La Coruna Cruise Excursion for cruise travelers
La Coruna, Spain for Jewish Travelers
Meet your guide at the pier for 3.5 hours tour of La Coruna.
Situated beside the Atlantic Ocean, La Coruna is a historic city whose history has maintained close links with its old fishing and commercial port. The peninsula on which the Old City stands, also contains the Tower of Hercules, one of the symbols of the city, which is an interesting Romanesque collection of streets, squares and medieval churches. Although the origin of A Coruña could be in an old Celtic settlement, the history of the city began to be important in Roman times, when the port became a key point on sailing routes. A witness to this period is the Tower of Hercules, the only working Roman lighthouse and a real symbol of the city. Now declared a National Monument, it was built at the beginning of the 2nd century by order of the Emperor Trajan. There have been many refurbishments throughout history, the last of them in 1791, when Carlos III ordered the architect Giannini to restore and reface the tower. The harbor has always been the scene of some of the most important historical events in the city, like the defeat of the English privateer Francis Drake in 1589 thanks to the resistance of the people of Coruna, led by the heroine María Pita. The early medieval town is bounded by the Coruna peninsula. In its lively streets, good examples ofRomanesque architecture are preserved.
The City Hall is situated in the Plaza de María Pita, the nerve centre of the city. It is an elegant, monumental building built at the beginning of the 20th century, characterised by its porches and galleries and by three towers finished with attractive cupolas.
Very nearby is the Emilia Pardo Bazan Stately Home, an 18th century aristocratic house in which this Galician woman writer - an outstanding figure of nineteenth century Spanish literature - lived. Currently part of the building is occupied by the headquarters of the Galician Royal Academy. Another sight not to be missed in the centre of A Coruna is the San Carlos Garden, declared a Historic-Artistic site. The walls of the fortress of San Carlos, which dates from 1843, house this unusual space in which the Archive of the Kingdom of Galicia is based and whose centre is presided over by the tomb of Sir John Moore, a British general who died in 1809 during the battle of Elviña.
Surrounding the Old City is the coastal area, where A Coruña mixes the traditional and the modern. Beside the port in the Avenida de la Marina, are the typical houses with white glazed galleries (19thC), architectural elements making up one of the best known features of A Coruña and which earned it the name of 'Glass City'. The Castle of San Antón, at one end of the harbour area, was built at the end of the 16th century with a defensive character and later altered in the 18th. It currently houses the Provincial Archaeological Museum, which takes an interesting journey through Galician prehistory using various pieces of metalwork, objects and tools corresponding to the hill fort culture.
Even if fragments of tombstones found in Coruna show that Jews lived there in the 11th and 12th centuries, the Jewish community began to expand in the 15th century along with other centers in northern Castile as Jews moved there from the south. The Jews of Coruna engaged in maritime trade with Castilian and Aragonese ports. In 1451 the community contributed 300 gold pieces toward ransoming a Jew of Murcia who had been taken captive. A tax of 1,800 maravedis was collected from the community in Corunna and others in the vicinity in 1474 by Jacob Aben Nuñez.
One of the most beautiful illuminated Hebrew manuscripts in existence, the so-called Kennicott Bible in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, was completed in Coruna, for Isaac, son of Don Solomon de Braga, in 1486. In June 2007 La Coruna Jewish Community registered their Synagogue Ner Tamid which you will visit (subject to appointment confirmation).
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