old town, 62 BC Julius Caesar visit A Coruna at that time called Brigantium. Another example of the very old history is Torre de Hercules, it is the oldest Roman lighthouse in use today. It’s structures 55 m was built in the second century and renovated 1791.
Torre de Hercules overlook the North Atlantic Coast and has helped many ships to safety over the centuries. Viking Björn Ragnarsson stop in A Coruna as he thought he saw a tower of Gold
According to a myth that mixes Celtic and Greco-Roman elements, the hero Hercules slew the giant tyrant Geryon after three days and three nights of continuous battle. Hercules then in a Celtic gesture buried the head of Geryon with his weapons and ordered that a city should be built on the site. The lighthouse atop a skull and crossbones representing the buried head of Hercules’ slain enemy appears in the coat-of-arms of the city of Coruna.
Maria Pita (1565 1643) is a town hero from the battle against England and the privateer Francis Drake 1589. She took active part in the battle. She was at the defense line with her husband, after her husband was killed from a cross bow shot in the head, she toke a weapon and shoot an English soldier with a banner and then shouted “Whoever has honor, follow me!” ; and then they manage to drive the Englishmen off the land.
She was married 4 times, she must have been tough not only towards Francis Drake and his soldiers but also towards her own husbands!
Anyhow to her memory they have a festival lasting most of August, there are several scenes spread out in the city with various artist performing at no cost for the audience. To our surprise there was a concert with Patti Smith (if any young person read this she is a legendary poet and pop singer age 73)
It was a lot of people attending on beach a very nice venue
A Coruna is very nice place indeed with both nice and impressive buildings
Such as the city hall and Square
A Coruna is as most towns in Europe made for people and not for cars, which is a delight
Street art is part of the city
The best of all by being back “Home” to Europe is the food culture. It is fantastic. Excellent raw materials
Cheese, ham, wine and bread all excellent quality
or Sea food
If you do not fancy to cook yourself, visit one of many good restaurants and enjoy very good food
And all this excellent food at very reasonable prices. We have gormandized all kinds of delicious food, not good for waistlines but good for life.
Well there is a harbor in A Coruna also, I almost forgot that in my excitement for the place
Part of A Coruna harbor in the Old Town.
We had e very pleasant time in A Coruna, meeting other yachties, A Coruna is highly recommended even if it far from an old weather-beaten fishing village that was pictured in my young head a long time ago.