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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other meanings, see Vigo (disambiguation)
Vigo as seen from the Monte do Castro

Nickname(s): A Cidade Olívica (The Olive City)
Location of Vigo within Galicia
Vigo is located in Spain
Location of Vigo within Spain
Coordinates: 42°13′53″N 8°42′45″W / 42.231356°N 8.712447°W / 42.231356; -8.712447
Country Spain
Autonomous Community Galicia
Province Pontevedra
Comarca Vigo
 - Type Concello
 - Mayor Abel Caballero (PSdeG-PSOE)
 - City 109.1 km2 (42.1 sq mi)
Population (2008)INE
 - City 295,703
 - Metro 468,654
 - Demonym vigués (m); viguesa (f)
Time zone CET (GMT +1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (GMT +2) (UTC)
Postcode 362--
Area code(s) +34 986
Twin Cities
 - Buenos Aires Argentina
 - Lorient France
 - Oporto[1] Portugal
 - Caracas Venezuela
ISO 3166-2 ES-PO

Vigo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbiɣo]) is the largest city in Galicia, Spain, located in the province of Pontevedra.

It has a population of 295,703, with an extended metropolitan population of 468,654, making it the 14th-largest metropolitan area of Spain. Vigo is the largest city in Spain which is not a provincial capital.



The urban area of Vigo is built over both a hill-fort (Castro) and a Roman settlement. It is generally accepted that the name Vigo is derived from the Latin word Vicus.


During the Middle Ages the small village of Vigo was part of the territory of neighbouring towns, particularly Tui, and suffered several Viking attacks. However, the number of inhabitants was so small that, historically, Vigo was not considered to be a real village until around the 15th century, when the earliest records began.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the city was attacked several times. In 1585 and 1589 Francis Drake raided the city and temporarily occupied it, leaving many buildings burnt. Several decades later a Turkish fleet tried to attack the city. As a result the walls of the city were built in 1656 during the reign of Philip IV of Spain. They are still partially preserved.

During this time, and in spite of the attacks, the city of Vigo developed its earliest commerce, and was given several privileges by the kings of Spain.

Battle of Vigo Bay, 1702

In 1702 the Battle of Vigo Bay occurred, and in 1719, because a Spanish fleet which departed from Vigo attempted to invade Scotland in support of the Jacobites, the city was occupied for ten days by a British force.

In 1808 the French Army annexed Spain to the Napoleonic Empire, although Vigo remained unconquered until January, 1809. Vigo was also the first city of Galicia to be freed from French rule in what is now celebrated as the Reconquista (reconquest from French in the context of the Peninsular War) on 28 March each year.

The city grew very rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries. This resulted in continuous urban planning changes, making Vigo less structured than other Galician towns.

World War II

The following German U-Boats are reported to have been sunk somewhere near the Port of Vigo: the U-523, sunk August 25, 1943 (17 dead and 37 survivors), and the U-506, sunk at 15:50 hrs on July 12, 1943 (48 dead and six survivors).

Main sights

Vigo metropolitan area

The following villages are in the Vigo metropolitan area:

Vigo population progression
  • Babío (1,214 p.)
  • Saa (1,296 p.)
  • Penís (1,079 p.)
  • Fonte Escura (1,242 p.)
  • Pereiró (4,284 p.)
  • Ponte (1,564 p.)
  • Freixeiro (2,456 p.)
  • Mantelas (1,595 p.)
  • Salgueira (1,268 p.)
  • Bagunda (2,762 p.)
  • Bouciña (1,823 p.)
  • Barreiro (1,383 p.)
  • Ceboleira (2,989 p.)
  • Pardavila (4,128 p.)
  • Garrida (1,245 p.)

  • Population: 294,772 (2007)
  • average age: 41.1 years (2005)
  • Foreign population: 11,571 (2005)
  • Births: 2,632 (2005)
  • Deaths: 2,383 (2005)
  • Migratory balance: +565 (2005)

Government and administrative divisions

Following the May 28, 2007 municipal elections the mayor of Vigo is Abel Caballero, PSOE[2]. The city council (Galician: Concello) is governed by a coalition of PSOE and the Bloque Nacionalista Galego (9 and 5 councilors, respectively, to the Partido Popular's 13).


The city is been divided into 23 districts (Parroquias in Spanish and Galician). The districts are based mostly on historical divisions. Several of the city's districts are former towns annexed by the city of Vigo in the twentieth century that still maintain their own distinct character.

