Ferrol - Urban History
Guards' quarter on the Dockyards breakwater (2003)

The republican insurrection of Ferrol in 1872 was an indication of how political unrest had overtaken the capital cities of the three naval departments during the 'Democratic Sexenio', after the fall of the monarchy of Isabel II. Acting apart from the naval officers, but with the complicity of non-commissioned Navy officers, a handful of civilians and military men entered the Dockyards one night and managed to win the support of the 200 marines and 1,500 seamen based there, together with 200 of the 'maestranza' workers. They then lodged for a week in those installations which were filled with arms, artillery and warships, and were designed to be impregnable by land and sea. The aim was not a military victory, but instead to cause a domino effect in the rest of Spain, something that did not happen. Faced with the arrival of government troops, the rebels withdrew behind the Dockyards wall, and after a brief skirmish, they fled.

Photograph by the author