To see why sailors once nicknamed A Coruña la ciudad de cristal (the glass city), stroll the Paseo Marítimo, said to be the longest seaside promenade in Europe. Although the congregation of boats is charming, the real sight is across the street: a long, gracefully curved row of houses. Built by fishermen in the 18th century, they face away from the sea—at the end of a long day, these men were tired of looking at the water. Nets were hung from the porches
to dry, and fish was sold on the street below. When Galicia's first glass factory opened nearby, someone thought to enclose these porches in glass, like the latticed stern galleries of oceangoing galleons, to keep wind and rain at bay. The resulting emblematic glass galleries spread across the harbor and eventually throughout Galicia.
A Coruña, 15001, Spain