Guide to Vigo, a coastal city in the Galicia region of Spain.

Cities of Galicia - Vigo

Vigo GaliciaVigo Galicia - Often called 'the Olive City', Vigo is the leading industrial city of Galicia, one of Europe's largest fishing ports, and comes as something of a shock in comparison to the rest of the region. Located in the province of Pontevedra, Vigo has a population of just under 300,000 (2007) and is the 14th largest metropolitan area in Spain.

Located in an attractive setting, close to the mouth of a deep ria which is spanned by a high suspension bridge, Vigo looks beautiful when approached from the sea, but never quite lives up to this first impression, and is mostly a modern industrial sprawl of urban development.

Originally built upon a Roman settlement and hill-fort, Vigo probably gets its name from the Latin word Vicus (meaning village). Little is known of Vigo before the 15th century, though the region suffered constant attacks by Vikings and Danes, during the 16th century it attracted the attention of English seaman Francis Drake, who raided the city and temporarily occupied it, burning numerous buildings in the process. Later attacked by a Turkish fleet, Vigo's city walls were constructed in 1656 to prevent further attacks, parts of these ancient fortifications still remain today.

Vigo grew considerably during the 19th and 20th centuries and now has a significant car manufacturing industry, shipyards and other industries. Spain's largest fishing port, Vigo is also considered to be the finest port in Galicia.

Vigo does not have a great deal in the way of historic buildings, though the old quarter of the city is a charming jumble of narrow streets and alleyways, worth exploring, also worth a look is the Santa Maria church built in 1816, some interesting art galleries around the Praza de Almeida, and the Castelo do Castro, which was part of the fortifications built by Felipe IV in the 17th century.

Vigo Fiestas - Fiestas and festivals in Vigo include the Reconquista (March), the Vigofolcelta (July), the Semana Grande (August) and the Fiesta of San Roque also in August.

Vigo is located on the Ria de Vigo, on the coastline of Galicia, just north of the border with Portugal, it can be accessed from the AP-9 (E-1) motorway, it has its own airport which is located about 9 kilometres from the city centre.

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