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Province of A Coruña
View from the Monastery of Saint John of Caaveiro part of the "Fragas" of the River Eume National Park in Ferrolterra, A Coruña Province
Location in Galicia, Spain and Europe
Situacion Provincia da Coruña.PNG
43°22′N 8°23′W / 43.367°N 8.383°W / 43.367; -8.383
Time zone :


Flag Coat of arms
Flag of A Coruña
Coat of arms of A Coruña
Basic information
Area 7,950   km² Province
1.58%   km² of Spain
Population 1,126,707 Province (04/2005)
2.55 % of Spain
Density 141.72 /km²
Capital City A Coruña
Main Cities Ferrol, Santiago & A Coruña
NUTS-Code ES3 Flag of Europe.svg
Country Spain Flag of Spain.svg
Region Galicia Flag of Galicia.svg
Subdivisions 17 Regions
City Councils 96 Municipalities
Governing Parties PP / PSOE / BNG

A Coruña (also: Spanish: La Coruña, and Corunna in English[1]) is the most North-western Atlantic-facing province of Spain, and one of the four provinces which constitute the autonomous community of Galicia. This province is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and North, the Pontevedra Province to the South and the Lugo Province to the East.


International airports and helicopter airfields


Major commercial and fishing ports

National park

Natural parks

International World Surf Competitions

History of the Province

In recent years, Ferrol and A Coruña have become popular stops for transatlantic steamships in route to the Mediterranean.

The history of this province starts sometime at the end of the Middle Ages during the reign of the Catholic Kings of Spain. But during those years this province was far smaller than what it is today, and this is because in the 1833 territorial division of Spain the entire Province of Betanzos together with half of the Mondoñedo were amalgamated onto one single province with its capital city in A Coruña. That was going to be the beginning of a love hate relationship between the major cities caught in between: Ferrol, Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña. It should be noted, that due to this unusual situation the dioceses of these parts of Galicia do not match any longer with the administrative divisions. Even worst than that, the capital city of the province does not have, and never had a Cathedral but both Ferrol and Santiago de Compostela do have one. It should be note too, that the City of Santiago de Compostela is not the provincial capital, but has always been the Capital of Galicia and historically a rival to Toledo for being the most important city in Spain ecclesiastically speaking. Since 1833, the Province of A Coruña has always been the one with the largest population and largest coast. Till the second half of the 20th century this province was both the religious and cultural centre of the entire region. It should be taken into account that the University of Santiago de Compostela was the only one university in North-western Spain till the arrival of democracy after the death of General Francisco Franco.

The Industrial Revolution: Ferrol

The City of Ferrol in the Province of A Coruña was one of the first places, not just in Galicia but in Spain to experiment and suffer from the entire set of socioeconomic changes which affected the United Kingdom in the first half of the 18th century and the United States and some parts of Europe a century later. As a consequence of that, Ferrol will be one of the first shipyards in the world to produce wooded ships covered with copper sheets in the early years of the 19th century, and by the end of the same century, the same shipyards were producing iron armoured ships. Ferrol was at one point the largest city in Galicia, the place of birth of people like Pablo Iglesias Posse the founder of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, Concepción Arenal founder of the Spanish Feminist Movement, the Franco Brothers one pioneer of world’s aviation and the other hero of the Spanish Second Republic during the early years of the 20th century.

The Peninsular War

In the Peninsular War, Sir John Moore headed a 30,000-strong British Force, which attacked Napoleon near Burgos, but they were soon forced into a long retreat chased by the French, ending in an evacuation from A Coruña in January 1809 in the Battle of Corunna (also known by its many variants and as the "Battle of Elviña". Moore was killed by a cannon shot while directing the defence of the town. His burial inspired a well-known poem.

Spanish Civil War

  • Battle of La Corunna Road Fought in the outskirts of Madrid literally on the road which led at the time to the Province. (13 December 1936 to 15 January 1937).

The Second World War

The following German U-Boats has been reported as sunk somewhere along the A Coruña province's coast:

The Province and City of A Coruña during the 20th Century

A Coruña Province Population c. 1787
District population
City of Coruña 13,575
City of Ferrol (Civilian Pop. Only) 24,993
Santiago de Compostela 15,584
Towns, Villages and Hamlets c.229,123
All the Province (Total): 283,275
(Ferrol - Urban History, 2004) [3]
A Coruña Province Population c. 1833
District population
City of Coruña 23,000
City of Ferrol (Civilian Pop. Only) 13,000
Santiago de Compostela 28,000
Towns, Villages and Hamlets c.233,000
All the Province (Total): c.297,000
(U. P. Gazetteer By Th.Baldwin, 1847) [4]
A Coruña Province Population c. 1900
District population
City of Coruña 43,971
City of Ferrol (Civilian Pop. Only) 25,281
Santiago de Compostela 24,120
Towns, Villages and Hamlets 580,184
All the Province (Total): 653,556
(Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911) [5]

After the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), and the War of Independence (1808–1814) the fortune’s of El Ferrol started to go into decline. This is how the largest port in northern Spain, site of one of the three Royal Dockyards, together with Cartagena and Cadiz, almost became a "dead" town during the reign of Ferdinand VII. By 1833 the City and Naval Station of Ferrol saw its civilian population reduced to just 13,000. [3] Even though, during the administration of the Marquis de Molina, Minister for Naval affairs in the mid-19th century new activities will sprang up, Ferrol will never fully recovered up to its former glories. It must be noted at during these years, most of the Spanish Colonies in Latin America will succeed in gaining independence from its former metropolis.

Ultimately, the population of the City of A Coruña in 1900 ended up reaching 43,971 meanwhile the population of the rest of the province including the City and Naval Station of nearby Ferrol as well as Santiago de Compostela was 653,556. [4] A Coruña's miraculous growth happened during aftermaths of the Spanish Civil War at the same speed as other major Galician cities, but it was the arrival of democracy in Spain after the death of Francisco Franco the moment when the City of Corunna left all the other Galician cities behind (i.e.: with the exception of Vigo of course). The miraculous meteoric increase of population of the City of Corunna and to a lesser degree Ferrol and Santiago de Compostela, during the years which follow the Spanish Civil War during the mid 20th century, can only be explained when we see the figures of the number of villages and hamlets of the province which disappeared or nearly disappeared during the same period. We are talking here about an economic revolution and not so much to an explosion of births or a substantial increase in living standards which of course has happened too, but looking to the overall picture what has happened is that the fields have been abandon due to the introduction of new machinery and most of the population has moved to find jobs in the main cities increasing the number of people working in the Tertiary and Quaternary sectors.

The end of a University Monopoly: Santiago de Compostela

The late second half of the 20th century saw the City of Santiago de Compostela losing its monopoly over the university studies in Galicia when all the other Galician Universities were created. Still, not all were losses, as Santiago de Compostela, the historical capital of Galicia, ended up being the chosen city for the Galician Government and its Parliament, both new institutions created with the arrival of democracy in Spain in the 1980s.

The burial-place of Saint James the Great

The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is the reputed burial-place of Saint James the Great, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. It is the destination of the Way of St. James (popularly known by its local denominations: Galician Camiño de Santiago, Portuguese Caminho de Santiago, Spanish Camino de Santiago, French Chemin de St. Jacques, German Jakobsweg, and so on), a major historical pilgrimage route since the Middle Ages which still gathers thousands of pilgrims each year from all over the world.

Football teams (soccer)


See also




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