Ferrol - Urban History
Aerial view of Ferrol's Dockyards (c. 1920-30)

The prosperity of Ferrol was linked with that of its naval installations, and connected to the role of the Navy in Spanish politics. Shipbuilding underwent a process of expansion during the middle years of the reign of Isabel II (1850-60), in the first years of the Restoration (1880-90), in the years prior to the Great War, and during the Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. In any case, the reconstruction of the fleet was connected with policies of international prestige related to colonial ventures, either in Cuba (nineteenth century) or in Morocco (twentieth century). In contrast, the periods of recession were related to the failure of these experiences: the first half of the nineteenth century after Trafalgar, when the population of the city fell by more than half, to just 12,000 inhabitants, or the decade after the Spanish-American War.

Ferrol City Council, Postcard collection