Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Tourist Attractions
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, chief town of the province of that name and of the island of Gran Canaria, lies at the northeastern tip of the island, extending along the coast for a distance of some 14km/9mi.
With its population of 366,000 Las Palmas is by far the largest town in the Canary archipelago and the eighth largest in the whole of Spain. It has long been a major center of industry, commerce and communications, much of its economic importance being due to its harbor (Puerto de la Luz). Its favorable situation at the intersection of shipping routes between Europe, Africa and South America has enabled it to become one of the world's largest Atlantic ports. The many thousands of visitors who come to Las Palmas from all over the world, whether as seamen or as tourists, have given it something of an international air. It has some 200 hotels; but many foreign visitors prefer to see the sights of this rather noisy and hectically busy city on a day trip and spend the rest of their holiday in the south of the island with its more reliable sunshine.
Puerto de la Luz
In terms of freight handled (6.9million tons annually) Puerto de la Luz takes sixth place among Spanish ports, but in terms of shipping movements it does considerably better, with some 14,000 vessels putting in every year.
Castillo de la Luz
On the west side of the Puerto de la Luz is the Castillo de la Luz, built in the 16th century to protect the town from pirate raids.
Playa de las Canteras
The Playa de las Canteras, one of the longest city beaches in the world, extends for some 2.6km/1.5mi to the northwest of Las Palmas. Alongside the beach runs the Paseo de las Canteras, a seafront promenade with innumerable hotels, cafes and restaurants.
Farther south from the Playa de las Canteras, in the Ciudad Jardín (Garden City) district, lies the Parque Doramas. It is planted with typical Canarian flora, including several fine specimens of dragon trees.
On the edge of Parque Doramas is the Pueblo Canario, established in 1939 as an example of traditional Canarian architecture. In the village is the Museo Néstor, with works by the Canarian painter Néstor Martín Fernández de la Torre (1887-1938), together with furniture and other items from the artist's studio.
Catedral de Santa Ana
In the Vegueta quarter, the oldest part of the town, stands the Cathedral of Santa Ana. Construction began in 1498, but work stopped in 1570, and the main front, in Neoclassical style, was completed only in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art
The Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art is housed in one of the aisles; among its treasures are statues of saints and a small collection of pictures, including works by 16th century Flemish painters and 17th and 18th century Canarian artists.
House of Columbus
Beyond the east end of the Cathedral is the Casa de Colón. The house, rebuilt in typical Canarian style in 1777, was once the residence of the governor of the island. Columbus is believed to have lived here during a brief stay on Gran Canaria. The Casa de Colón now houses an exhibition on the theme "Columbus and his Times" and a collection of pictures.
Southwest of the Cathedral, at Calle Doctor Verneau 2, is the Museo Canario, the finest museum in the archipelago. The most important section of the museum is its collection of pre- Hispanic antiquities. Of particular interest are the mummies, skeleton and skulls of the ancient Canarians and the objects illustrating their culture and way of life.
Address: Calle Doctor Verneau, 2, E-35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Opening hours: 10am-8pm; Sun: 10am-2pm; Sat: 10am-2pm
Always closed on: Canarias Day - Spain (May 30), Feast Anta Lucia - Spain (Dec 13)
Entrance fee: Adult Admission Cost, Concession or reduced rate Discount, Child 12 & under Free