La Fortaleza is a very special place right in the middle of nature. It is the perfect spot to know the aboriginal history of Gran Canaria.
The Cathedral of Las Palmas
The district of Vegueta is the historic city centre of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The Basilica Cathedral of Santa Ana stands in it crowned by its twin towers (also called Holy Cathedral-Basilica Church of the Canary islands). It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Canarias, and every November 26th the feast of the cathedral is celebrated.
If anything characterizes and gives greater importance to this construction, it's that it was the first church ever built in the Canaries, by order of the Catholic Monarchs after the conquest of the island of Gran Canaria in 1478. So this church is considered the most important monument of the Canaries' architecture.
Building works began around 1500, but were not completed until almost four centuries later. For this purpose, the intervention of different architects and skilled artists were necessary. The result of this is that, nowadays, there are three architectural styles in the cathedral: Gothic, Renaissance and neoclassical.
All the details of its original plans are not known, but as studied, its structure is Gothic, with three naves at the same height. In the cathedral chapels you'll see some remarkable pieces of art among which are some statues of religious sculptor José Luján Pérez.
In the south wing of the cathedral is the Patio de los Naranjos (Orange tree's Patio), the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, which exhibits many sacred objects and some paintings of interest.
From here we suggest you to go for a walk around Vegueta's neighbourhood, as it is an area with plenty of points of interest on the island. At the rear of the cathedral, between Plaza del Pilar Nuevo and the alley which connects with the hermitage of San Antonio Abad, is the Casa de Colón, one of the most authentic buildings of Las Palmas which was created from a set of buildings among which was the governor's residence. It is believed that Christopher Columbus lived here during his stay on the island.
Santa Ana's Square has some famous bronze sculptures of the autochthonous dog breeds of the islands, the Atlantic Museum of Modern Art, and other churches and chapels with great importance in the Canary culture and history.
If you go for a walk around the area, we recommend you have a coffee in any of its terraces, it will be a nice plan to end the walk in the most charming district of the city.
If you fancy visiting the interior, below are the opening hours of Santa Ana's Cathedral:
Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 16:30 and Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:30.
The price is €2.40 for adults and free admission for children.