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ARCHEOLOGICAL AND MONUMENTAL HERITAGE

  ARCHEOLOGICAL HERITAGE
The extensive archaeological heritage of Gran Canaria makes it possible for us to experience the various environments in which the lives of the pre-Hispanic inhabitants of the island unfolded. Through these remnants we can learn more about some of the earlier inhabitants, who have always aroused the interest of researchers and about whom there is still much to discover.

The following is a short list of some of the sites where we can contemplate the remnants of pre-Hispanic culture. These are the sites that have easier access for visitors.
 
Arteara Necropolis (San Bartolomé de Tirajana): Prehistoric burial ground made up of over a thousand burial mounds. The archaeological area is two kilometres long and one kilometre wide. It is well worth a visit.

Punta Mujeres (San Bartolomé de Tirajana): This large dwelling structure is one of the numerous settlements to be found along the coast of the Island.

Tunte Settlement (San Bartolmé de Tirajana): The most extensive cave complex in the whole of the Canary Islands. This is a large settlement comprising an entire underground village, complete with dwellings, granaries and burial areas and rupestrian paintings.

Las Fortalezas (San Bartolomé de Tirajana): This is a fine example of a fortified settlement formed of both natural and artificially excavated caves. The remains of rock paintings can still be found on the walls of these caves, while others were used for burial rites and grain storage.

La Audiencia (Temisas): A cave settlement hewn out of the rock by hand and used for a variety of functions, such as sleeping quarters, kitchens, silos and granary, among others.

Los Letreros de Balos (Balos Carvings) (Agüimes): The most important set of cave carvings in Gran Canaria featuring examples of practically all the different types of cave carvings existent in the Canary Islands: anthropomorphous, zoomorphous, alphabetical and geometrical inscriptions, etc.

Risco del Canario (Agüimes): Located in the ravine known as 'Barranco de Guayadeque', this is a set of some thirty man-made caves which were easily defended in case of attack since access to them was so difficult.

El Draguillo (Telde-Ingenio): Located in the ravine that separates the two municipal areas. At this site, the visitor can contemplate engravings, silos, funeral caves and dwelling caves.

Almogaren de Amurga (San Bartolomé de Tirajana): One of the most complex and spectacular examples of these archaeological sites, which is believed to have been a place where religious ceremonies were held.

Cuatro Puertas (Telde): A very large cave excavated by hand from volcanic rock. The most characteristic features of the cave are the four doorways which lead out to a flat balcony. The cave is associated with the religious/magical practices of these early Canary Islanders.

Tufia Settlement (Telde): A settlement made up of a group of caves and several stone houses comprising a number of separate nuclei and burial grounds. The precise functions of many of these constructions has yet to be ascertained.

Tara Settlement (Telde): Some of the most important artificial caves in the Island of Gran Canaria are to be found here. Several tools which the primitive islanders used for every day tasks have been discovered on this site.

La Restinga / Llano de la Brujas (Telde): This settlement is made up of constructions which served a domestic purpose together with burial mounds and other constructions which may have been used for grain storage. In El Llano the constructions can be seen to have been repeatedly reused which emphasizes their prolonged use throughout the course of time.

Bandama (Santa Brígida): One of the most peculiar settlements to be found on the island; the so-called 'Cuevas de los Canarios' (The Canary Islanders’ Caves), a group of rooms and communal granaries located on the inside face of a volcanic caldera or crater. The rupestrian carvings are the most significant feature of the site.

The Canary Islanders' Caves (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria): This archeological site is made up of two large man-made dwelling caves and several other smaller caves with silos excavated on two levels and protected by a huge natural arch.

La Cerera (Arucas): This is a habitation made up of both caves and man-made constructions and is located in one of the most fertile coastal areas of the Island.

Cenobio de Valerón (Santa María de Guía): One of the most spectacular primitives sites in the whole of the Canary Islands: an enormous communal granary which gives us great insight into the meaning of agricultural activity to these early inhabitants of the Canary Islands and revealing the extent of the power which the ruling castes exerted (closed temporarily by works of conditioning).

