Ferrol (Galician pronunciation: [feˈrɔl]), sometimes in Spanish El Ferrol, is a city in the Province of A Coruña in Galicia, located on the Atlantic coast in north-western Spain. As of 2007, it has an urban population of 77,859 and a metropolitan area population of over 241,528.
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 birthplace of the founder of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), Pablo Iglesias, in 1850.
Toponym and etymology
The first historical mention of this settlement, then called Adobrica, is in the history of Pomponius Mela, a Roman historian who wrote in the year AD 43 detailing a description of thePortus Magnus Artabrorum, the “great port of the Artabri“. The current toponym Ferrol, though, can only be traced back to the Middle Ages; a document of 1087 instances sancto Iuliano de Ferrol, where Ferrol is probably the local evolution of the genitive form of the Latin name Ferreolus; Ferrol was probably, in origin, the estate of one Ferreolus. In 1982 the government of Spain adopted officially Ferrol in consonance with its long history and tradition.
Alternately. the origin of the name comes from the legend of a Breton saint, Ferreol, who arrived here on a ship, amid a chorus of seven siren. Another tradition says thatFerrol proceeds from farol, alluding to the heraldic figure that appears on the coat of arms of the city. However, according to experts, the origin of the arms of Ferrol goes back only to the eighteenth century, and there are also several variants used over time, without having been set in accordance with the applicable legislation since the 1990s. The combination of two words that can mean either ‘port – close’, ‘landing on pillars’ or a Ferreoli Domini, “the lord of Ferreol” veiled allusion to the town, which could have had a temple under the patronage of St. Ferreol.
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Tags: AD, El Ferrol, La Coruna, Middle Ages, Pomponius Mela, Spain