Category: History

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

Illegal Trafficking: President of Gran Canaria “Animal Welfare” Association Investigated for Falsifying Export Certificates and Suspected Mistreatment of Animals

A rogue individual, living on Gran Canaria and operating an unlicensed and unregistered facility supposedly dedicated to animal welfare, has been referred by the Guardia Civil to the Canarian justice system for illegal trafficking and documentary falsification of certificates required for the safe transport of animals into the UK. The operation, she has run for nearly a decade, is suspected of collecting around a quarter of a million euros for this activity in just one 18 month period, keeping large numbers of unregistered animals in inadequate conditions, and illegally transporting animals from the island, without proper zoosanitary checks, across Europe by air, sea and land, destined for recipients in the United Kingdom.

 Between January 2021 and October 2022, the investigated Association irregularly exported 482 dogs to the United Kingdom
 The president of the Association falsified export certificates and presented them to the UK authorities.

Leaked documents raise further concerns about welfare in proposed Las Palmas octopus farm that would be first of its kind in the world

The proposal by Spanish multinational Nueva Pescanova to create the world’s first commercial octopus farm on Gran Canaria has generated a great deal of controversy. The company aims to produce one million octopuses a year for consumption worldwide, three times the number currently caught in the wild by Spanish fisheries. However, the project has been condemned by many scientists who regard the proposed method of killing the octopuses as “cruel”. Confidential documents obtained by the BBC reveal that the creatures would be killed using water as cold as -3°C, which many experts believe would result in a slow and stressful death.

Three Men Detained, without bail, for An Alleged Gang Rape, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Hotel

Three men were arrested and charged with sexual assault after having allegedly gang-raped a young woman in a hotel, in the Santa Catalina area of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Thursday, March 16, 2023. The woman, who is 21 years old, reported the incident at the hotel’s reception, claiming that she had been raped by the men and could not remember anything after accepting a drink from them.


Gáldar pioneering in animal welfare with a new centre

The project to build the Centre for Temporary Stay of Animals (CETA) El Sobradillo broke ground this week with the laying of the first stone in an act which included the citizens of Gáldar with dozens of animals of all kinds of conditions and breeds. This pioneering project will allow Gáldar, on the north coast of Gran Canaria, to dedicate a space that will guarantee the protection of domestic and farm animals, and which will make it the only municipality in Gran Canaria to have facilities with these characteristics to fully comply with European regulations. The centre is to be located on a plot of 3,190 square meters, which will allow it to comply with good hygienic-sanitary conditions and be adequate for the needs of the animals that it will accommodate.


Blood & Gold: The ‘Discoverer’ and the brutality of conquest

Many in Spain celebrate the national day, October 12, as a day for all Spaniards to revel in Spanishness, and remember an empire, replete with displays of military might, with marches and the waving of flags coloured blood and gold.
For many, it is not a day of celebration but a time worth spent remembering countless millions whose lives were so irrevocably affected after the arrival of one lost adventurer, who managed to find a small Bahamian island,  an ocean away from the newly united kingdoms of Spain, and their, just previously acquired, first colonial conquests. 

Maspalomas Soul Festival closes its successful sixth edition in Boogie Woogie style, ‘cus the music certainly moved them

The sixth edition of the Maspalomas Costa Canaria Soul Festival closed this year having exceeded all initial expectations, both in terms of public attendance during the three days of programming, and artistic performances that have already written a new chapter in the history of this annual musical San Agustín Beach encounter on the famous Maspalomas Costa Canaria. In spite of a two-year hiatus, the festival was an outright success over the three day weekend on the south coast of sub-tropical Gran Canaria.

A 50th birthday gift for Gran Canaria’s iconic Sioux City, as production begins on Prime Zorro reboot

It has been announced that the only wild west theme park on the island, and believed to be the first ever theme park in Spain, will be closed for the rest of this year. The filming of a new Amazon Prime “Mega-Production”, which looks set to renew and rejuvenate the famous 1920s franchise of Zorro, has begun pre-production and will shoot an exclusive ten-part series around the famous rapier wielding defender of El Pueblo de Los Angeles. There is much history behind this latest location for incoming Hollywood productions, and its great to see the ghost town’s waning fortunes possibly reinvigorated, with the prospects of reaching streaming audiences world wide.  There is much to celebrate!

