Ferrol, Spain

Ferrol, Spain

:"This article refers to Ferrol, Galicia. For other uses, see Ferrol (disambiguation).

El Ferrol is a city in the Province of A Coruña in Galicia. Located on the Atlantic coast in north-western Spain, it has urban population of 77,859 and metropolitan area of over 241,528 (2007)

The city has been a major naval shipbuilding centre for most of its history, being the capital of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the North since the time of the early Bourbons. Before that, in the 17th century, Ferrol was the most important arsenal in Europe. Today, the city is also known as the home of the shipbuilding yards of Navantia.

The city was the birthplace of the Spanish General Francisco Franco in 1892, and was officially known as "El Ferrol del Caudillo" from 1938 to 1982. It was also the birth place of the founder of the Spanish socialist party PSOE, Pablo Iglesias, in 1850.


"(Classification of the Outer and Inner Ports of Ferrol)"
*."Note: For those who want to read further about the, non-military, "Ferrol-San Cibrao Port Authority" which covers a substantial part of the Galician coast including all its ports and lighthouses from San Cibrao to Ferrol, it is advisable to visit the external official link which follows: en icon [http://www.porto-ferrolsanciprian.com/asp/index.asp?idIdioma=3] "


The existence of prehistoric human settlements in this green corner of Iberia is back up by the abundance of burial chambers, megalithic monuments as well as petroglyphs and other archaeological findings. The Phoenicians established in this area different dried and salted cod stations and their presence together with the presence of the Ancient Greeks is well documented by historians like Herodotus amongst others. In Roman times, in the 1st century BC, a fishing port existed in the bay of Ferrol. After the fall of Rome the whole Iberian Peninsula, including Ferrol, was raided by the Vandals, occupied in 411 by the Suevi though their kingdom was incorporated in 584 by Leovigild to the Visigothic kingdom of Spain.

Raided from 711 to 739 by the Arabs, Ferrol was ultimately recaptured by the Visigothic king of Asturias in 754 remaining onwards an integral part of Christian Spain. [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrolandworldinyear820ad/]

The House of Asturias established an important Christian Outpost to protect their realms from the infidel Arab invaders who every now and then were coming up north for booty and treasures. A good example could be Al-Mansur who, in the 10th century, robbed and sacked different Christian settlements, including the holy city of Santiago de Compostela in 997.But during the 10th century was not only the Arabs, those who were robbing and sacking Christian settlements in this part of Spain, also the Normans and the Vikings were equally fearsome and the legend says that some of them ended up establish themselves permanently in these green pastures of northern Iberia for good; leaving behind their pagan, and bloody past, to became good Christians - and (who knows?) may be this is where the fishing and shipbuilding tradition of the people of this parts of Spain comes from!. [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrolinthe10thcentury/]

In the 14th century Henry II gave the town to the powerful Andrade family. [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/elferrol1492/]

During the reign of Phillip II parts of the existing fortifications at the entrance of the estuary were built; some of these still exist today as they were in the late-16th century, when the Spanish Armada sought refuge locally, to protect themselves from the rough Atlantic waters they encountered, when they were on their military mission to persuade the English to return to the Catholic faith. At that time the town was considered more important as a Royal Arsenal than as a safe harbour. [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrolnaval1588/]

With the arrival of the Bourbons in the 18th century, the City and Port of Ferrol became a leading naval centre, and for the first time, the immense strategic importance of the port was appreciated. Ferrol was made Capital of the Maritime Department of the North, formed under Ferdinand VI and Charles III for the defence of the Spanish Colonial Empire in America. Rapid and well-planned improvements followed, and the position of Ferrol was made almost unassailable from the sea, the difficulties of disembarking troops on its precipitous coast being heightened by a renewed line of fortresses and newly built castles, including San Carlos. [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/armada1750/]

The Royal Dockyards of A Graña and Ferrol, were built between 1726-1783 and produced ships protected with copper sheets from the rolling mills of Xubia. In 1772, The Spanish Royal Academy of Naval Engineers of Ferrol was created -- the first such academy in Spain.

