Ferrol (pronounced “fair-ROLE” [feˈrol]) doesn’t have the best reputation among Galicians, as it’s kind of the black sheep of the region; many folks call this place “ugly” and say “it doesn’t have anything to see.” Of course, I was told the same thing about Almería on the Mediterranean coast and ended up really enjoying the city when I daytripped there three years ago.
Still, there’s a lot about Ferrol that makes it, uh, different from the rest of Galicia.
Dictator Francisco Franco’s birthplace
|Casa Natal de Franco|
Ironically enough, Ferrol also happens to be the birthplace of the 19th-century Spanish politician Pablo Iglesias, who belonged to the complete opposite side of the political spectrum; he founded the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party—PSOE—which endures today as the country’s major center-left party.
Nobody speaks Galician here
|Good Friday processions|
A gridded old town
In Ferrol, it was a little jarring to see the charming granite houses with glassed-in balconies that you typically see in medieval town centers with winding streets…but on straight, wide city streets instead. The six parallel streets of the Magdalena neighborhood constitute the only gridded development in Spain from the 1700s, and they were also the scene of almost all of the Good Friday pasos or religious processions.
Charming Modernista homes…
|Two narrow homes|
…and general ugliness
|Bella la Virgen…but those apartments are ugly|
Ferrol Mola—the “Ferrol is Cool” campaign
Have you ever been to a city with a bad reputation before? Did it meet those expectations or surprise you? Share your experiences below in the discussion!
For more pictures, check out my album on Flickr.