The Tower of Hercules is a legend and symbol of A Coruña

Galicia, land of legends and landscapes that make you fall in love, is home to one of the most emblematic architectural treasures in Spain: the Tower of Hercules. Located in the city of A Coruña, this imposing structure is a silent witness to centuries of history and mystery. Due to its magnificence as a Roman lighthouse, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2009.

Tower of Hercules
Tower of Hercules – Image from Wikipedia
Origin and legend of the Tower of Hercules

It stands majestically at the tip of the peninsula of the city of A Coruña. It is part of the heritage of the Galicia region, northwest of Spain. Its origin dates back to Roman times, when it was built at the end of the 1st century AD by order of Emperor Trajan. However, its story has an aura of legend.

The most famous story links the tower to the mythological hero Hercules, who, according to legend, built it as part of his legendary twelve tasks. Legend has it that Hercules defeated the giant Geryon in the nearby city of Brigantium. He later erected the tower as a memorial to his victory.

According to the writings, the giant Geryon spread terror among the people of a region. Hercules, son of Zeus, upon finding out, bravely set out to confront him and free the people.

The battle lasted three days and three nights, culminating in the beheading of the giant by Hercules, thus ending his reign of terror. In honor of this feat, Hercules ordered the construction of a tower where he buried the giant's head.

The Tower of Hercules, an emblematic symbol, commemorates this legendary event to this day. It is also said that Hercules fell in love with a local woman called Crunia, whose name evolved over time until it became A Coruña, the current city we know.

This mythical story not only gives rise to an imposing monument, but also lays the foundations of a modern Spanish city, fusing myth and reality in a fascinating narrative.

Imposing architecture and features

The Tower of Hercules is an impressive 55 meter high lighthouse, making it one of the oldest operating lighthouses in the world. Furthermore, it is the only one of Roman origin that continues to fulfill its original function.

Its structure consists of three main sections: the Roman base and the Renaissance-style central body are original. The upper part was added in the 18th century, in one of its many restorations over the centuries.

Today, its flashlight emits flashes of light that guide sailors in the darkness of the Atlantic Ocean, keeping its original function alive.

They declared it a World Heritage Site

In recognition of its historical and architectural importance, the Tower of Hercules was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2009. This distinction highlights its value as a unique monument that represents the skill and grandeur of Roman engineering, as well as its continuing role in maritime navigation. Besides, It boosts tourism in the region, attracting visitors from all over the world who want to discover this historical wonder.

The Tower of Hercules in Galicia is much more than a simple lighthouse; It is a symbol of the historical and cultural greatness of the region. Its history rich in myths and legends, its impressive architecture and its international recognition make it an unmissable destination for all those who wish to immerse themselves in the past and beauty of Spain.

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