Ferrol was virtually impossible to blockade in the age of sail, as strong westerly winds would take any blockading force away along the treacherous north coast of Spain where they had no safe haven. The geography of Ferrol meant that an entire Spanish fleet could slip out on a single tide. By the time the British were able to resume the blockade, the Spanish would be safely away and out to sea. (By contrast, British forces blockading Cadiz could seek refuge at Gibraltar, and those blockading the French naval port of Brest could seek refuge in Torbay. The British could then quickly return when the weather changed before too many of the blockaded ships had time to reach open water via the narrow channels). Despite these advantages, a decline set during the reign of Charles IV, and in 1800, after the defences had been reduced, a British fleet of 109 vessels landed troops on the beach of Doniños to take the Castle of San Felipe. This attack on Ferrol took place during the Napoleonic wars in Europe, when the Spaniards were expected to take side with the French, as they did in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Although only equipped with meagre artillery, the castle's small defence force under the command of Count Donadio together with a sizable number of volunteer citizens of Ferrol, successfully resisted the attack and the fleet withdrew. [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrolnaval1788/]

After the unsuccessful attempt to capture Ferrol in 1800, the British Prime Minister William Pitt said in the House of Commons that "If Great Britain had a naval station so easy to defend as Ferrol, due to its location, it would have been surrounded by a thick silver wall" [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/elferrol1780/] .

The alliance with England during the Peninsular War of 1808-14 failed to prevent the deterioration in the town’s fortunes. The arsenals and fortresses were abandoned and they were easily occupied by the French in 1809. (The English author C. S. Forester (1899-1966) immortalized Ferrol in his Horatio Hornblower novels when he decided that this was the Naval Station where his imaginary Royal Navy Officer was taken as a prisoner of war when captured by the Spanish during the Napoleonic Wars). [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrolnaval1750/]

Under Ferdinand VII, Ferrol became a “dead” town, losing its title of capital. New activities sprang up, however, in the mid-19th century, during the administration of the Marquis de Molina, Spanish Minister for Naval affairs, which included amongst other political successes the construction and launch in the Royal Dockyards of Ferrol, of Spain's first steam propelled ship in 1858.

Ten years after the Spanish-American War of 1898 where the Spaniards lost Cuba and the Philippines, the Maura Government, in an attempt to restore the Spanish Navy and Spanish shipbuilding industry hired to the Spanish Society for Naval Construction (whose major investors were the British firms: John Brown, Vickers and Armstrong) the shipbuilding yards, workshops, foundries and dry docks in Ferrol. [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/elferrol1890s/]

For a period of sixteen years, all the technicians were exclusively British, and the situation was not altered till 1925 when the management was taken over by Spanish engineers, as one of the new policies introduced by the then newly created government, including ministers both civil and military, of the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923–1930). The arrival of the British coincided with the construction of a local electric-powered trolley streetcar’s line (1924-1961) which at the time was a common feature in the USA and some parts of Europe but not so much in North-western Spain. [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/]

In sight of the outbreak of a civil war, and because there was fear of social unrest in the naval station, the Foreign Office in London, organized a ship to repatriate all the remaining British citizens and on July 22, 1936. The HMS Witch (D89), captained by B.A. Warburton-Lee, departed from Ferrol back to Britain. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) meant that the shipbuilding yards, workshops, foundries and dry docks in Ferrol were taken over by the state and fully nationalized in 1945 under the name "Bazàn", later renamed "IZAR", and from January 2005, Navantia. The town has also been, for centuries, the birthplace of national and international personalities: men and women of letters, statesmen, politicians, and others, amongst them Francisco Franco, after whom the city was officially known as "El Ferrol del Caudillo" from 1938 to 1982. The end of the dictatorship and the arrival of democracy in 1978 did not help Ferrol, [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrol.1960.1970and1980/] and from 1982 to the early 1990s, the city confronted numerous problems due to a decline in the naval sector. The beginning of the new millennium however, has been a time of economic expansion and prosperity in general. A new motorway and an outer-port [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrolouterport2004/] have been recently built; making the communications by land and sea, with the rest of the world, much easier and faster.

