flag of galicia
Population 2,800,000 (2002)
Area 11,400 square miles
Agriculture and fishing Fruits, grains, lobsters, mussels, a wide variety of fresh and salt water fish
Animals of the region Goats and cattle
Culture Although Julio Iglesias was born in Madrid, his father’s family is Galician and this heritage deeply influenced Iglesias’ songs including A Song to Galicia and Homesickness.
Capital and major cities Santiago de Compostela, Orense , Finisterre. La Coruña is the port from which the Spanish Armada sailed against England in 1588. In 1589, Sir Francis Drake attacked and nearly destroyed the port.
Folklore, legends, crafts The belief in the existence of “meigas” (witches) is a strongly rooted tradition, the city of Finisterre was named based on the belief that this area was the end of the world (in Latin, “finis terrae” means “end of the world”), crafts include wooden shoes, pottery, hats from Noya, lace from Camariñas, and ceramics and amulets made by the alms collectors of San Andres de Teixido from bread dough.
Foods and beverages
Sea bass, octopus, oysters, clams, barnacles, lobsters, sea spiders, and cockles; cheese and wine. “Torta de Santiago” is a cake decorated with the Cross of Santiago.
Spirits of the Region
Industry and products, past and present Linen, lace, soap, fish, livestock, wine; shipyards, metalworks, tobacco-processing factories, timber, basketry & straw hats, pottery, ceramics
Inventions, discoveries, and notable people Author Camilo José Cela won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1989, playwright Ramón del Valle Inclán, poet Rosalia de Castro, novelist Emilia Pardo Bazán
Musical instruments Bagpipes
Symbols of the region The pine tree is a national symbol, and Os Pinos (The Pine Trees) is the national hymn.
Tourist sites Surfing, hiking, and mountain climbing. Santiago de Compostela’s Cathedral is the reputed burial place of the apostle Saint James (“Santiago” is Spanish for Saint James).
Unique qualities Nearly-intact ancient granaries (grain storage megaliths) are wide-spread throughout the region. Galicia is known in Spain as the “land of the 1000 rivers”. Rivers cross all the region from the mountainous inland to the coast, where they form the characteristic “rias”.