Vegueta, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Around the Heart of the Royal Canaries


Plaza and Cathedral Santa Ana
The facade of the Cathedral of Santa Ana illuminated by soft light.
animated conversation
A group of friends talk together on a terrace in Vegueta.
street reading
Young man entertains himself reading in a plaza in Vegueta.
Colon's House
The Casa de Colón in the heart of Plaza de Santa Ana.
San Juan
The strict lines of the San Juan neighborhood, much more modern than Vegueta.
the couple from the ranch
A couple from the folklore ranch of San Juan.
Castle Street
The multi-toned street del Castillo, one of the most emblematic of the historic heart of Las Palmas.
Pedestrian and Statue
Passerby passes by a street statue of Vegueta.
Las Palmas from Alto de San Juan
The Cathedral of Santa Ana stands out high above the houses of Vegueta and the surrounding Las Palmas.
Santa Ana the Cathedral
The Cathedral of Santa Ana framed by another large door.
solitary walk
Passerby walks along a well-lit street in the south of the island of Gran Canaria.
Holy Spirit Fountain
The most refreshing corner of Calle del Castillo.
Las-palmas-gran-canaria-corner-vegueta
A corner with well-marked colonial architecture in the Vegueta neighborhood.
cubic houses
Very cubic colors and shapes of the San Juan neighborhood.
The Other Face of Sant Ana
Side view of the imposing Cathedral of Santa Ana, the symbol building of Vegueta.
Plaza del Espiritu Santo
Family enters the Praceta del Espiritu Santo, at the confluence with Calle del Castillo.
The old and majestic Vegueta de Las Palmas district stands out in the long and complex Hispanization of the Canaries. After a long period of noble expeditions, the final conquest of Gran Canaria and the remaining islands of the archipelago began there, under the command of the monarchs of Castile and Aragon.

After a whole day of walking and exploring the squares, streets and grid streets of the pioneer neighborhood of Las Palmas, we decided to ascend to the city's panoramic heights.

The orography of Las Palmas has never been lenient with residents of the much newer San José and San Juan neighborhoods. In such a way that, in 2012, the city authorities were moved and inaugurated an elevator that allowed them to bypass the steep climb.

The equipment proved to be short-lived. When we reach its base, the abandonment in which we find it dictates, without reservations, the resort to the alternative staircase.

Ascent to the Heights of San Juan, Las Palmas

We climbed as high as possible. We investigated the top floor corridor in hopes of getting an unobstructed view of the houses in Vegueta and surrounding Las Palmas. From there, we managed to frame them, albeit only one section, far from satisfying our photographic desires.

Some residents of homes near the elevator notice our restlessness. One of them decides to intervene. “But what are you looking for anyway? Looking down there? Ah, but this is much better from the top of the hill”.

We have faith in your more than credible information. Finally, calmly, we scanned the alley and the houses that filled the slope.

The Prodigal Family of Mr. Miguel de San Juan

One of the buildings, orange and improvised and impossible to catalogue, stood out from the rest. The same interlocutor notices the attention we pay him. “I designed and built almost everything. What do you think?"

Truth be told, we lacked the words to respond to you in a dignified way. Mr. Miguel, at the time eighty-seven, feels our astonishment. Choose to develop. “And you know what? It was the best I did. My wife and I have ten children, four girls and six boys.

Eventually they began to have children. When we noticed it, among children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we were forty-one living there. That building of ours has always been a true home sweet home.”

Of so many inhabitants of Mr. Miguel's family, one of his granddaughters soon appeared at the wheel of an aging car. He was going to take his grandfather to the service station he also owned. Upon learning of our demand, he told us to get into the car, which would take us to the top of the hill. So we do.

Minutes later, Mr. Miguel's granddaughter leaves us on the side of the road, which is untidy but, in fact, panoramic.

Folklore Ranch, San Juan, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

The Folklore Ranch at the Top of San Juan

Ahead, downwards, stretched a good part of the houses of Las Palmas, from the foot of the hill that supported us to the blue expanse of the Atlantic.

We were admiring the scenery when a couple in costumes that looked like folklore, traditional, made us look away. At that moment, a van stops. Seven more women leave, all dressed in the same style, two of them holding a kind of ukulele.

