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Torre de Hércules
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View from the Torre de Hércules

A Coruña (Galician name, also known in English as Corunna; in Spanish as La Coruña) is a Galician city, in northwestern Spain at Template:Coor dms. It is the capital of A Coruña province.

Historical and modern A Coruña

As of the 2003 census, the population of the city of A Coruña was 243,902, and the population of the entire urban area was estimated in 2003 at 388,692 inhabitants. It is a busy port on the Atlantic Ocean and provides a distribution point for agricultural goods from the region. The industry of the whole province is based on shipyards, metalworks, oil refinery, glass and ceramic plants. It is also a centre for ocean-going fishing.

The city is the site of the Roman Torre de Hércules, which is now a lighthouse. The city is well-known for its characteristic glazed window balconies, called galerías.

During the Middle Ages, the city was an important port and center for manufacturing of textiles. In 1588, the Spanish Armada [1] (http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrolnaval1588/) sailed from the bay of the Naval Station of El Ferrol [2] (http://ferrol.historia.tripod.com/ferrolandcorrugna1788/) (Province of A Coruña). In 1598, the city was sacked by an English fleet under Francis Drake. In 1809, it was the site of battle during the Peninsular War in 16 January 1809, to cover embarkation of British troops after their retreating and in which Sir John Moore was killed. During the 19th century, the city was the centre of antimonarchist sentiment. See also: Battle of Corunna.

There have been various changes in the city's structure over the last few decades — it now shares some administrative functions and is less of a military centre. Companies have grown, especially in certain subsectors such as finance, communication, layout and sales, manufacturing, technical services and the port itself (the province ports are the largest in Europe in terms of fresh fish unloaded), with the increase in other port activities like crude oil and solid bulk, making up 75% of Galician port traffic.

The city has been relaunched over the last few years with better access, an improved cultural, sporting, leisure and scientific infrastructure, a better framework, the recovery of the shoreline and the strengthening of the tourist sector. All this has reaffirmed the city's existing character as a centre for administration, sales, port activities, culture and tourism.

The bay of the city was the site of a spectacular oil spill that caught fire, was captured on video, and subsequently made the rounds of reality-TV shows during the 90's. The effects of the spill can still be seen on the coastline.

The city has a football club in Spain's top division, Deportivo de La Coruña (note that the club name uses the Spanish spelling).

Etymology and linguistic issues

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City hall

The toponym derives from Caronium, the name of a Roman oppidum. At the time of Ferdinand II of Leon (12th century) the name Crunia appeared for the first time. The use of the article (La Crunia) is noted from 1262 onwards. At a later point, a vowel after the C reappeared and the ni cluster naturally evolved into the sound [[Palatal nasal|]], written nn, or abbreviated to ñ. This left the name as La Corunna. At this point the name Corunna entered English (with the Gallicized spelling Corrugna also appearing in the eighteenth century), although this name is now being forgotten, and tends to be replaced with the local names, which as noted above are La Coruña in Spanish and A Coruña in Galician. In Portuguese, the name is Corunha and this style of spelling (A Corunha) is sometimes used by Portugal-oriented Galicians. There is also a rare, archaic Galician form A Cruña.

As with other places in Spain since the end of Francoism, the issue of what to call the town in Spanish is a little controversial. The Galician version of the name is the official one, even in Spanish, and is the only one used by the Xunta de Galicia and the Spanish government. In a recent (2 November 2004) vote, the Town Council of A Coruña decided to go back to the Spanish name in Spanish texts, but it will take a separate vote to apply this change at higher administrative levels.

External links

es:La Coruña eo:Korunjo fr:La Corogne gl:A Coruña it:La Coruña mi:A Coruña pt:Corunha zh:拉科魯尼亞

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