One of the largest aquatic leisure centres in Europe and the first thalassotherapy (with sea water) centre in A Coruña and the largest in Galicia.
A great unique space divided into three clearly differentiated and complementary areas: Sport, Talaso and Club that has an indoor Olympic sized pool and where concepts such as Leisure, Relaxation and Health take on their true meaning.
The Tower of Hercules is the only Roman lighthouse which, since its origins up to the present, has been performing its original function: being an aid to navigation for ships crossing the Atlantic corridor. This peculiarity makes it an outstanding exponent which bears a unique testimony to the numerous lighthouses erected by civilizations of the past by the sea and which have unfortunately been lost to time, while the Tower of Hercules remains faithful to its mission of guiding the seamen who come face to face with the immensity of the ocean on a daily basis.
The lighthouse was most likely built in the second half of the 1st century or the early years of the 2nd century A.D. by the Romans at finis terrae (Latin for ‘end of the world’) of the world known, namely, north-western Hispania, at the mouth of the great Gulf of Artabro, which encompasses the rias of El Burgo, Ares and Ferrol (A Coruña, Spain) to guide the ships sailing along the most western coast of the Empire.
This unique construction has a rectangular plan, each side of it measuring approximately 11.75 meters and a total height of 55 meters, of which 34.38 m correspond to the Roman building and 21 to the restoration made in 1789 to modernize the aid to navigation system. Nowadays, the Tower rises on a wide polygonal platform 32.40 meters wide, which is its base. This platform was built in early 19th century.
The remains of the Roman lighthouse are beneath these four walls built in the 18th century. This lighthouse was probably designed by architect Caio Sevio Lupo, who hailed from Lusitania. He left at the foot of the Tower a commemorative epigraph which has fortunately survived under the protection of a small aedicule which was built in early 19th century and located on the platform that is the base of the monument.
We arrive at Riazor Stadium were the people of A Coruña have enjoyed unforgettable evenings of great football. We go past the Millennium Obelisk, the panoramic elevator that goes up to Monte San Pedro, a view point with incomparable views of the city from where we can see the boats guided by the eternal light in the lighthouse, the Tower of Hercules.
Lastly we arrive at Portiño, a small fishing port with a special charm where the sunsets bring the people of A Coruña together at nightfall due to its spectacular beauty.
We take a detour towards Pontevedra Square and the outskirts of the city which came about as the result of economic prosperity and restlessness of the local Bourgeoisie enriched by overseas trading. From this period there are modernist houses that we can see in Lugo Square, Pontevedra Square, and in the streets Feijoo, Betanzos, Ferrol and Linares Rivas. The great labels of the fashion world are concentrated in these streets.
It would be unforgivable not to visit Palacio de la Ópera (Opera Palace), with its imposing fountain at Santa Margarita Park where Casa de las Ciencias (Science Museum) and the Planetarium are.
Modernism arrives in the city in 1906 thanks to the Cuban architect Ricardo Boán Y Callejas and the architect from A Coruña Antonio López Hernández who import ideas from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. From there they bring magazines, catalogues and photographs with designs from the Austrian Otto Wagner and the Belgian Victor Horta.
Local artist decorate their facades and gates with irises, chesnut leaves, aquatic plants, roses and camelias in multicolour garlands. As the inspiration comes from the orient, the Japanese influence is patented in the shape of reeds and butterflies on waterlillies, star shaped holly leaves and lotus flowers that frame the windows and elevators.
1) Casa Molina (Santiago str., 2)
2) Casa Rey (Praza de María Pita, 12)
3) Real, 22
4) Kiosco Alfonso (Méndez Núñez gardens)
5) Praza de Lugo, 22
6) Compostela 8 (Praza de Lugo, 25-27)
7) Praza de Lugo, 13
8) Praza de Lugo, 11
9) Casa Salorio (Avda. Rubine, 2. Praza de Pontevedra)
In August 1891, Pablo Ruiz Picasso moves to A Coruña with his family where his father teaches at the Escuela de Bellas Artes (School of Fine Arts) in the (Edificio da Guarda). At that point he was 9 years old. The Picasso family move into the second floor of number 14 Rúa Payo Gómez (currently the Municipal Museum)
In A Coruña he continues his studies in the School of Fine Arts and perfect his extraordinary ability in drawing. It was also in A Coruña where he started as a painter and where he held his first exhibition in a former umbrella shop in calle Real. Picasso remembered A Coruña as “a fun city where he had a great time”, although his family underwent a very traumatic moment with the death of his sister Conchita.