“Gimme two fingers o’ yer finest gulpin’ whisky, and make it snappy!”

Fifty years ago this year, back in 1972, a seemingly incongruous new town arrived on the south of Gran Canaria. As the story goes, the name “Maspalomas” had gained global exposure due to NASA’s International Space Station playing a part in the 1969 moon landings, a Hollywood producer turned up on the island wanting to buy an entire canyon from the noble family of the Counts of Vega Grande de Guadeloupe, who to this day still own most of the touristed south of the island.  Legend has it they put a price of $2m US on the leasehold of what is now known as the Cañon del Águila (Eagle Canyon), but refused to sell it outright due to the ancient rules governing their estates, known as a “mayorazgo”, which meant that they can never sell their inherited lands and are only able to make us of or lease them to others.
The producer was looking to cash in on the Spaghetti western boom, that had really been kickstarted with the 1964 production of A Fist Full of Dollars, bringing fortunes and a little LA glamour to southern mainland Spain and Italy, and so he did a deal to not just build a cardboard film set, but to construct a real town, actually based around the history of Sioux City Iowa, in the United States, which he could use for film production, later the noble Del Castillos would start to use the town for their ongoing tourism projects, which had started in 1962, inviting visitors to the island and on to a real life movie set.
According to Gran Canaria Info the town was built in 1972 for the film Take a Hard Ride, directed by Anthony Dawson (known in his native Italy as Antonio Margheritti) and starring Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef, Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly. However, by the time the film was premiered in 1975 the bottom had pretty much already fallen out of the Spaghetti western industry.
Pittsburgh Courier September 1975
The film is an interesting one, introducing a black hero (Brown) and even a mute kung fu fighter (Kelly) to a traditional western theme of one man trying to do the right thing, against insurmountable odds.  Well worth a watch.  Other than Take a Hard Ride, Sioux city has appeared in numerous television productions, music videos and adverts over the decades, but without any major productions having returned until now.
Nevertheless this film made Sioux City, according to a Pittsburgh Courier news article that year, the set for Hollywood’s first major film production to be shot off the coast of Africa. There were of course other major productions before it, but this has to be the only one that you can still visit and immerse yourself in the fairly authentic, yet imaginary, reproduction of an 1857 Iowa frontier town during the first Sioux War.
Molly Salmons and her Showgirls try to protect an audience member from the talented town drunk, Sioux City 2011
As the town developed into a showplace for tourists and residents alike, the famous Italian Ledda family arrived, bringing circus skills with a western theme, and were joined by the astounding acrobatic and equestrian talents of the Salmons family, originally from England, whose combined talents formed the core show, and informed the training of countless cowboys, quick draws, high noons, saloon fights and <man falls off building> stunts and high jinks, with showgirls Can Canning and ruffling their skirts for delighted audiences down through the years; often paying comedic homage to some of the most endearing wild west characters in popular memory.
Together they built this town into once the most visited and popular tourist attraction on the island, particularly throughout the boom years of the 80s and 90s.  With huge, wide open performance spaces, Sioux City became the premier venue for major music events on the south of the island, even hosting the likes Gloria Gaynor and James Brown in their own appearances here.
Image courtesy of Gran Canaria Info
In recent years the park has struggled, though still a lot of fun to visit, a lack of real investment, as well as the rise of other, newer attractions closer to the tourism heartlands of Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés, left Sioux City, somewhat, as a shadow of its former self.  Nonetheless, those cowgirls and cowboys of this once bustling frontier town managed to valiantly maintain its existence, keeping the name alive and the doors open, fighting for its survival much like in the amazing 2002 Spanish movie “800 Balas”, believing to their last that this town has earned its rightful place in Gran Canaria history and still has a future to look forward to. With luck this new lease of life from such a major production arriving on the island, specifically set around the town and its unique attributes, will once more breathe new energy into one of the island’s most beloved, and most unique, places to visit or work.

