Vegueta, The Heart of Las Palmas

 

Vegueta is the historic district of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In these very streets the history of the island has unfolded. Every building of this district reminds you of the kings, noble men, explorers, artistes, sailors and other renowned people who have passed through Las Palmas.

Vegueta was the first Castilian enclave of Canary Islands when they invaded the island. It is from here the Spanish expanded their reach into the whole of Canary Islands. The Spanish commander Juan Rejon settled in this area. This old quarter during the last 100 years has grown in all directions, in the North it expanded to now what is known as Triana, a principal shopping and business district.

The area of Vegueta is lined with Museums, Churches, Colonial Houses, narrow streets and is full of heritage buildings.

Among the key buildings in the area are:

 

1) Cathedral of Canarias & Plaza of Saint Anne

 

Cathedral de Canarias 1

 

The cathedral is located in the centre of the district and is called the Cathedral of Canarias. The construction of the Church started in 1500 and was fully ready by 1570. The Church has been renovated recently.  Located just opposite the church is the Town Hall. Several Dog statues line the plaza between the Church and  Town Hall. The Dogs are the provincial official mascot of the Island.

 

Cathedral de Canarias 2

 

The Gothic style church interior contrasts with the Neo Style classic exterior. The church is in its full grandeur after the restoration. The Gothic arches are extremely beautiful and coupled with the Painted window panes looks very nice.

The church is serene, grand, charming and simple all in the same time. The experience brings to you instant peace when you visit the church inside.

 

Plaza of Saint Anne

 

2) Casa de Colon

Just behind the Cathedral is the Casa de Colon (House of Christopher Columbus). The famous explorer Christopher Columbus stayed in this place in 1492 during his voyage to America.

 

Casa de Colon 1

 

The building is built in magnificent Canarian style with its famous “Balcon Canario” (Canary Island style balcony). The interior with its open gallery and “Patio Canario” (central open space garden in the house).

 

CASA DE COLON 3

 

The building has been converted to a library, museum and a centre for American studies.  The present building was reformed and restored to its original glory from 1940 onwards for a few years. There are several miniature replicas of the ship and other material used by Christopher Columbus during his famous voyage which led to the discovery of America.

 

3) Mercado de Vegueta

The market of vegueta sells everything from fresh vegetables, fish and meats.  The market was built in 1858 and has been serving clients with food stuff for more than 150 years. Since the last few years small restaurants and tapas bars have opened in the market serving wine and Spanish tapas.

 

4) Museo de Canarias

This museum was built in 1879 with the objective of storing all articles related with the history of Gran Canaria in particular and Canary Islands in General.

 

 

Museo Canario 1

 

This museum has large rooms each having a different theme and stocking items from the day of the Aborigines (original inhabitants) of Gran Canaria. Lots of figures, statues etc in the Museum. The most famous figure is the “Idol of Tara” which is the local symbol of fertility.

 

IDOL OF TARA

 

5) Museum of Modern Art (Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno)

The museum contains books, material, painting & objects in three different themes; Latin American, African and European. The library of the museum is quite rich in content and stocks over 57,000 volumes of books on modern art.

 

6) Teatro de Perez Galdos

This is the original Theatre of Gran Canaria. Concerts, Operas, Cabarets, Dramas, Plays were all held here.

The new building was re-built in 1925 – 28 after the original was destroyed due to fire. In 1994 the government declared it a national and protected document. In 2004 the theatre was closed for extensive repairs and re-opened in 14th April 2007. The results are magnificent as you can see in the photo below.

 

Teatro de Perez Galdos

 

 

7) Gabinete Literario

Built in 1844 this is the heart of the Intellectuals and thinkers of Gran Canaria. This building has been the main outlet for the thinking in local literature, science and development. The Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria was started here.

 

Gabinete Literario

 

It continues to be a Cultural and Artistic centre for Gran Canaria.

 

The new modern Vegueta is quite popular with the young and trendy and has a number of restaurants, Tapas bars and Wine bars. On weekends till the wee hours of the night you will find the young partying and enjoying their evening out.

 

Restaurants in Vegueta

Post a Comment

*