A good option if you’re fond of reading is a literary sightseeing tour of Vigo. A protagonist in unique books, Vigo is present in the texts of some of the most important writers of Galicia, Spain and the world. From the classics like Jules Verne to the latest best sellers by Domingo Villar, translated into several languages, or the work of Otero Pedrayo and Álvaro Cunqueiro, Vigo has been the literary scenario of intrigue, pirate legends and police adventures.
When you visit the city, take the opportunity to get your hands on one of these great books that take place in Vigo, jewels of travel literature or simply set in the city, and find the literary references while walking around town.
The writer that universalized Vigo was Frenchman Jules Verne (Nantes, 1828 - Amiens, 1905), who set a scene from one of his most famous works, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, in Vigo. In his novel, the Vigo estuary hid fabulous treasures that sunk during the Battle of Rande:
"Well, Professor Aronnax," Captain Nemo answered me, "we're actually in that Bay of Vigo, and all that's left is for you to probe the mysteries of the place."
“Around the Nautilus for a half-mile radius, the waters seemed saturated with electric light. The sandy bottom was clear and bright. Dressed in diving suits, crewmen were busy clearing away half-rotted barrels and disemboweled trunks in the midst of the dingy hulks of ships. Out of these trunks and kegs spilled ingots of gold and silver, cascades of jewels, pieces of eight. The sand was heaped with them. Then, laden with these valuable spoils, the men returned to the Nautilus, dropped off their burdens inside, and went to resume this inexhaustible fishing for silver and gold.”
Ramón Otero Pedrayo (Ourense, 1888-1976), one of the leading figures in Galician culture and a member of the Xeración Nós (The We Generation), also had his vision of the city:
"The Vigo estuary, not profusely articulated with breasts and tributary valleys like the one in Arosa, offers an outline of beauty incremented by a double oval: Vigo itself and Redondela".
And Eduardo Blanco Amor (Ourense 1897-Vigo 1979), another of our most beloved galician writers, described the city in the following way:
"Vigo places the necklaces of light on its avenues parallel to the sea. After a single stroke, our memory makes a quick inventory of everything. In the background the Arenal Cove and A Guía Mountain with its white chapel. Facing us, the city under O Castro fort, barely etched by the last light of twilight. Far away is Bouzas, industrious and rich".
The unequalled Álvaro Cunqueiro, (Mondoñedo, 1911 - Vigo, 1981), whose work cover all genres, from poetry to cooking books, fiction and drama, captured Vigo’s entrepeneurial character like no other:
"A city is half mythology (that is, in spirit) and half geography. Cities rush one day, stop and turn back the other. In some, like in Vigo, it seems that suddenly a lot of sap accumulated and the city begins to grow powerful branches.”
All these authors speak of Vigo mostly in books that were also published in Vigo, because this city is the publishing capital of Galicia.
What are you waiting for to dive into literary Vigo and write a few of your own pages?
Vigo has been celebrating its book fair for four decades and it takes place in late June and early July, in Praza de Compostela Square. And just afterwards, in late July, the same place hosts the Antique and Used Book Fair. We recommend you take a look if you’re in Vigo on those dates.
Ferias del libro en Vigo
Pza. de Compostela
Telephone number:010 (Servicio de Atención Ciudadana)