The appearance of that retinue leaves us intrigued. We question them to match. “We are from the folklore ranch of San Juan, we are on our way to a meeting in another town. We can take some pictures, of course. But it has to be fast. We're already a bit late!"

Folk ranch couple, San Juan, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

We dispatched a flash production as fast as we could, with the group's coloring compounded against the sky and sea blues. Soon, they get into the van that goes off.

We returned to contemplating the section of Las Palmas we had to the east, a cluster of houses and buildings dominated by white and warm pastel tones.

And that, due to its gray tone and the height of the towers, the top of a great cathedral stood out, from the few buildings that almost passed the horizon line to the level of the sky.

Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Around the Old Vegueta

Many photographic shots later, through streets and alleys of the San Juan neighborhood different from those we had taken on the way up, we returned to the smooth foothills of the hill and the centuries-old Vegueta.

The further we descend towards the sea, the more imposing, elegant and impressive the neighborhood reveals itself, with an obvious apogee in the square that precedes the temple that we used to see highlighted, Plaza de Santa Ana, at that time occupied by an event of children's competitions.

Santa Ana Cathedral, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

To the east was the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santa Ana de Canaria, built between 1500 and 1570, as the supreme Catholic expression of the island of Gran Canaria.

Even if the exterior remodeled in the XNUMXth century is neoclassical, its huge nave is still Gothic, supported by columns erected to emulate the palm trees that were prolific in that area before the arrival of the Conquistadors of Castile.

The Ultimate Conquest of the island of Gran Canaria

On June 24, 1478, the newly disembarked Castilian troops, charged with submitting once and for all the resistance of the Canarian natives, set up a camp in the vicinity of a ravine that was to be called del Guiniguada.

Right there, in order to guide the boats that would come to supply them, they preserved three huge palm trees. From this reference came the embryonic name of the island's capital, Real de las Tres Palmas de Gran Canaria, today the most populous city in the archipelago, with 375.000 inhabitants.

Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

A group of friends talk together on a terrace in Vegueta.

Affected by the strong resistance of the natives and, to top it off, by disagreements among the Castilians, the conquest dragged on.

It was only confirmed in April 1483, the month in which Guayarmina Semidá, the island's indigenous queen, surrendered to the invaders and caused the suicide of an influential tribal chief and his shaman.

Vegueta's Unique Colonial Architecture

From then onwards, with the stamp of the Crown and the almost infallible prospect of large profits, the construction of the first settlement in Gran Canaria was intensified.

A hospital, the Mudejar Chapel of San António Abad, is located where the chapel that spiritually served the camp of Real de Las Tres Palmas and predecessor of the current cathedral was built.

Cathedral of Sant Ana, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Canary Islands

Side view of the imposing Cathedral of Santa Ana, the symbol building of Vegueta.

They were accompanied by the Episcopal Palace, the Town hall, the Royal Audience, the Tribunal of the Holy Office and the Diocese of the Canary Islands, at the time, the only diocese.

Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

These ecclesiastical and government buildings alternated with others, residential, with open and green patios, abundant wooden balconies, in such a way that one of the emblematic streets of the neighborhood that, at first, welcomed the richest and most influential families on the island. it still calls Calle de los Balcones.

Both buildings and others display a unique architectural richness, an improbable mix of Gothic, Renaissance, Neoclassical and, as is common in southern Spain and the Canaries, Mudejar elements.

Over time, this amalgamation of buildings and styles formed the urbanistic unit that, step by step, continued to dazzle us.

Calle del Castillo, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Calle del Castillo up and down, we passed the Plaza del Espíritu Santo several times.

As we pass by its hermitage dedicated to Cristo del Buen Fin and the fountain designed by the Gran Canarian artist Manuel Ponce de León y Falcón, spring of waters that refresh the small garden full of tropical plants, but not the Elixir of Youth that the discoverer made so much to be found on land today in Florida.

Fonte del Espiritu Santo, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

The most refreshing corner of Calle del Castillo.