Ferrol, the most important Naval Station in the north of Spain, [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/es-navy.htm] which has hosted the large NATO Maritime Exercise Loyal Mariner (RN) in June 2008 [http://www.mccnwd.info/otherpages_exer_program.php?cGFnZV9uYW1l=UHJvZ3JhbW1lXzIwMDg=&cGFzc2lk=NDQ=] , with its well sheltered harbour and busy port, together with the Navantia shipyards seems to be flourishing once again, and with it, the whole heavily populated district of "As Mariñas" and "Ferrolterra". [http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrolnaval2004]



# Primary IndustriesAgriculture (Horse Breeding), Aquaculture (Fish Farming), Fishing (Specializing in the Atlantic Shoals), Important Mines (ENDESA), NTFP ( [http://www.forestharvest.org.uk/ Forest Harvest] ), Quarries and Timber.
# Secondary IndustriesShipbuilding, Ship Engines, Turbines (Wind Mills and Ships), Electrical Equipment, Ironworks, Fashion (Textiles), Food (Canned Fish) and Wood-Made Products.
# Tertiary IndustriesMercantile, Fishing and Military Ports, Restaurants, News Media (Ferrol TV/Diario de Ferrol), Hotels (Barceló Almirante/Pazo Libunca), Leisure and Tourism (World Surf Competitions, Popular Transatlantic Steamships Stop), Consulting, Health Care/Hospitals (Arquitecto Marcide Hospital Complex), Education (Schools, Colleges/ESENGRA and Universities/UNED/PERITOS) and Public Utilities, Franchises (main brand names and designer label's shops), Wholesale (Navy Suppliers/Anton-Martin) and Retail Industries (El Corte Inglés/Alcampo).
# Quaternary Sector IndustriesNaval, Electrical and Mechanical Equipment together with New Technologies ( [http://www.cisgalicia.org/01/03.htm Galician Centre for Innovations and Services CIS-FERROL] ).

ister Cities

These are the official sister cities of Ferrol:

flagicon|Spain Mondoñedo, Spain "(2004)"
flagicon|Spain Lugo, Spain "(2000)"

ee also

Notable Galicians born in Ferrol

* Alonso Pita da Veiga at the "Battle of Pavia" surrendered King Francis I of France (1513-1525)
* Benito Vicetto Pérez, one of the most remarkable figures of the "Galician Literature Renascence" (1824-1878)
* Jenaro Pérez Villaamil, remarkable painter and prime example of the "Galician Romanticism" (1807-1854)
* Concepción Arenal started and led the "Spanish Feminist Movement" in Iberia (1820-1893)
* José Canalejas Méndez, former Spanish Prime Minister who was assassinated in office (1854-1912)
* Patricio Montojo y Pasarón, Spanish admiral during the Spanish-American War (1839-1917)
* Pablo Iglesias Posse, founder of the "Spanish Socialist Workers' Party" PSOE and the UGT "Spanish Workers' General Union" (1850-1925)
* Marquis of Amboage, philanthropic multimillionaire and politician - Ramón Pedro Francisco Pla y Monge (1823-1892)
* Frederick H. Shaw, (1864-1924) British Citizen who had a prominent role in the creation of the Spanish Institute of Provission 1908.
* Ramón Franco, Spanish aviator and pilot of the "Plus Ultra" that completed a Trans-Atlantic flight in 1926. (1896-1938)
* General Franco (1892-1975), ruled Spain as dictator after the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).
* Ricardo Carvalho Calero, first ever professor of Galician literature and Linguistics - University of Santiago de Compostela (1910-1990)
* Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, remarkable writer winner of many prices in Spanish literature including the Cervantes Prize in 1985 (1910-1999).
* Ángeles Alvariño Gozález, first female Scientist to work on British and Spanish exploration ships and leading Oceanographer (1916-2005)
* María Isabel Rivera Torres leading actress in the Oscar winning Best Foreign Language Film 2004 The Sea Inside, (born 1952).
* Jesús Vázquez Martínez one of the best known Television presenters in Spain, (born 1965).
* Paloma Pérez-Lago González one of the best known fashion models and Television presenters in Spain, (born 1967).
* Carlos Jean Electronic musician and music producer of mix race Hispanic/Haitian origin, (born 1973).
* Paula Vázquez Picallo one of the best known Television presenters, in Spain also model and actress, (born 1973).
* Ignacio Javier Gómez Novo professional footballer, since 2004 playing for Glasgow Rangers, (born 1979).

