Back in the year 1450, King Juan II allowed sufficient municipal taxes to be used to enable the building of the port of San Sebastian, citing the ever-growing transport of goods in the city. The construction of this new port would also determine the principal occupations of part of the population at that time: cod fishing and whaling.
So much so that by 1580 more than one hundred ships crowded the waters of La Concha Bay, preparing to set off on their yearly fishing and whaling expedition to Terranova. What an era! Wool, leather, raw mutton and beef, untreated animal pelts, lead, wine, olive oil, iron, dried fish and whale oil were all exported. Wax, copper, tin, cured leather and textiles were imported from places such as England, Flanders and Norway...
Later on, in the 18th century, thanks to the founding of the Royal Guipuzcoa to Caracas Navigating Company, the trade was mainly in cocoa, with the later addition of sarsaparilla, hides, tobacco, cotton and coffee.
The port was under the command of the military, until in 1863 the city rid itself of its classification as a fortified emplacement. This enabled the building of the houses which you can still see today all along the harbour, at the foot of Mount Urgull.
Over the years, as the fishing trade declined in importance in the port, most of it moved to the larger one in Pasajes just up the coast. Today, most of the moorings have been taken over by recreational vessels. Nonetheless, the area of the port next to the wholesale fish market is reserved for fishing boats, thanks to which the local gastronomy offers seafood of excellent freshness and flavour.
Lastly, I want to tell you that during the summer months, you can catch a ferry to the island of Santa Clara, or go on a boat trip in the catamaran "Cuidad de San Sebastian". A great way to enjoy a different view of the city.