Ferrol is an important naval station, with one of the largest natural harbors in Spain. The entrance to the harbor is a narrow, fortified strait, through which only one ship at a time can pass. The city is the site of a naval wireless telegraphic station and a large naval arsenal, with a basin containing two dry docks, foundries, and workshops. Nearby is the La Graña submarine base. The industries in the city center around the construction and repair of the ships and docks. Originally a fishing village, El Ferrol was selected (1726) by Charles IV, king of Spain, as a suitable site for a naval station, and a few years later the shipbuilding yards were constructed. El Ferrol is the birthplace of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco (who was called El Caudillo). It was captured by Franco's army in 1936, soon after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.