Hercules Tower Surroundings in depth

The Tower of Hercules is the undisputed symbol of the city of A Coruña, in the north of Galicia. And it is not for less if, in addition to its spectacular surroundings and beauty, we take into account that it is the only active Roman lighthouse in the world.

But around it, next to the cliffs, 47 hectares of an exceptional green space extend through which paths and sculptures follow one another. The Sculpture Park of the Tower of Hercules is a must-see in Coruña. We give you the keys to know it.

Sculpture Park of the Tower of Hercules

The surface of the Sculpture Park of the Tower of Hercules runs through the entire peninsula of the Tower, the Punta Herminia, O Acoroado and the Cabal de Pradeira. It is a space that you will easily reach by following the A Coruña promenade or by taking one of the many buses that take you to this point. Whoever goes in their own vehicle has no problem either, as there is a huge parking.

To get to know this place you can follow the routes set up for it, of low difficulty and with explanatory panels, so that you will not miss any of the artistic works, in addition to visit the Tower of Hercules. With regard to the sculptures, there are three well differentiated themes: mythological, historical and nautical or maritime.

The first of the sculptures that you will see when you approach its central area, before starting to walk the trails, will be Caronte, by Ramón Conde, in relation to the boatman of the Styx lagoon, which Hercules had to cross in one of his legendary works .

Tower Route

The Torre Route only adds up to a kilometer of travel, so it is perfect for everyone. The path continues along the coastline in a circular way, skirting the Tower of Hercules. It begins at the beginning of the access ramp to this, in the sculpture of Breogán, the Celtic warrior who, according to legend, founded the city of A Coruña. If you continue to the left, you will find the Pentacephalic Menhir, a totemic structure made of bronze, and you will skirt the cliffs at the foot of the lighthouse before returning to the starting point.

Take the opportunity to go up to the Tower of Hercules, visit its interpretation center and, if you dare, climb its many stairs to contemplate incredible panoramic views of the city. If you have little time, this route is the best option.

Punta Herminia Route

The next route is also circular and starts from the statue of Breogán to go through part of the sculpture park to the right of the Tower of Hercules. It is the Punta Herminia Route, a 2-kilometer route that leads to one of the most emblematic artistic works of this environment: the Caracola.

La Caracola, by Moncho Amigo, recreates the large shells of mollusks as if it were a horn of plenty. It is made of steel, very close to the end of Punta Herminia, so on rainy days it is usually incredible to admire it with the waves crashing against the rocks.

Away from the cliffs, you will also see the Copa do Sol, by Pepe Galán, alluding to the glass that Hercules needed in another of his jobs. In Punta Herminia there are also petroglyphs in Pedra do Altar and Pedra do Compás, in the so-called Monte dos Bicos.

Menhirs Route

Among the three possible routes, the Menhirs Route is the most complete and the most recommended to do if you have enough time. There are 4 kilometers of circular route throughout the park. It starts at the Breogán statue and proceeds along the left side of the Tower. A few meters away is Guitarra, a work by Pablo Serrano in steel, and the only one that is related to the music in the environment. The next is Combat between Hercules and Gerión, by Xosé Espona, and Ártabros, by Arturo Andrade, a sculptural group formed by three figures on a pedestal that represent a sailor, a warrior and a woman.

From here you can go down to a cove at the foot of the Tower or follow the path around it that will allow you to see the steel sculptures Guardians, by Soledad Penalta, and the Rose of the Winds, the unmistakable circular mosaic by Javier Correa, on the cliffs, at the foot of the lighthouse, 25 meters in diameter.

The path connects with the Punta Herminia Route, so it also leads to the Caracola and the Copa do Sol, but continues to move away towards the other points of the park, following the coastline. The first statue in this section is The Stone Ship, by Gonzalo Viana, which represents Hercules on the ship of the Argonauts.

Menhirs Family

The famous Menhirs of Manolo Paz are the next stop on this third route that gives its name to the Menhires Route. It is one of the most photographed sculptural ensembles in the park and is made up of a dozen menhirs representing parents and children, hence the name Family of Menhirs. Against the sea, in the Cabal of Pradeira, is located the place where the Muslim cemetery was, built to bury the Moroccan soldiers who participated in the Civil War, and which has been converted into the House of Words.

A few meters away, in the Campo da Rata, stands the Monument to the Executed, by Isaac Díaz Pardo. On its stones you can read inscribed a poem by García Lorca, as well as the names of those who were shot in this same place during the Franco dictatorship. From here, the route continues along the promenade until it reaches the starting point.

Tower of Hercules

Without a doubt, the Tower of Hercules is the main point of interest of the park, so do not hesitate to visit it, whether you do the routes or not. It is imposed on the environment with its 55 meters high, and you can see it from any point. There are two more sculptures that you can admire a few meters from it: Ara Solis, by Silveiro Rivas, and the Hydra de Lerna, by Fidel Goás.

Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2009, it is best to first enter the interesting Visitor Service and Interpretation Center (CIAV) of the Tower of Hercules before going to discover it.