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island history

Toralla Island is a small island located in the Ria de Vigo, separated from the mainland by a distance of 500 meters. It belongs to the municipality of Vigo and is close to the parishes of Corujo and Oia.

Has an approximate area of 45,000 m2 of private property and 24 400 m2 of land concession granted in the public domain to the Vigo University.

It has two small beaches at the end of the bridge that connects it to ground, one on each side of the bracket of it and immediately upstream of the island.
A high tide has a width of approximately 20 meters and a length of 80 and 120m respectively.

Opposite the island and the beginning of the bridge is to the left of the one of the most beautiful beaches of the Ria de Vigo, Bao O Beach and right on Forest Park Toralla (Mirambell Farm) where under the direction of the Vigo University it created a museum of Roman villa, public display and a huge interest to others with 100 archaeological sites exemplify the importance that the city of Vigo in Roman times.

In the history of the island, covered the following chapters:



We want to thank to D. Lalo Vázquez Gil, Official Chronicler of the Vigo city for his collaboration to let us know the origins of the island.

All south of the Vigo estuary was from the beginning of an exceptional historical facts as evidenced by the large number of archaeological sites whose pieces are preserved in various museums, and hence, also valuable petroglyphs studied by eminent scholars and their forts, situated in the hills near the sea in which they developed the first population groups.

One was the island Toralla, an important fort at an altitude of 18 meters and a crown of 7 meters east-west axis and 30 m. North-South axis. He was surrounded by a wall of 2-3 meters thick and 1 m high. In the circular dwellings excavated in several campaigns, was there evidence of Indian pottery and amphorae.

We must consider that at that time there were many expeditions of Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians who toured our river in search of "cassiterite," necessary to produce tin-bronze and on record are the names of the expedition, before the romanization. Many names of places today have their origin in which used, for first time visitors, with the logical place names pointing variations.

The Toralla is the name that corresponds to the coastal zone - although it is losing - and the island, which puts everyone in front of the "of" and say island "of Toralla." But no: "Toralla Island" is his name and is perfectly in the "Map of the Vigo Estuary", by Mateu lithography in Montera Street, number 53 of Madrid, for the book of Nicholas Taboada Leal, Prime Vigo-official chronicler, "topographical-historical description of the city of Vigo estuary and its environs", published in 1840.

"Toralla" seems to come from "tor" and their origin is unclear but its meaning: "mountain" could get through Latin, Iberian or, perhaps, have Celtic base. Professor and toponymic Mr. Sacau think, eclectically, which "Toralla" reflects a basic structure Celtic Latin woman, "tor" and the Latin suffix "alia", simplification of land: "toralia" field in the form of a small knoll. And then adds a number of place names that mean elevation: "Turido (Alcabre)," Toural (Teis), "Tour" (Navia), "Tourón (Oia)," Torroña "(Santa Maria de Oia) etc.

Has not been able to locate documents that prove, for sure, who really belonged the island before the nineteenth century, which is nothing strange for the series of struggles-constant-with the usual depredations of the conquerors. Although some historians are inclined to the Bishopric of Celanova, there are documents in the archives of the Cathedral of Tuy, who allegedly attest that the island was owned by the Bishop of Tuy, and more specifically, the Monastery of Coruxo.

In the history of the Bishop of Tuy and property of Avila and de la Cueva and Chapter XXXV, dedicated to the islands, appears as No. 6 Island Toralla, which he describes as situated opposite the parish of San Salvador of Corujo and San Miguel de Oya. This is a manuscript of that there is a single copy which is preserved in the Pontevedra Museum. No doubt, in any event, they were property of the church.

At the advent of Juan Alvarez Mendizabal, financial and political, Jewish and liberal, the Presidency of the Government in 1835, one of his first legislative provisions were deleted, by decree, most religious orders, and in 1836, the public auction the property of monasteries and nunneries.

Following the " Disentailment ", the island was acquired by D. Toralla Francisco Javier Martínez Enríquez, Marqués de Valladares.

The first registration dates back to July 4, 1895, in which D. Lameiro Sarachaga Henry, owner of the island on that date, notes the purchase of the same to Mrs. María Dolores Martínez Elduayen, niece and heiress of the Marquis de Valladares, by deed dated April 30, 1892. In the deed of sale is expressly referred to as ownership of the seller, a testament to the Marquis gave his behalf before the Notary of Vigo D. Severo Gonzalez, February 10, 1888.

