Puerto Real is a seaport in Andalusia (Spain), in the province of Cádiz. It is now a beach resort, a local agricultural center, and the site of light industries and shipyards. Puerto Real has the remains of both prehistoric and Roman settlements that testify to the fact that the land on which the modern city is built has been inhabited for a very long time. Puerto Real is a city whose economy is based almost exclusively on the industry.
Although the city was founded in 1483 by the Catholic Monarchs, the real history of Puerto Real begins in pre-Roman antiquity. The Spanish monarchs decided to build a new “imperial” port city on this site because they wanted to personally engage in the lucrative trade that was developing with North Africa. Powerful nobles already dominated all other ports in western Andalusia (Cádiz, Huelva).
In the process of besieging Cádiz, the French succeeded in destroying a large part of Puerto Real, including its water distribution and sanitation systems. Perhaps it was because of these events that Puerto Real was regularly plagued by epidemics for much of the 19th century.
At the end of the 19th century, Puerto Real experienced an industrial boom due to the construction of modern shipyards by Antonio López (Spanish Businessman). New technological advances and new industries substantially modified the appearance of Puerto Real.
Since the time of the transition from the dictatorship under Francisco Franco Bahamonde (Spanish general) to democracy and a constitutional monarchy form of government, Puerto Real has remained to the left of the political spectrum.
The Anarcho-syndicalist union C.N.T. has helped form mass gatherings after a dispute between shipyard workers and their owners. Since then, legislatures have focused on issues such as health, economic issues, taxes, environmental and cultural protection. This method has been praised as a method of anarchist community organizing. Community organizing is a process in which people who live close to each other or share some common problem, come together in an organization that serves their common interests.
Lacking fine beaches, Puerto Real has turned its attention inland. For that reason, the city’s efforts at tourism promotion mainly emphasize “rural tourism” activities, like horseback riding, golf, hiking, bicycling, and nature sightseeing. The local countryside has become a major asset, and now Puerto Real builds hiking paths and golf courses instead of sea-going tankers. Local companies are involved in off-shore dredging. Also, a Puerto Real concern has built one of the largest off-shore natural-gas drilling platforms in the world.