Casa Colón and the Columbus Passage through Las Palmas

In the direction of Av. de Canárias and Atlântico, we enter streets delimited by the yellowish facades of the Ermita de San António Abad and the neighboring neo-Gothic House of Colón, each with its intricate coat of arms.

Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

The Casa de Colón in the heart of Plaza de Santa Ana.

Over there, a musician from street plays fife tunes that reinforce the colonial charm of Las Palmas, the also port where Christopher Columbus anchored in three of his four expeditions, the first of which he even prayed shortly before setting sail for the unknown west.

At Casa Colón, we are aware of the importance of Canary Islands – Gran Canaria in particular – and its willful emigrants had in the colonization of the Americas that Columbus did New World.

Gargoyle, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

A gargoyle adorns the façade of the square where the Casa de Colón is located.

Even if on a local scale, we soon arrived at a latitude in Las Palmas different from anything we had seen so far.

We skirt the Vegueta market and cross the road del Centro, to the other side of the GC-5 highway that establishes a road border in the neighborhood.

The Colorful and Surreal House of San Juan

A few hundred meters above, along Calle San Diego de Alcalá and a distinct urban core, we peered into the opposite houses, a side view of the high San Juan neighborhood where we had crossed paths with Sr. Miguel and the folklore group .

For, from there, San Juan filled the entire hill overlooking Vegueta in a multicolored profusion of houses and buildings of elementary and rigid geometry, which seemed to us a scenario from cartoons or the result of a legos game.

San Juan, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran CanariaThe vision aroused in us the strangeness of how the flow of the Ages had generated such contrasting “cities” within the same capital.

Casario de San Juan, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

The strict lines of the San Juan neighborhood, much more modern than Vegueta.

Below, like tough vegetables from the dawn of Las Palmas, a broken line of palm trees swayed in the wind.

We let sunset settle west of the even higher heartland of Gran Canaria.

When the afterglow starts to settle in, we are already back at plazas of Vegueta, delivered to reeds and the inevitable potato canaries wrinkleds.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

East of White Mountain Island

The almost triangular Tenerife has its center dominated by the majestic volcano Teide. At its eastern end, there is another rugged domain, even so, the place of the island's capital and other unavoidable villages, with mysterious forests and incredible abrupt coastlines.
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

Fuerteventura's Atlantic Ventura

The Romans knew the Canaries as the lucky islands. Fuerteventura, preserves many of the attributes of that time. Its perfect beaches for the windsurf and the kite-surfing or just for bathing, they justify successive “invasions” by the sun-hungry northern peoples. In the volcanic and rugged interior, the bastion of the island's indigenous and colonial cultures remains. We started to unravel it along its long south.
El Hierro, Canary Islands

The Volcanic Rim of the Canaries and the Old World

Until Columbus arrived in the Americas, El Hierro was seen as the threshold of the known world and, for a time, the Meridian that delimited it. Half a millennium later, the last western island of the Canaries is teeming with exuberant volcanism.
La Graciosa, Canary Islands

The Most Graceful of the Canary Islands

Until 2018, the smallest of the inhabited Canaries did not count for the archipelago. Arriving in La Graciosa, we discover the insular charm of the now eighth island.
PN Timanfaya, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

PN Timanfaya and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote

Between 1730 and 1736, out of nowhere, dozens of volcanoes in Lanzarote erupted successively. The massive amount of lava they released buried several villages and forced almost half of the inhabitants to emigrate. The legacy of this cataclysm is the current Martian setting of the exuberant PN Timanfaya.
Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Volcano that Haunts the Atlantic

At 3718m, El Teide is the roof of the Canaries and Spain. Not only. If measured from the ocean floor (7500 m), only two mountains are more pronounced. The Guanche natives considered it the home of Guayota, their devil. Anyone traveling to Tenerife knows that old Teide is everywhere.
La Palma, Canary Islands

The "Isla Bonita" of the Canary Islands

In 1986 Madonna Louise Ciccone launched a hit that popularized the attraction exerted by a island imaginary. Ambergris Caye, in Belize, reaped benefits. On this side of the Atlantic, the palmeros that's how they see their real and stunning Canaria.

Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia

Leaving aside the modernity of Valencia, we explore the natural and historical settings that the "community" shares with the Mediterranean. The more we travel, the more its bright life seduces us.

