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Ship Provisions Ports in Spain and Portugal – During the Hundred Years’ War, El Ferrol Harbour played a crucial role as a strategic and secure harbor. It aligned itself with the House of Trastamara in the Castilian Civil War.

Based on the 2021 census data, the city’s population stands at 64,785, positioning it as the seventh most populous settlement in Galicia. Situated between Eume to the south and Ortegal to the north, Ferrol constitutes the comarca of Ferrolterra. Additionally, when combined with A Coruña, it forms the second largest conurbation in Galicia, boasting a total population of 640,000 as of 2016.

Throughout its history, the city has served as a prominent naval shipbuilding hub, holding the title of the capital of the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Department of the North since the era of the early Bourbons. In the 17th century, Ferrol boasted the largest arsenal in Europe. Presently, the city is home to several significant shipbuilding yards operated by the Navantia Group.

The El Ferrol Harbour in Europe stands unparalleled in terms of depth, capacity, and safety. It boasts a remarkably narrow entrance, fortified by imposing forts, and can even be sealed off by a boom if necessary.

Ferrol, born in 1892, served as the birthplace of the dictator Francisco Franco. From September 1938 to December 1982, the municipality was officially known as “El Ferrol del Caudillo” in his honor. Additionally, Ferrol holds significance as the birthplace of Pablo Iglesias, the founder of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), who was born in 1850.

El Ferrol Harbour is considered the ideal starting point for pilgrims embarking on the English Way of the Camino de Santiago, as it meets the modern requirement of traveling 100 km by foot for official recognition.

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El Ferrol‘s estuary boasts an extensive and distinctive waterway, adorned with two magnificent fortresses on either side. These fortifications were once utilized to impede the progress of enemy ships engaged in conflict with the Spanish Navy. Navigating through these waters offers a rare opportunity to witness the harmonious blend of lush green mountains and the vast expanse of the azure sea, a sight seldom found elsewhere in the world.

El Ferrol Harbour is a versatile port that offers natural protection and handles various types of cargo, such as passengers, dry bulk, liquid bulk (including LNG), Ro-Ro ships, and breakbulk. Apart from its cargo-handling berths, the provisions port also features shipyard facilities, a military base, and marinas for recreational boats. The El Ferrol Harbour is divided into three main areas: Puerto Interior, Mugardos, and Puerto Exterior.

History of El Ferrol Harbour

History of El Ferrol Harbour - LIMANi Ship Provisions Port Spain Portugal

El Ferrol Harbour, Spain, situated in the province of A Coruña in the autonomous community of Galicia, is a coastal city renowned for its shipbuilding legacy that dates back to the 16th century. Nestled on the Ferrol estuary, a vast inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, Ferrol boasts a captivating blend of historical landmarks and natural beauty.

Notable among its attractions is the Castillo de San Felipe, a 16th-century fortress commissioned by Philip II of Spain. Moreover, Ferrol’s picturesque beaches allure tourists from around the globe. The city also houses the Museo de Ferrol, a cultural treasure trove exhibiting artifacts from its illustrious past. With its vibrant ambiance and rich cultural heritage, El Ferrol Harbour stands as an ideal destination for those seeking to delve into the captivating history and culture of Spain.

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Provisions El Ferrol Harbour initially served as a fishing port, but it was Philip V who saw its potential strategic importance and decided to establish the arsenal in A Graña and the shipyards. This move allowed El Ferrol Harbour to become a key player in Spain’s maritime affairs in the North Atlantic, countering threats from England.

The A Magdalena district was established by naval engineers, showcasing a geometric design reminiscent of the Enlightenment era. This urban planning initiative resulted in a city that would see its population grow to 20,000 by the close of the 18th century.

The British fleet landed on Doniños beach in 1800 during the Brion Battle with the aim of capturing Port of El Ferrol Harbour and dismantling the shipyards. However, the local forces reacted promptly, leading to the English forces retreating.

In the 19th century, King Ferdinand VII relocated all naval units to Cádiz, resulting in El Ferrol Harbour being devoid of military activity or industry. Subsequently, the Marquis de Molíns spearheaded a naval rearmament initiative that revitalized Ferrol’s shipyards. On October 13th, 1858, a Royal Decree bestowed upon El Ferrol Harbour the status of a city, marking the first official visit by Isabella II of Spain. That same year, El Ferrol Harbour witnessed the launch of Spain’s inaugural steamship, paving the way for the introduction of the first iron-hulled vessel in 1881.

In 1909, a private company called the Spanish Society of Shipbuilding, in collaboration with English investors, leased the shipyards and a portion of the arsenals. This partnership facilitated the transfer of advanced technology. Over the course of the 1910s and 1920s, El Ferrol Harbour underwent a significant modernization process. It embraced electrification, established a reliable drinking water and sewerage system, and implemented various other improvements. The city also enhanced its transportation infrastructure with the introduction of railways, electric trams, and a thriving commercial port. By 1930, Ferrol’s population had grown to 35,000 inhabitants, solidifying its position as the third most important city in Galicia.

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Throughout the Spanish Civil War, El Ferrol Harbour emerged as a key hub for ship construction, repairs, and ship supply in Franco’s Spain. Following the war, government support played a significant role in revitalizing the naval industry in Ferrol, leading to the employment of 20,000 workers. By 1950, the population of El Ferrol Harbour had grown to 77,000 residents.

El Ferrol Harbour is currently facing the repercussions of the economic depression of the 1980s due to the naval crisis, decreased military presence, and the 2008 financial crisis. Despite these challenges, key infrastructure projects such as the AP-9, Ferrol-Villalba highway, outer port road, and Caneliñas port have been finalized. The city is witnessing the beginnings of industrial diversification with investments from various sectors like textiles, wind energy, plastics, chemicals, iron and steel, and the growing tourism industry. Moreover, El Ferrol Harbour has a history of maintaining low crime rates.

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