Vigo, Galicia » City Info » History

The name Vigo has its origin in the Latin word Vicus. Earlier the tiny village of Vigo was a part of the territory of neighbouring towns, mainly Tui and suffered several Viking attacks. Once the Pax Romana was established, it lasted almost six hundred years. Recent archaeological researches have indicated possible existence, at least between the 3rd and 6th Century AD.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the city was attacked several times by various emperors or pirates. In 1585 and 1589, Francis Drake raided the city and occupied it, leaving many buildings burnt. Several decades later, a Turkish fleet tried to attack the city. They built the walls of Vigo to protect the town from lootings during Philip IV's reign in 1656. By that time, A Laxe bastion and San Sebastian castle were built and the chapel of the same name.

In 1702 the Battle of Rande took place, and in 1719, because a Spanish fleet, which departed from Vigo, attempted to invade Scotland, the city was seized by an English fleet. In 1778 Charles III ended the monopoly of the authorised ports to trade with America, and Vigo started benefiting from it.

In the 19th Century, the French army conquered Vigo. However, the popular resistance resulted in the expulsion of the French military force. Due to this, people started recognising Vigo as a faithful, loyal and brave city.

Vigo developed rapidly during the 19th and 20th centuries, resulting in continuous urban planning changes, making Vigo less structured than other Galician towns.

The second half of the 19th Century was a growing period for Vigo. It increased its relationships with America. During this time, many salted meat and derivatives factories from sea products kept on opening, making wages increase and the rise of the bourgeoisie possible. Vigo expanded leaps and bounds, and now it is a famous tourist destination.

This large city is the main port of seafood in the world.