La Cueva Pintada (The Painted Cave) (Gáldar): One of the most important archaeological sites in the Canary Islands, not only because of its size but also because it houses an example of indigenous Canarian artwork: the Cueva Pintada (The Painted Cave) which depicts the household environment. It is decorated with geometrical shapes in red, black and white paint. There are several theories about what the cave was used for funeral rites, as a sacred place and as a dwelling place, among others, but there is not sufficient evidence to allow us to reach a definitive conclusion (opening shortly).

Bocabarranco / El Agujero / La Guancha (Gáldar): The remains of one of the most important of the Island’s primitive surface settlements are preserved on this site. Apart from the many dwelling places in evidence, the outstanding feature of the site are its burial mounds, considered to be amongst the most important on the Island.

Maipés Necropolis (Agaete): A spacious burial area with a surface of over one square kilometre and made up of nearly five hundred sepulchres in lava.

Acusa settlement (Artenara): A set of ancient settlements located in one of the parts of the Island most suited to cultivation. The majority of the dwellings feature painted rooms, burial caves and important grain storage areas.

Caballero Caves (Artenara): A complex of cave rooms. Three of these feature prehistoric artwork in the form of triangles and other shapes. The site is believed to have had an important function in the magical-religious practises of the early inhabitants.

Los Candiles Caves (Artenara): This is a man-made cave which occupies a place of honour in terms of the archaeology of the Canary Islands. The inside of the cave is divided into six small excavated niches covered by dozens of inverted triangles, both carved and /or bas-relief, which are believed to be associated with fertility.

Bentayga / Cuevas del Rey (The King's Caves) (Tejeda): Composed of three nuclei, constructed in an unusual straight line archaeological formation. Here we can find important examples of dwelling caves, burial areas, granaries, areas for worship and an important “almogaren” (religious site).

Caserones settlement (San Nicolás de Tolentino): These are the remains of what was once one of the largest settlements on the Island with a large number of dwellings and burial mounds.

Castillete de Tabaibales (Mogán): This site is rather unique because it features watch towers and ramparts, and also because of the unusual way in which the constructions are distributed.

Majada Alta (Mogán): This is a smallish cave which features anthropomorphous pictograms painted in red ochre. It is unique both in terms of its motifs and the painting technique which was used to create them.



  MONUMENTAL HERITAGE
 

The history of Gran Canaria is apparent in every town and city on the island, revealing itself in representations of the pre-Hispanic period as well as the buildings that reflect the architectural styles of more than five centuries of European history. Here, you will see some of the most contrasting architectural styles in the history of architecture, some of which were clearly inspired by foreign styles, while others were the unmistakable product of the merging of different styles. This short guide covers some of the places that can be visited in each of the island’s towns and cities, places that reveal the history of more recent periods, such as historical districts, architecture, churches and monuments...

Agaete: The old town centre, Huerto de Las Flores (Botanical Garden), La Concepción and San Pedro churches, the chapels of Las Nieves (Flemish triptych inside), St. Sebastian and El Hornillo, Casa Fuerte (Fortress House).

Agüimes: Agüimes Old Town Interpretation Centre, Saint Sebastian’s Parish Church, Temisas hamlet, Guayadeque ravine.

Artenara: Chapel of the Virgin of the Cave and the Parish Church of Saint Matthew.

Arucas: Church of St. John and Plaza de San Juan, the Arucas and Firgas Heredad de Aguas Building (Water Board), the Municipal Museum, Arucas Mountain, the Arehucas Rum Distillery, Jardín de la Marquesa (the Marchioness’s Gardens), La Goleta quarry, Casa de la Cultura (Cultural Centre).

Firgas: The Church of St. Roque and Plaza de San Roque, Casa de la Cultura (Cultural Centre), A “Gofio” (roasted and toasted corn flour) mill, Paseo de Gran Canaria and Paseo de Canarias (pedestrian walkways), Monument to the farm worker.

