Ferrol - Urban History
San Carlos Bastion, on Ferrol's city walls (2003)

In 1762 the British took Havana, demonstrating that no naval base could be considered impregnable if it were not defended by land. Ferrol's city walls were designed by Sergeant Major Sánchez Aguilera, and were erected in 1769-74. From a military point of view their poor construction made them useless, and they were unable to halt the advance of Napoleon's troops in 1809; but they were a valuable aid in the collection of local taxes on food and drinks. They were an omnipresent reminder of the military jurisdiction, strangled urban growth, and ended up as a source of bitter dispute with the council authorities, which called for their demolition.

Photograph by the author