Life, culture and industry in Ferrol

* Alvaro de Bazán class, frigates built at Ferrol for the Spanish Navy (2002-2005)
* Buque de Proyección Estratégica, being built at Ferrol (2003-2008) Multipurpose Warship for the Spanish Navy [http://www.armada.mde.es/esp/ElFuturo/BuqueProyeccionEstrategica/Antecedentes.asp]
* Fridtjof Nansen class frigate, frigates built at Ferrol for the Norwegian Navy (2006)
* LPD (Landing Platform Docks) L-51 Galicia, built at Ferrol for the Spanish Navy (1996-1998)
* Vickers-Armstrong Sociedad Española de Construcción Naval (1909-1925/1936)
* Ships Built in the Shipyards of El Ferrol between 1750 and 1909
* School of Peritos Navales and Industriales, created in 1963 and fully inaugurated in 1966. UDC since 1990.
* Endesa Termic, located in nearby As pontes de García Rodríguez, has one of the tallest chimneys in Europe built in 1974.
* Racing Club de Ferrol, main local football team (since 1917)
* El Correo Gallego currently, since the 1980s, is the most important newspaper of Santiago de Compostela founded in Ferrol in 1878.
* El Ferrol Diario Ferrol's most popular newspaper till the early 1980s when became extinct (1950s-1980s).
* El Diario de Ferrol Ferrol's most popular newspaper since its creation in 1996. Since 1999 own by El Ideal Gallego.
* El Casino de Ferrol 19th century institution originally created to satisfy the social needs of the local bourgeoisie and upper classes.
* El Circulo Mercantil de Ferrol Since the 1970s includes: a Sports centre with swimming pools, mini-golf, tennis courts, and a long etc.
* El Club Naval de Ferrol Originally design for the amusement of the Spanish Navy personnel and their families (1970s-1990s).
* Spain’s National Exhibition of Ship Building (Exponav) all year round permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of shipbuilding in Spain (Since 2008).
* Year Calendar of Major Events, Parties and Celebrations in Ferrol for the 21st century
* The Ferrolterra Pantin Classic gathers every year all the most international and remarkable figures in the world of surf
* Doninos, Esmelle and St. George's Beach Ferrol is very privilege for its high quality beaches, ideal for Water Sports like surfing