Matarraña to Alcanar, Spain (España)

A Medieval Spain

Traveling through the lands of Aragon and Valencia, we come across towers and detached battlements of houses that fill the slopes. Mile after kilometer, these visions prove to be as anachronistic as they are fascinating.

La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

To César Manrique what is César Manrique's

By itself, Lanzarote would always be a Canaria by itself, but it is almost impossible to explore it without discovering the restless and activist genius of one of its prodigal sons. César Manrique passed away nearly thirty years ago. The prolific work he left shines on the lava of the volcanic island that saw him born.
Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands

A Journey into the History of Santa Cruz de La Palma

It began as a mere Villa del Apurón. Come the century. XVI, the town had not only overcome its difficulties, it was already the third port city in Europe. Heir to this blessed prosperity, Santa Cruz de La Palma has become one of the most elegant capitals in the Canaries.
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Fuerteventura - Canary Island and Jangada do Tempo

A short ferry crossing and we disembark in Corralejo, at the top northeast of Fuerteventura. With Morocco and Africa a mere 100km away, we get lost in the wonders of unique desert, volcanic and post-colonial sceneries.
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Grand Canary Islands

It is only the third largest island in the archipelago. It so impressed European navigators and settlers that they got used to treating it as the supreme.
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Safari
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Traditional houses, Bergen, Norway.
Architecture & Design
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
Adventure
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
MassKara Festival, Bacolod City, Philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
, Mexico, city of silver and gold, homes over tunnels
Cities
Guanajuato, Mexico

The City that Shines in All Colors

During the XNUMXth century, it was the city that produced the most silver in the world and one of the most opulent in Mexico and colonial Spain. Several of its mines are still active, but the impressive wealth of Guanuajuato lies in the multicolored eccentricity of its history and secular heritage.
Meal
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
capillary helmet
Culture
Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Sport
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang, Laos, Through the Mekong Below
Traveling
Chiang Khong - Luang Prabang, Laos.

Slow Boat, Down the Mekong River

Laos' beauty and lower cost are good reasons to sail between Chiang Khong and Luang Prabang. But this long descent of the Mekong River can be as exhausting as it is picturesque.
Vegetables, Little India, Sari Singapore, Singapore
Ethnic
Little India, Singapore

The Sari Singapore of Little India

There are thousands of inhabitants instead of the 1.3 billion of the mother country, but Little India, a neighborhood in tiny Singapore, does not lack soul. No soul, no smell of Bollywood curry and music.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Passage, Tanna, Vanuatu to the West, Meet the Natives
History
Tanna, Vanuatu

From where Vanuatu Conquered the Western World

The TV show “Meet the Native” took Tanna's tribal representatives to visit Britain and the USA Visiting their island, we realized why nothing excited them more than returning home.
patriot march
Islands
Taiwan

Formosa but Unsafe

Portuguese navigators could not imagine the imbroglio reserved for the Formosa they baptized. Nearly 500 years later, even though it is uncertain of its future, Taiwan still prospers. Somewhere between independence and integration in greater China.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White
Iceland

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Literature
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Nature
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Viewpoint Viewpoint, Alexander Selkirk, on Skin Robinson Crusoe, Chile
Natural Parks
Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile

Alexander Selkirk: in the Skin of the True Robinson Crusoe

The main island of the Juan Fernández archipelago was home to pirates and treasures. His story was made up of adventures like that of Alexander Selkirk, the abandoned sailor who inspired Dafoe's novel
Vairocana Buddha, Todai ji Temple, Nara, Japan
UNESCO World Heritage
Nara, Japan

The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism

Nara has long since ceased to be the capital and its Todai-ji temple has been demoted. But the Great Hall remains the largest ancient wooden building in the world. And it houses the greatest bronze Vairocana Buddha.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Characters
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Monument Cap 110
Beaches
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Kongobuji Temple
Religion
Mount Koya, Japan

Halfway to Nirvana

According to some doctrines of Buddhism, it takes several lifetimes to attain enlightenment. The shingon branch claims that you can do it in one. From Mount Koya, it can be even easier.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
On Rails
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Society
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Wildlife
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.