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Gáldar: Royal city of Knights

Northwest of Gran Canaria
About 25 kilometers (by road) from the capital.
Borders the townships of Santa María de Guía, Moya, Agaete and Artenara.
Bus Lines:
105 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria-Gáldar

Gáldar is a key element for thoseexploringGran Canaria’shistory and culture. It is important throughout these islands because its history is not only crucial in the rest of the island territory. Gáldarplayed an especially crucial role in the beginning of the Hispanic period and subsequent historic development.

Apparently, the ancient Agáldar was just one of several cantons that formed the pre-Hispanic political map until the twelfth or thirteenth century of our era. At that time, this northern population managed to rise to become the capital of the whole island. Some authors speak of a new cultural flourishing and others have speculated of possible economic and demographicadvances. According to the chronicles, the Lord of Facaracas, a young guaire (nobleman) renowned for his skill in arms, married a harimaguada (priestess) whose influence had grown with the extent of her intelligence and powers. These characters, known as Gumidafe and Andamana respectively, managed to unify the island’s political power by establishing the capital for the whole island in the old Agáldar and founding a dynasty that would last until the European conquest at the end of the 15th century.

The historical past of the territory is reflected in the proud feeling of its inhabitants and the highest concentration of archaeological sites in the archipelago, some of which enjoy a deserved reputation for their uniqueness and richness. The city’s own coat of arms, and the presence of numerous aboriginal cultural landmarks, preserve the link with its pre-Hispanic history in the collective imagination of the residents.

Casa cueva

Historical Settlement of Barranco Hondo de Abajo
Barranco Hondo is very attractive for its natural and cultural landscape, with its cultivated terraces, cave houses and wells.Due to its representational value in Canary popular architecture, it was declared atreasure of cultural interest, and garnered historic site category, by a 1993 government decree. It was the first rural, popular architecture officially recognized by the Island government.

From here you can see places of different names: Telde, El Pocillo, Palominillo, Cueva de la Ceniza and Majada Grande. To the right is La Solaneta, in the town of Artenara and Tamadabarange in the background, in Artenara township.

The local people’s efforts to adapt the environment to their needs is evident in the transformation carried out on the rugged orography to achieve spaces suitable for farming and in the construction of hydraulic works such as wells, galleries and ditches to irrigate their fields. The production of water is linked to the land and its property is inseparably transmitted with them.

Barranco Hondo offers a perfect ecological niche for the Avifauna, since it has open spaces, crops, inaccessible cuts, hollows in the walls and water. More than twenty species are represented.

Teatro consistorialConsistorial Theater
The Consistorial Theater is among the best historical theaters in all the islands outside the capital city. Its current construction dates back to 1912. However, prior premises existed in the reign of Isabel II, around 1847. The present building is the result of a profound reform inaugurated on July 18, 2010.

It is a corner building with double façade, classified as academicist clacisism, a trend that was common in the islands and whose compositional elements merged traditional materials, such as the stonework of Gáldar and wood (especially in the exterior), with modern, as with reinforced concrete (more visible inside).

A key element in recent development, the interior design of the roof was commissioned to the painter José Dámaso (Agaete, Gran Canaria, 1933, Canary Fine Arts Prize). Linked to the special space, the artist developed an interesting work entitled Revelora, where a kind of genesis of evolutionary process that starts from the fronds of the dragon tree, passing through marine species, birds, people, archaeological figures, beings and changing shapes that scale until you reach the skull of the final vertex.

The two most important local artists were also included in this intervention: Antonio Padrón (Gáldar, 1920-1968) and Juan Borges Linares (Gáldar, 1941-2004). They show some reproductions of their works, the popular characters of the first and the esotericism of the second. There are also works of younger generations of artists, represented by Cristóbal Guerra and Rufina Santana. As a remnant of the first theater, the one from the time of Isabel II, old photographs of farmers from the 19th century are included, with their costumes, as well as views of the city, which has evolved along with the theater. All this artistic exhibition is integrated into the decorating project of the local decorator Rafael del Castillo.

The building is located in the historic center of the city, directly connected to the “Sala del Sabor” of the Consistorial Houses and with the streets Tagoror and Facaracas, and very close to the Santiago de los Caballeros temple and the Cave Archaeological Museum and Park. Painted, declared assets of cultural interest (historical site, monument and archaeological zone, respectively), circumstance for which it has an environment of the highest interest.

Municipal Market, as known as Recova
The market of Gáldar is the only one of the town markets that continues to operate in the north of Gran Canaria and is a great attraction for visitors because of its special atmosphere with the local population doing their day-to-day shopping and the variety of products on sale.

The Municipal Market is located on Capitán Quesada Street 29 and promotes mostly traditional food with a variety of local products.
It was built around 1945. The entrance and main door retain the original iron bars and inside, covering the back wall, is the work of Galdar artist Diego Higueras who made a tribute to the painter Antonio Padrón, whose House Museum is located on the same street and the well-known Painted Caves of Gáldar.

In the main gallery of the Recova there are two allegorical works, one to the sea and one to the land, the sculptor and artist Juan Borges Linares, favorite son of Gáldar, and two other murals by Diego Higueras that he also made in homage to Antonio Padrón.

The municipal market has 11 stalls and 1 bar distributed as follows: 5 fruit and vegetable stands, 1 fish shop, 2 butchers and 1 bakery and pastry stand, 1 green product stand and another gourmet product stand. Many of these stalls offer home delivery.
The market hours are from Monday to Saturday from 07:00 to 14:00, and on Friday, as well as from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, Sundays and holidays are closed.

Cueva pintadaCueva Pintada Archaeological Museum and Park
The Cueva Pintada (or Painted Cave) Archaeological Museum and Park aims to ensure the conservation, research and dissemination of one of the most unique sites on the island of Gran Canaria.

The presentation model of the museum and archaeological park provides visitors with an understandingof one of the island’s most exciting historical moments, making the tour an exciting and enriching experience. Specialized guides provide personalized tours in four languages (Spanish, German, English and French).

Local festivities

Iglesia de Santiago

  • January: Visit of the Magii, recognized for its regional interest.
  • May: Feast of San Isidro
  • July: Feast of the Apostle Santiago

Links of interest:

http://ciudaddegaldar.com/

http://www.grancanaria.com/turismo/en/la-isla/municipios-de-gran-canaria/visita-galdar/descubre-galdar/