Gáldar: Plaza de Santiago Historical Complex, the Church of Santiago de los Caballeros (Saint James), Sacred Art Museum, Antonio Padrón Museum-House, the Municipal Theatre, the Town Hall, the chapels of Saint Isidore, Saint Anthony, Our Lady of La Vega and San José de Caideros.

Ingenio: The old town centre, Sculptures in the street, the Casa del Reloj (Clock House), The López Family Mill, Néstor Álamo Park, Casa de Postas (Posthouse), The Bishop’s house.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: The City Hall, St. Ann’s Cathedral, The Bishop’s Palace, Regent´s House, Christopher Columbus House, Santo Domingo Church, the Gabinete Literario (Literary Forum Building), the Pérez Galdós Theatre, Pérez Galdós Museum House, The Canary Islands Museum, Calle Mayor de Triana (Triana High Street), Church of St. Francis of Assisi, San Telmo Chapel, Néstor Museum, La Luz, Mata and San Cristóbal castles.

Mogán: Windmill, Church in the village of Mogán, ancient hamlets.

Moya: The Church of Our Lady of Candelaria, Tomás Morales Museum House, the Chapel of St. Bartholomew and the Moya Heredad de Aguas (Water Board) Building. Las Cumbres (the peak district) and Doramas Nature Parks, Ethnographic Heritage.

San Bartolomé de Tirajana: The Cemetery and the Church of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Casa Condal (Residence of the Count of Maspalomas), Maspalomas Lighthouse, Fataga Chapel, Ethnographic Heritage and urban settings, namely San Bartolomé, Ayaguares de Arriba, Los Sitios de Abajo y de Arriba and Arteara.

San Nicolás de Tolentino: The Church of San Nicolás de Tolentino, Living Museum, Teaching Museum, The Balcony House, Cactualdea (Cacti Garden),Wind and Water Flour Mills.

Santa Brígida: Church of Santa Brígida, La Atalaya Pottery Village, Guiniguada Park.

Santa Lucía de Tirajana: The old town centre, the Church of St. Lucia, the Chapel of San Antonio de Bari (St. Anthony), Ethnoghraphic Heritage.

Santa María de Guía: The Church of Santa María de Guía, Church of the Franciscan Hospice, The House of the Quintana Family, Néstor Álamo birthplace house, Casa las Artesanías (The Arts and Crafts House), St. Sebastian’s Chapel and the Chapel of St. Roque, “La Laja” mill, Canon Gordillo birthplace house.

Tejeda: Church and Square of Our Lady of the Succour, Néstor’s Corner, Abraham Cárdenes Museum of Sculpture, Public Park, Cruz de Tejeda, Bentayga Archaeology Park.

Telde: San Francisco (St. Francis), San Juan (St. John) and San Gregorio (St. Gregory) historical quarters. The Chapel of Saint Peter Martyr, Saint John the Baptist's Basilica, and the neo-classic St. Gregory`s church.

Teror: Our Lady of the Pine Basilica, Plaza del Pino, The Bishop´s Palace and Avenue, Plaza de Teresa Bolívar, Town Hall, Calle Real de la Plaza, the Osorio Estate, the Dominican Convent and the Cistercian Monastery, The La Peña Chapel and St. Isidore’s Chapel.

Valleseco: The Church of Saint Vincent Ferrer, La Laguna (The Lagoon) de Valleseco Recreational Area, La Virgen Ravine, Calderetas (Volcanic Crater).

Valsequillo: St. Michael’s Church, El Helechal vantage point, El Colmenar Barracks, Oratory of Our Lady of Health.

Vega de San Mateo: San Mateo Old Town Centre and Las Lagunetas, the Lourdes Chapel, the Utiaca mill and public wash place, water-wells and subterranean water deposits, La Cantonera Historical Centre.

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