Earlier in the year 1882, D. Enrique Enrique Lameiro Sarachaga and Davina had leased part of the island to build a factory for salting. (Three decades ago, could see some slabs with gutters, paving used temporarily for some work, "that many visitors accounted for castrexo times.)

The island was sold by Mr. Lameiro Sarachaga to D. Martin de Echegaray Olañeta, "an Indian who became rich from Argentina," the October 4, 1910, as stated in the deed executed before Notary of Vigo, D. Casimiro Veil Vine and entered his name in the Property Register, dated June 16, 1911.

Mr. Martin, the August 11, 1911, invited to tour with meal on a small island, a select group of prominent citizens, among whom was born an idea and proposed that in future it would be one of the most important achievements for Vigo: creating a society that come true the installation of the tram, which began operating three years after that lunch, "traditional rite to start up, always good business," the August 10, 1914.

On October 21, 1965, by deed executed before Notary Vigo D. Casal Alberto Rivas, the heirs of D. Martin Echegaray Olañeta formalize the sale of the island to the couple formed by José Manuel Fernandez and Ms. Kowalski Peyron Mercedes Díez de Guemes, to the conjugal partnership of gains. It falls within the Land Registry on behalf of both the January 27, 1966. The purchase of the island was an extremely laborious job for four years were used to locate the heirs of more than twenty-six D. Martin Echegaray resident in Spain, Argentina, Mexico, France and the United States.


On December 16, 1965, by deed of Vigo Notary Mr. Alberto Casal Rivas, Mr José Manuel Kowalski and brothers Mr. Guillermo and Mr. Ramiro Vasquez Lorenzo, are the trading company Toralla, Corp. contributing to society M. Kowalski Toralla Island, in return for 100 shares. Figure this entry in the Property Register dated September 27, 1966.

The company called Toralla Incorporated aims to acquire, hold and conduct of real estate on the Isle of Toralla, Canido-Vigo, including in the same building and operating under the administrative concession, tolls or any other procedure, bridges, roads and resorts, sports or recreo.De accordance with its corporate purpose Toralla, SA performs the following real estate project:
  • Build a bridge from the beach of "O Bao" to the island, after obtaining the corresponding administrative concession for 99 years.

  • Get 3 administrative concessions for works of defense against the sea and services.

  • With all the local permits in place a development rule giving rise to two distinct types of buildings. On one side was built on a rocky promontory of the island a unique building, called Tower Toralla "with capacity for 136 homes of a surface between 47 and 113 m2 each, whose project is the work of the great architect Vigo Xosé Bar Boo, not yet reached complete, important differences of opinion with the promoters. On the other hand single-family parcels are divided by 34 which together are currently 170 homes on the island, with an estimated total population of 800 inhabitants.
In addition to the buildings have been maintained and even increased on the existing large areas of woodland and gardens, thus responding to an agreement with the Vigo municipal government.

It also built two sewage treatment plants on both communities on the island, these actions can be considered as pioneers in the field of influence of the Ria de Vigo.

The soil of the island is included in the General Urban Plan of Vigo with the Urban Land rating buildable.


The initial Board of Directors of Toralla, SA tried to build another building, called Park Building ", consisting of basement, under-nine plants with capacity of 85 dwellings, with a length of 120 meters and around the park behind the island.

The Municipal Standing Committee of HE. Vigo City Council meetings of February 18 and June 3, 1975 denied the license to build up the " Building Park" arguing among other criteria that the building would have increased the density of population of the island until a figure inconsistent with adequate protection habitat and environment, and due to its extension in length, would have been an unacceptable visual barrier.

This leads to a confrontation between the parties that lasts three years and the previous Board of Toralla, SA obtained a Supreme Court decision dated May 3, 1978 authorizing Toralla, SA and the possible construction of "Building Park" but three heights (the grade level of the trees), thereby prolonging the attempt to carry out the construction.

The two communities of owners, El Castro de Toralla and Toralla Tower, also facing the initial Board of Toralla, SA decided unanimously at meetings held in the month of August 1984 to acquire the shares of Toralla, SA promoter urbanization and head of maritime and land concessions on the island and through this major economic effort, to change the Board of Directors of that company and definitely avoid the possibility of any other building on the island as contained in the original draft urbanization of the island was adopted October 10, 1968 by the Provincial Commission for Architecture and Urbanism.