For us here at The Canary News their legend will always live on as one of the most exciting and dedicated groups of people its ever been our pleasure to live and work with.  Why, without them we would not exist at all.

Zorro Reboot
The reboot series of “Zorro“, from Los Angeles-based Secuoya Studios and John Gertz, will stream exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video in the U.S., Latin America and in Spain.  It will star Miguel Bernardeau (Guzmán in Netflix smash hit “Elite”) and Mexico’s Renata Notni, as Secuoya Studios flagship series offering a modern take on the hero, directed by Javier Quintas, whose credits include episodes of “Money Heist” and “Sky Rojo,” alongside Miguel Angel Vivas, who worked on “Locked Up” and “Unauthorized Living.”
The 10 episode series is written by Carlos Portela (“Hierro,” “Velvet Collection”),  and executive produced for Secuoya Studios by David Martínez, David Cotarelo and Angela Agudo, joined by John Gertz, founder of Zorro Productions and a producer on “The Mask of Zorro” and “The Legend of Zorro” movies, working alongside former Sony exec Andy Kaplan at KC Global Media, Sergio Pizzolante for C&T Mobs, and Jesús Torres and Glenda Pacanins at NoStatusQuo Studios.
The series, according to Variety, is set to shoot, what Martínez, Secuoya Studios head of fiction called “the most important Hispano American hero of all times and adapting him for a new generation,” using various locations across The Canary Islands.  He added: “To do this, we’ve been lucky to count on Prime Video, the best partners possible for this journey, to form both a cast which is a luxury as well as the best creative and production team in the industry.” Aiming to create an “up-to-date” vision of this legendary character who since the earliest times of film making in the 20th century has long been “a symbol of justice and defender of the oppressed.” The production “perfectly takes in the diversity of an emerging world in which different races try to live together,” Secuoya Studios said at their unveiling on Friday.
It looks like, half a century after its creation, and just over one hundred years since Johnston McCulley’s dashing vigilante Zorro was first imagined and brought to life on the silver screen starring the legendary Douglas Fairbanks, Sioux City will now become the original Pueblo de Los Angeles,  endowed with a new, and much deserved, coating of star dust to carry on shining as a beacon to the world from this small sub-tropical island off the coast of Africa.  A fantastic newly rising star for Gran Canaria’s film production and tourism industries alike.

Fun Facts:
The character El Zorro (the fox) is in fact the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega (originally Don Diego Vega), a young man who is the only son of Don Alejandro de la Vega, the richest landowner in California. 
These islands of course played a key role in the European discovery and hispanic settlement of the Americas, founding well known places like San Antonio in Texas, among many others in the story of the modern United States.
Sioux City park, and the (Barranco) Cañon del Águila, are owned by the noble Del Castillo family at whose head, until very recently, was the Ninth Count of Vega Grande de Guadalupe, Don Alejandro del Castillo Bravo de Laguna, who died in May of 2020. 
It could perhaps be considered, then, that this latest “mega-production” may well be, in some small way, considered a rather fitting tribute to our very own “Don Alejandro de la Vega Grande” who played such an important role, along with his father and brothers and family, in shaping the last 60 years of tourism infrastructure on the south of this island, from the very first hotels and apartments back in 1962, the aeroclub, the Centre for Tourism Initiatives (CIT) and the creation of the Maspalomas Costa Canaria brand, through to countless other projects, including of course the construction of Sioux City itself.  But that is a history we will leave to another article.
Funny how the world turns, is it not?
Timon .:.

Synopsis Zorro Reboot

It’s a full moon. The vigilante known as Zorro gallops into town with Capitán Monasterio’s men in hot pursuit.
Zorro leaps from his horse, shoos it away and seeks refuge in the San Carlos church. He enters to find a group of women in nocturnal adoration. His appearance causing a stir, he calls for quiet and ascends the bell tower. But his pursuers have seen him enter the church. They go in, throw the women out and, when the Franciscan priest don Antonio refuses to reveal Zorro’s whereabouts, they decide to set fire to the building.
Zorro is trapped. His only choice is to hand himself over or die. And so, from the top of the bell tower, he throws himself into the flames.