History of Galicia and Ferrol

* Battle of Trafalgar. The Napoleonic Spanish & French fleets versus Nelson and the British fleet @ Cape Trafalgar (1805).
* Cosme Damián de Churruca y Elorza, Spanish Naval officer trained as such in Ferrol and Cadiz hero of the Battle of Trafalgar (1761-1805) .
* Peninsular War (1808-1814). See also: Joseph Bonaparte (1808-1813) together with Guerrilla
* South American Wars of Independence. Most of "Spanish America" turns into a "Spanish Speaking Commonwealth of Independent States" (1810s-1820s)
* Spanish Civil War. Unsuccessful attempt to introduce "La Pepa", popular name for the "liberal constitution of 1812" (1820-1823)
* Casto Méndez Núñez, at the Battle of El Callao and at the Battle of Abtao, General Commander of the Spanish fleet in the Pacific (1866)
* Spanish-American War. The loss of the last "Spanish Possessions in the Americas and the Pacific: Cuba, Philippines and Puerto Rico to the United States of America (1898). See also: Treaty of Paris (1898)
* Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). See also: Second World War (1939-1945) and Cold War (1945-1989/1991)
* Francisco Franco. Former Chief of the Spanish State known as "Caudillo de España" from 1939 to 1975 (1892-1975)
* Latin Monetary Union (1865-1927) Spain introduces the "Peseta" and joins in 1868. See also: Latin Union (Since 1954) together with Latin Europe and Latin America
* Peseta (1868-2002) Spain, together with most of the countries in the European Union introduced the "Euro" in 2002. See also: Schengen treaty
* European Union. Spain joined European Community as a full member in (1986)



External links

* [http://www.turgalicia.es/sit/ferrol.asp?cidi=I Entry for Ferrol in the Official Web-site of TURGALICIA (Galician Government).]
* [http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5138/ UNESCO World Heritage List: El Ferrol ("Submission Papers") 27/04/2007.]
* [http://www.turgalicia.es/sit/ferrol.asp?cidi=I Entry for Ferrol in the Official Web-site of TURGALICIA (Galician Government).]
* [http://www.navantia.es/irj/portal/anonymous?guest_user=anonymous_en NAVANTIA Spanish Company, Leader in Military Shipbuilding]
* [http://www.travelthewondersofspain.com/north.html Green Tourism in Northern Spain 2005]
* [http://www.clubmontanaferrol.com/miradores.html Site devoted to the art of landscape and nature of Ferrolterra]
* [http://www.geocities.com/ferrolhistory/Ferrol_WorldHistory.html Traveller's Guide of Europe: Ferrol c.1919]
* [http://flagspot.net/flags/es~fe.html Ferrol Maritime Province - Registration Ensign 2001]
* [http://www.foromaritimovasco.com/documentos/barlovento/COSME%20DAMIAN%20DE%20CHURRUCA.PDF Damian Cosme de Churruca y Elorza (1761-1805) PDF Doc.]
* [http://www.pbenyon.plus.com/Navy_List_1805/Ship_Duties/Off_Port.html Vessels Blockading various French and Spanish ports - May 1805.]
* [http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/patino/ Auxiliary Oiler and replenishment ship (Spanish and Dutch project) made in Ferrol 1994]
* [http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/chakrinaruebet/ Offshore Patrol Helicopter Carrier design and made in Ferrol 1997]
* [http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/texaco/texaco6.html Offshore Technology design and made in Ferrol 2004]
* [http://www.cisgalicia.org/01/03.htm Official web-page in Spanish for the C.I.S.- Ferrol]
* [http://asde.scouts-es.net/gs19/index1.html The 19th Group of Boy Scouts of Ferrol since 1920s]
* [http://www.ferrol.es/ Official Web-page in Galician and Spanish for City Council of Ferrol]
* [http://ferrolterra.org/new/obras/ News-page in Spanish for the metropolitan area of Ferrol (i.e.: Ferrolterra)]
* [http://www.comarcaferrol.com/ferrol2.htm Informative Council Web-page in Spanish about Ferrolterra also known as Comarca de Ferrol]
* [http://www.revistanaval.com/ The "Revista Naval" page published in Ferrol in Spanish for the "Armada Española"]
* [http://www.geocities.com/ferrolhistory/Ferrol_Aerial_View_B_2004.html?1122747598687 Aerial Views of Ferrol in North Western Spain 2004]
* [http://www.porto-ferrolsanciprian.com/asp/index.asp?idIdioma=3 Ferrol-San Cibrao Port Authority]

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