Ferrol - Urban History
Walls and moat of La Palma Castle (2004)

In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, technological and geo-strategic changes gradually eliminated the advantages of the estuary as the site for a naval base, while its eighteenth-century fortresses became obsolete. In 1898 the Spanish fleet was annihilated in the Spanish-American War and the remnants of the colonial empire were lost. The citizens of Ferrol realized that any enemy fleet with battleships equipped with long-range artillery could easily bomb the city. The Castle of La Palma, set at the mouth of the estuary, was rebuilt in 1895 in an attempt to face up to this threat. The new facade, with walls and a moat, would prove to be useless against a conventional army: it seems more appropriate for fighting against an insurrection, like that which had taken place years before in the Dockyards.

Photograph by the author