The current Board of Directors of Toralla, Corp. Corp (a company which does not belong and none of the existing shareholders) was aware at the time of purchase of the Company (August 1984) that assumed an important rejection and a bad image caused by the existence of a building 70 meters high and the impossibility of access to small public beaches across the bridge, then private.

Based on the foregoing and in order, as far as possible, offering a public service on the island and improve the bad image that drew the following decisions were taken, some of which have been a major financial outlay for inhabitants of the island, almost all owners Toralla shareholders, SA:

1.- Knowing Toralla Board of SA the impossibility of the Vigo University to find a location near the sea to build a Marine Science Station, calling for a major grant from ERDF, it was decided to contact University and invite them to settle on the island, giving all the facilities and support for using roads, private land, and infrastructure of various services (water, electricity, sanitation, telephone, etc.) as well as collaborate with the Provincial Costs for Reversal sign the minutes of all concessions on the island, concessions almost entirely (24 400 m2, about one third of the island) gets the Vigo University, Ministry of Environment.

2.- To allow the installation of the Marine Science Station, Vigo University, Toralla, Corp. took over at its own expense the reconstruction project of the first phase of the pier, and the total cost of this phase by an amount of 360,000 euros and without which there would have been able to build the station.

3.- Signature in December 1997 with the State Society of Maritime Safety Agency (SASEMAR) a contract of cession, with a duration of 15 years and renewable, to install on the roof of Tower 1 200 m2, all kinds antennas and ancillary equipment to facilitate communications system coverage of Local Center Maritime of Coordination of Rescue , and use a room-basement of the building to locate an emergency generator that can provide power to equipment and accessories listed ducts leverage existing wiring in the building for the laying of wiring local-basement to the roof.

By Ministerial Decree of June 21, 1990 the Ministry of the Environment reviewed the grant given to Toralla Bridge, SA retaining the exclusive use of it, is compatible with public use which allowed thereafter access pedestrian at two public beaches on the island, so that today, one third of the island is public as part of the Vigo University administrative concession from the Ministry of Environment, dated January 2004 and the bridge allows pedestrian access to the beach.







The bridge during the day is often used for walking and fishing and in the summertime, is full of swimmers who are directed to both beaches, radically changes the evening, making it a big stage for fishing, which practiced many different people for the amount of mackerel, cuttlefish, squid, needles and other fish species, but which require close monitoring to vessels transiting under the bridge, where fishing is conducted during the day.

Moreover, since several years the youngest on the bridge found a consistently dangerous enough entertainment to hit the water from the railing of it and swim back to the beach at O Bao, activity since the summer of 2009 has forbidden by the Vigo City Council, installing signal paths to the input.

Toralla, Corp. is still in charge of maintenance and cleaning of the bridge and in the summer of 2000 to the structural weaknesses caused by the deterioration of reinforced concrete parts caused by the action of the sea takes the total repair of the bridge at a cost of 59 million pesetas without posing any litigation to decide whether all or part of such compensation might fall within the Public Administration regarding the revision of the concession in June 1990.



One of the concerns of the inhabitants of the island has been protected from the storms, almost every year, take place during the autumn and winter, and only damage the vegetation and cut down trees, damage to be solved during the spring, but have also been, since 1975, breaking the protective breakwater had initially built the first owners of Toralla, Corp.

En las The photographs include some of the damage caused by some of the most important time for the years 1977, 1981, 1987 and 1996, although virtually every year for damage caused by them.

In 2006 and after reconstruction by the inhabitants of the island's breakwater protection in the most battered by the sea, were eliminated very important that these temporary damage caused, which enabled the construction of the station Marine Science (ECIMAT).

Photographs of the latest storm in February, 2011 show the force of the sea including within a protected bay like the Ría de Vigo.

At high tide and in the most protected part from said storm as is the Eastern zone of the island, the strong undercurrent destroyed the first twelve meters of the connecting jetty. As in 2010 the same happened with three less virulent storms than those in February 2011. The Vigo University had to carry out the necessary construction to elevate, as can be seen in the photographs the last twelve metres of the jetty so that it would never occur again. They also repaired the pavement between the protective breakwater and ECIMAT.