Wednesday, October 19, 2011

La Coruña City, Galicia {Part IV of IV}

Located on a promontory surrounded by water, La Coruña City is home to a busy port and thriving industries. Despite that, the city exudes a certain kind of laid back atmosphere which makes it a great place for a leisurely weekend getaway.

While it does not have an ancient cathedral to rival that of Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña city does have a striking old building in its city center grand enough to wow its visitors. The 20th century neoclassical Palacio Municipal (city hall) with its three domed towers looks stunning sitting at the Plaza de Maria Pita.

Above: Palacio Municipal in Plaza de Maria Pita.

Apart from exploring the historical centre, La Coruña city also has a handful of beaches along its coves for people to enjoy the sun, sand and sea. However, what I find really appealing about this place is its maritime walk which almost encircles the whole city.

Whether you choose to walk, cycle or take the tram service, this route provides access to most of the city’s best attractions and scenaries. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll also notice lots of interesting sculptures dotted along the way.

Above: A stretch of 'galeria-style' buildings with enclosed glass balconies facing the marina.

The most iconic landmark of La Coruña city has got to be the lighthouse referred to as the Tower of Hercules. Built to warn ships approaching the rugged coastline from the North Atlantic Ocean, this lighthouse of Roman origins is known to exist and been in use since the late 1st century. Possibly the oldest lighthouse in the world, the Tower of Hercules is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Not far from the Tower of Hercules is a Sculpture Park that is well worth a visit.

Above: The Tower of Hercules lighthouse.

Above: A monument dedicated to those who perished during the Franco dictatorship.

Above: These are not ancient monoliths erected by pre-historic people. It's a set of sculptures known as 'Family of Menhires'. The two tallest stones are the father and mother, while the rest represent the children. Each stone is strategically placed and has an opening through which the Tower of Hercules, the sea or the setting sun can be seen.

Above: Try getting lost in this maze...that is if you have time to spare.

Above: The 16th century Castle of Saint Anton, a fortress built to watch over the harbour. Today it houses the city's Archaeological Museum.

Above: The Tower of Hercules from afar.

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