Parishes of Vigo
  • Alcabre - 3,183
  • Beade - 5,430
  • Bembrive - 4,290
  • Bouzas - 5,000
  • Cabral - 6,772
  • Candeán - 4,699
  • Castrelos - 7,849
  • Coia - 30,000
  • Comesaña - 3,031
  • Coruxo - 5,344
  • Freixeiro - 5,928
  • Lavadores - 16,667
  • Matamá - 4,247
  • Navia - 2,190
  • Oia - 3,910
  • Saiáns - 1,067
Beach of Wines, in Cíes Islands.
  • San Paio - 3,700
  • San Xoán do Monte - 500
  • Sárdoma -1,992
  • Teis - 2,330
  • Valadares - 5,468
  • Zamáns - 780
  • Vigo and Santiago de Vigo - 207,892



Vigo's climate is usually classified as oceanic (Köppen climate classification Cfb); however, the summers tend to be warmer and the winters milder than most areas of similar classification. Substantial rainfall throughout the year prevents it from being classified as a Mediterranean climate, even though there is a drying trend in summer. The average annual temperature in Vigo is 15°C.[3] Compared many other Galician towns, Vigo experiences warmer summer temperatures and milder winters. This is due to its sheltered location, surrounded by mountains inland and the Illas Cíes out in the bay towards the sea.[4]

Weather data for Vigo, Spain
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 12
Average low °C (°F) 6
Precipitation mm (inches) 160
Source: MSN Weather< 2009-07-03


Demographic evolution of Vigo between 1991 and 2005
1991 1996 2001 2004 2005
2007 276,109 286,774 280,186 292,059


Port of Vigo View

Vigo is one of the leading industrial areas in Galicia, with car factories, shipyards, and auxiliary industry. Situated in Vigo is Galicia's leading employer, PSA Peugeot Citroën, which in 2007 produced a total of 545,000 vehicles, of which more than 82% were sold outside Spain.

Vigo has the largest fishing port in Europe as well, and the home port of the world's largest fishing company, Pescanova. The headquarters of the European Fisheries Agency are placed in here.

Higher education

The University of Vigo is situated in a mountainous area outside the city. It is an important center for research, with a focus on study related to ocean-based industries. The University has other campuses in Pontevedra and Ourense. The campus of Vigo is a modern project of the architect Enric Miralles.


Arts and entertainment

Looking South from Monte das Figueiras (Monteagudo Island)

"A movida viguesa" was a hedonistic cultural movement that took place in Vigo during the '80s triggered by the explosion of liberties after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. The most important artists of this postmodern movement were musicians; particularly punk and new wave bands such as Siniestro Total, Golpes Bajos, Aerolineas Federales, Semen Up or Os Resentidos.

At the moment, the city still has notorious bands like Iván Ferreiro (ex-singer of Los Piratas) and Mon.

The locally produced award-winning feature movie Mondays In The Sun (original title Los lunes al sol) evocatively depicts the life of several men who have lost their work at the port. This film is not based on a single individual's experiences but on the perceived collective experiences of many local port workers.


Vigo has two daily newspapers; the Faro de Vigo, the oldest newspaper in Spain still in circulation, and the Atántico Diario. It has one local television station Televigo which covers news and current events in the Vigo metropolitan area


Ponte de Rande. This bridge is part of the toll road that links both sides of the harbour and which runs north up to A Coruña.
shopping street at Vigo, Spain

Vigo has a number of football teams that compete at national and regional levels. The best known team is Celta Vigo, who up until 2005 played in Spain's Primera Division. They play their home games at Balaídos, which is Vigo's largest stadium and was used to host the Group 1 matches of the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Vigo also has a basketball team, Ciudad de Vigo Básquet, more commonly referred to today by its sponsorship name of Gestibérica Ciudad de Vigo. They currently compete in the Adecco LEB Plata league


The Rías Baixas offer a privileged environment for the practice of the nautical sports. Institutions as the Real Club Nautico de Vigo (RCNV, founded in 1906) and the Liceo Marítimo de Bouzas (LMB, founded in 1907) are good examples of promotion of the nautical sports, especially sailing.

The RCNV organizes important events like the Atlantic Week, that in September 2006 received the World Championship of the Platu 25 class. The RCNV also organizes every year in August one of the races with more sailboats of the Iberian peninsula: the Regata Rías Baixas, that in the 2006 edition included the participation of 130 sailboats of different nationalities.

The LMB is a yacht club that agglutinates around 400 associates. The LMB has a long and intense activity in sailing and recreational fishing. The LMB organizes two important regattas of the Galician calendar of sail: the Regata Vila de Bouzas and a Regata de Solitarios y a Dos.

