Las Palmas A Historic Past

 

Las Palmas is the capital city of  Gran Canaria. It administratively controls 3 island’s of the 7 Island chain of Canary Islands. (Gran Canaria, Lanzarote & Fuerteventura)

Las Palmas is the 9th largest city of Spain and the most populas city of Canary Islands. Nearly 400,000 people live in the capital.  It is located at the  further most part within the European Union very close to the North Western part of Africa at only about 150 kms (93 miles) distance from the African Coast.

Las Palmas with its sub tropical climate, beaches and greenery has often been voted as the City with the best climate in the world. It enjoys all year round  sunshine and mild temperatures

Las Palmas was founded by Juan Rejon, head of the Spanish Troops invading the islands in the 15th Century.  On 24th June 1478 the troops started building the City. In 1485 the place was awarded the title of a town. Christopher Columbus the famous sailor stayed a few days at Las Palmas before heading to discover America during his famous voyage.

In the 18th Century the city came to life as a major Port was built which still exists and continues to be an important port in the Atlantic Ocean. Puerto de La Luz (Port of Light) made Las Palmas a centre for Trade and Maritime activity.  In later times it bécame a major fishing hub for the Japanese, Korean and Russian fleets.

In the 16th Century the Spanish army built a fort to resist the pirates and foreign armies at the city centre by the name Castillo de la Luz (Castle of Lights).

Las Palmas Fort

 

Right in the heart of the city is the Playa de Las Canteras, one of the best beaches in the world. It has the proud distinction  of having a blue flag. This 5 kms beach has magnificent white sand and calm sea which makes it an ideal place for swimming. About 200 meters in the sea there is a natural reef protector which breaks the waves and reduces the tide and its force. The all year sunshine provides an additional bonus for the Continental Europeans wanting more of the sunshine.

 

LAS CANTERAS

 

In the early part of the 19th Century tourism also developed in the city. The city gets tourists from all over Europe. Spanish mainlanders, English, Germans and Scandinavians form a bulk of the tourist visiting the capital.

Gradually several hotels and apartments sprung up and which to date are fully occupied all round the year.

Canary Islands by royal decree historically allowed free imports (low import duties) and had a very low local VAT (called IGIC) which currently stands at 7 % vs 21 % in mainland Spain.  It thus since early times has this “Duty Free Image” and hence considered a “Shoppers Paradise”. The city has many Commercial Centres with large international and National chain stores.

Las Palmas is a pot boiler of cultures and has an international and modern outlook although it maintains its roots through its traditional festivals celebrated with great enthusiasm such as Dia de Canarias (Canary Islands day), Carnaval etc.

Las Palmas has very well maintained its history by guarding and renovating its museum, churches, forts and I can assure you that everybody who visits Las Palmas would succum to its charm and will always cherish a part of his fond memory to the time he spends at Las Palmas.

Posted in: Las Palmas City

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