SAN FERNANDO, a seaport of southern Spain, in the province of Cadiz, on the Isla de Leon, a rocky island among the salt marshes which line the southern shore of Cadiz Bay. Pop. (1900), 29,635. San Fernando is one of the three principal naval ports of Spain; together with Ferrol and Cartagena it is governed by an admiral who has the distinctive title of captaingeneral. The town is connected with Cadiz (4^ m. N.W.) by a railway, and there is an electric tramway from the arsenal (in the suburb of La Carraca) to Cadiz. The principal buildings are government workshops for the navy, barracks, a naval academy, observatory, hospital, bull-ring and a handsome town hall. In the neighbourhood salt in largely produced and stone is quarried; the manufactures include spirits, beer, leather, esparto fabrics, soap, hats, sails and ropes; and there is a large iron-foundry.
San Fernando was probably a Carthaginian settlement. On a hill to the S. stood a temple dedicated to the Tyrian Hercules; to the E. is a Roman bridge, rebuilt in the 15th century after partial demolition by the Moors. The arsenal was founded in 1 790. During the Peninsular War the cortes met at San Fernando (1810), but the present name of the town dates only from 1813; it was previously known as Isla de Leon.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)