In the nearly four years he spent in this city Picasso had a very intense relationship with some of the most representative places in A Coruña like the Tower of Hercules, Riazor beach or Parque de Santa Margarita (Santa Margarita Park). In April 1895 the Picasso family leave A Coruña.
1) Picasso’s Museum
2) Pontevedra Square
3) Riazor beach
4) Royal Street
5) Rosalía de Castro Theater
6) Pablo Picasso School of Arts and Business
7) Santo Amaro Cemetery
8) Tower of Hercules
The old city was built by human measure. A setting built on stone, carpentry and glazing that opens houses out into galleries, the “quitapesares”. Large noble houses alternate with more humble ones from fishermen and artisans. A labyrinth of streets and squares that envelop churches like Santiago, Santa María or Santo Domingo. A sort of troll with whom strange adventurers, philosphers, scientists, or mere citizens like María Pita who confronted Drake, the Duke of Toscana, Cosme de Medicis in one of his reconnaissance missions; there were adventures involving various prisioners like the marine Alejandro Malaspina or soldiers and statesmen like Porlier or Melchor de Macanaz.
That hidden genie in the tomb of Sir John Moore listened to the silences of love with the romantic adventurer Lady Hester Stanhope... Spirits of the city that inspired the Condes de Pardo Bazán in the “angular rock”, the works of Murguía and Rosalía, the ones that played with Pablo Picasso and motivated the pro-European Salvador de Madariaga and Wenceslao Fernández Flórez.
1) Museum House Emilia Pardo Bazán
2) Marqués de San Martiño Palace
3) Santiago Church
4) Azcárraga Square
5) Rosalía de Castro House
6) Santo Domingo Convent and Church
7) Santa Bárbara Convent and Square
8) Museum House María Pita
9) Cornide Palace
10) Museum of Holy Art
11) Santa María do Campo Collegiate
12) Luis Seoane Foundation
13) San Carlos’ Garden
14) Military Museum
15) San Anton’s Castle
These gardens located in the centre of la Pescadería and adjacent to the the port installations. They are one of the oldest gardens in the city, dating back to the mid XIX Century. They have monuments to Emilia Pardo Bazán, Alfonso Molina, Curros Enríquez and John Lennon and in it you can find emblematic modernist buildings such as the Terraza or the Quiosco Alfonso.
The gardens were created near the sea. In 1871 it was decided to name them after the Galician mariner Méndez Núñez and later the buildings that surround the wooded area were erected.
The garden is located in the Old City. The place used to be a fort, protected by thick walls to store gunpowder for the city's defense.
Among old trees in the middle lies the Funeral Monument to British General Sir John Moore, mortally wounded in the Battle of Corunna in 1809 by the French troops under Marshal Soult.
On the walls are two poems to the General, one by Rosalía de Castro and the other by Charles Wolfe. Another plaque recalls the Duke of Wellington's words in praise of Galician soldiers.
From the balcony there is a magnificent view of the port and the city coastline.
It is opened while the sun is up, which means that closing time varies according to the season. Even so, some of the gates are open 24 hours a day.
Lying on a hill that overlooks the whole city, it covers a surface area of c. 53,000 m2, and is the largest park in A Coruña. The highest point (61 m above sea level) is taken up by the Science Museum. The Opera House is towards the east.
There is a children's play park, an open air amphitheatre and tables and benches. The park also contains a «Newton» apple tree, an exact replica of the tree that inspired the scientist.
The luminous Millenium obelisk reaches a height of 50 metres.
The story of the major events and characters of the city is recounted in images on the 178 glass panels.
The longest beach promenade in Europe, more than 13 kilometres in length goes from Castillo de Santo Antón to El Portiño, enveloping the city.
It has a bike lane, tram, road and pedestrian walkway.