The Regata Vila de Bouzas honors the neighborhood where is located the LMB. The Regata de Solitarios y a Dos is sponsored by the firm Aister and is for crews of one and two members. It is a difficult race with two steps. One step consists of a race through the coastal inside the bay of Vigo and the other step is longer race around the Cies Islands (and/or Ons Islands). Likewise, the LMB has schools of sailing and fishing. Yearly it organizes a cephalopods fishing competition.

Notable people

See also

Spanish tallship Juan Sebastián Elcano in the port of Vigo


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Vigo is the largest city in Galicia Spain.


Gallician language,Portuguese,Castillan(Spanish).

Vigo is a 1960's boomtown with the attendant urban planning, set in a beautiful natural environment and boasting a cultural drive that far exceeds its size.

Get in


Vigo-Peinador International Airport) is 15 km from the center of Vigo, and is situated in the municipalities of Redondela, Vigo and Mos.

It serves mainly national routes such as Air Europa (Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife-South), Clickair (Barcelona, London-Gatwick), Iberia Airlines (Madrid) Operated by Air Nostrum (Alicante, Bilbao, Malaga, Valencia) Spanair (Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Madrid, Tenerife-South)

There is a bus shuttle which connects porto airport (Portugal) to Vigo.

People from Vigo are expecting a growth in their air traffic by the introduction of new destinations: Such as Bruxelles. As well as a non stop flight to Cancun, Mexico, which are expected to set Vigo in its height of international air traffic.


There has been for months a much expected ferry route serving Bristol, United Kingdom.


Islas Cíes (Cies Islands) Unfortunately boat trips from Vigo to these islands at the sea end of the Ria de Vigo only run in the summer season.


Stroll down the main port and savour the impressive variety of local seafood.


Try the amazing Tortilla and empanadillas at Bar Carballo

  • Tia Brigida, Rua do Arco 10, 986392326. lunch and dinner. Situated in the old seaside village of Cangas, across the picturesque harbor from Vigo, this restaurant specializes in contemporary interpretations of traditional seafood dishes. The creation of young Chef Alfonso Moldes, Tia Brigida, serves some of the most satisfying food in Galicia. Moderate.  edit


Queimada is an alcoholic beverage of Galician tradition.

Queimada's characteristic blue fire.Queimada has origins in the Pagan festivals of Galicia. It is a punch made from Galician aguardiente (Orujo Gallego) - a spirit distilled from wine and flavoured with herbs or coffee, plus sugar, lemon peel, coffee beans and cinnamon.

Traditionally while preparing the punch a spell or incantation is recited, so that special powers are conferred to the queimada and those drinking it. Then the queimada is set alight, and slowly burns as more brandy is added.

  • NH Palacio de Vigo, Avenida García Barbón, 17-19, +34.98.6433643 [1]. In the heart of Vigo, close to the Club Nautico and the Do Castro Park, this hotel occupies a residential building dating from the beginning of this century (Casas de Oya, 1904). Its magnificent granite façade decorated in the typical style of that period is crowned with three large architectural roses and has been restored to its original splendour.

Get out

Pontevedra, Santiago de Compostela, Tui/Tuy, Cangas do Morrazo and Minho in Portugal

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

VIGO, a seaport and naval station of north-western Spain, in the province of Pontevedra; on Vigo Bay (Ria de Vigo) and on a branch of the railway from Tuy to Corunna. Pop. (1900) 23,259. Vigo Bay, one of the finest of the Galician fjords, extends inland for 19 m., and is sheltered by low mountains and by the islands (Islas de Cies, ancient Insulae Siccae) at its mouth. The town is built on the south-eastern shore, and occupies a hilly site dominated by two obsolete forts. The older streets are steep, narrow and tortuous, but there is also a large modern quarter. Vigo owes its importance to its deep and spacious harbour, and to its fisheries. It is a port of call for many lines trading between Western Europe and South America. Shipbuilding is carried on, and large quantities of sardines are canned for export. In 1909, 2041 ships of 2,710,691 tons (1,153,564 being British) entered at Vigo; the imports in that year, including tin and tinplate, coal, machinery, cement, sulphate of copper and foodstuffs, were valued at £481,752; the exports, including sardines, mineral waters and eggs, were valued at 554,824. The town contains flour, paper and sawmills, sugar and petroleum refineries, tanneries, distilleries and soap works; it has also a large agricultural trade and is visited in summer for sea-bathing.

Vigo was attacked by Sir Francis Drake in 1585 and 1589. In 1702 a combined British and Dutch fleet under Sir George Rooke and the duke of Ormonde destroyed a Franco-Spanish fleet in the bay, and captured treasure to the value of about i 3 000,000; numerous attempts have been made to recover the larger quantity of treasure which was supposed, on doubtful evidence, to have been sunk during the battle. In 1719 Vigo was captured by the British under Viscount Cobham.

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