The area is mostly mountainous, with several swift rivers, of which the Miño is the most important. Fishing, cattle and hog raising, and food processing are the main industries. An important naval base is at Ferrol and a petroleum refinery is at A Coruña. The region's mineral resources, chiefly iron and tin, were known to the Romans but are now little exploited. Much of the region's electricity is produced by wind farms.
Galicia was (5th–6th cent. AD) the center of the kingdom of the German Suevi. It was liberated (8th–9th cent.) from the Moors by the king of Asturias. Its people's strong spirit of independence was shown in the Middle Ages by the frequent rebellions of the feudal lords against the crown and again in the 19th cent. by the popular resistance to Napoleon I. The shrine of Santiago de Compostela, a center of culture in medieval times, remains a great place of pilgrimage. In the 19th cent., Galicia was the scene of a remarkable cultural and literary revival.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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