Eye-catching lampposts of modernist inspiration occupy part of the promenade, displaying 1.200 enamel works from the award winning artist Julia Ares. Each lamppost is painted in an intense red with four enamel works relating to the history of A Coruña, and strategically placed. Thus the enamel works around the Tower of Hercules relate to the different aspects of the Roman lighthouse. In an equestrian setting the artistic motive are the horses; In the area surrounding the aquarium fish are the highlighted subjects; whilst the allegoric ones found in front of the School of Fine Arts refer to Picasso, a student at this school.
From 1891-1895 was the period that the family of the greatest cubist painter of the last century lived in this typical house from the nineteenth century, which is preserved exactly as it was with furniture, objects and original and vintage goods.
Several reproductions of paintings are conserved in the house, all developed during the first stage of his life and his career, known as the “Blue Period”.
This museum is a modern construction that sits on the former convent of Las Capuchinas. It exhibits numerous offers originating from Museo del Prado, Spanish and European art from the XVI to XX century and Galician art from the XIX and XX century. It also exhibits a wide collection of engravings from Goya and Sargadelos pottery.
The Museum of Fine Arts was created in 1942 as an initiative of a large group of artists and intellectuals and lovers of art linked to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of A Coruña. The museum was opened to the public in 1947, and the building is a beautiful example of neoclassicism of the last quarter of a century XVIII. The exterior structure of the primitive palace is still preserved today as well as the patio and staircase; the interior has suffered alterations to adapt its facilities to the museum.
Located in the building Prisma de Cristal (Crystal Prism), the MUNCYT preserves over 15,000 objects from scientific, technological devices, vehicles, machine tools and industrial tools. From the sixteenth century to the present, most of the objects come from colleges and secondary schools, universities and scientific institutions, private collections and donations.
Contents related to the physical world experiences, learn the most current science words, discover the night sky, these are the main proposals in this interactive science museum. On the top floor is the Planetarium, where the public can discover the stars, the Moon and planets.
Astronomy programs and sessions live are opened to the public.
Domus is the first interactive museum in the world dedicated to the human being. The building is the work of the Japanese artist Arata Isozaki and has more than 200 interactive modules to enjoy and reflect upon the characteristics of the human species.
It also has a 3D cinema, where scientific documentaries are shown.
Aquarium Finisterrae is located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, next to the historical lighthouse Torre de Hércules, and includes a submerged room with 4 million liters of water where sharks swim and other large fish, a tank where you can touch some sea animals, large aquariums that recreate ecosystems, a colony of seals, and over fifty modules that provide answers to questions like why seawater is salty, how fish are born, where do crayfish live?
The visit to the Aquarium also includes some activities led by instructors from the center, as the feeding of seals, sharks and Guided tours.
Although it was once a former defence point, it has become A Coruña's best viewpoint. From Monte San Pedro we can see the boats guided by the millenary lighthouse.
The park has an area of 78.339 m2
There is a maze in the park complete with Italian plants. There is also a pond with ducks.
The museum sits on an old fortress constructed in the XVI century. From the XVI century to XVIII century it was a defence building and prison, later it was used as an isolation hospital to quarantine mariners who arrived in the city with infectious diseases.
The archaeological museum was inaugurated in 1968. It has been considered a historic and artistic monument since 1994.
María Pita is an indisputably significant character in the history of A Coruña. A demanding and determined woman, she was married and widowed on four occasions; and it is said that she did not remarry for the fifth time as her last husband demanded this in his last will and testament.
It was in 1589 when Sir Francis Drake, the captain of the British fleet, besieged A Coruña as it had supported the Spanish Armada, sent a year earlier by the Spanish King against England.
After days of fierce fighting and intense gunfire the population took refuge and held out behind the walls of the Old City. Tragically the enemy managed to open up a great breach. The inhabitants were weary and many were dead and injured; the city seemed about to succumb.
It was then that María Pita knocked down and killed an English lieutenant with a lance. In view of this heroic deed, new life was breathed into the dejected people of A Coruña and they threw themselves upon the enemy, who suddenly started to flee.
In its honor the Town Hall square bears its name.