Technical team

Creator and screenwriter
Carlos Portela

Javier Quintas


Executive producers

Sergio Pizzolante, C&T MOBS
Jesús Torres – Viera, NSQ STUDIOS


Faro de Maspalomas: More than 132 years as a beacon for Gran Canaria

The Maspalomas Lighthouse El Faro de Maspalomas is a 19th century lighthouse at the southern tip of Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands archipelago. It stands at the Meloneras end of Maspalomas beach, Playa de Maspalomas, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) southwest of the southern tip of the main resort town centre of Playa del Inglés,  next to the famous area known as the Dunes of Maspalomas.
Image: Maspalomas 1960 – courtesy of Maspalomas Costa Canaria


The lighthouse is the most distinctive landmark in the resort and was the tallest masonry lighthouse in the Canaries at 56 m (184 ft) until it was superseded by the 59 m (194 ft) concrete Morro Jable lighthouse on Fuerteventura, completed in 1991.
With a focal height of 60 m (197 ft) above sea level, its light can be seen for 19 nautical miles, and consists of a pattern of three flashes of white light, over a period of thirteen seconds.
Maspalomas Lighthouse LineArt 1895 Gran Canaria
Conceived by the well-known local engineer Juan León y Castillo, (born in Telde, Gran Canaria, 1834-1912 ), who was one of the most outstanding personalities in public life on the island of Gran Canaria in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, whose many works were instrumental at a time when the administrative future of the Canary Islands Archipelago was forged, this luminous complex is made up of two main bodies, the lighthouse keeper’s house, and the tower. The rectangular house was developed from a traditional Canarian courtyard design, however, the four façades of the building are complemented by the eclectic fashion of the period in which it was built. The dwelling, attached to the base of the tower, acts as a plinth that counteracts the thrusts and forces produced by the tower itself.

The decision to build a lighthouse in Maspalomas dates from 19 June 1861, but it was not until 1884 that Juan de León y Castillo was commissioned to draw up plans for the project. The works lasted until 1889 and the lighthouse emitted its first flash of light on the night of its commissioning, 1 February 1890.

The tower, presented to the sea, is a truncated conical cylinder that has an average diameter in the upper body of 6.2 meters, a height of 54.7 meters on top of which is located the lantern so that the lamp reaches a height of 60 meters. 
The lantern itself is a glass dome 3.7 meters in diameter, covered at the top. Inside it are the optics, the reflectors, and the 1000-watt halogen lamp, which emits a slow white light flashing at a frequency of one plus two every 13 seconds. The flashes have a nominal night-time range of 19 nautical miles.
Located at the west end of Maspalomas beach, next to the Punta de Maspalomas, the dune field, pool and oasis of the same name; it is the primary landmark for the main tourist area on the south of the island. It is considered an emblematic symbol and one of the best-known monuments on Gran Canaria and the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. In addition to being recognised as an Asset of General Interest, it is one of the oldest lighthouses still in operation in the Canary Islands.
Now fully automated it operates using conventional electrical power connected to the public grid. It has rooms annexed at the foot of the tower, within a two-story building of eclectic style. This building is attached to the tower on its north side and is symmetrical in the arrangement of its doors and windows, the edges of which are outlined in stone. Its corners and a cornice that finishes off the entire upper part also make use of finely cut stone ashlars to harmonise the whole.
Above the entrance to the building, there is a small balcony made of tea wood and inside there is a Canarian courtyard patio that serves to give access to all the rooms and to the tower itself. The various rooms, warehouses, and the room that the lighthouse keeper once occupied, also house a generator and large batteries to guarantee operation in case of disconnection from or failure in the electrical network.
Today it is perhaps the most emblematic Tourist Information point and ethnographic exhibition space on the south of the island, and possibly the most photographed building on Gran Canaria.
Primary source: Faro de Maspalomas and Maspalomas Costa Canaria


A summary of some of the main Easter processions worth visiting on Gran Canaria (2022)

Whether you are religious or not, there are few more interesting spectacles than the faithful following in processions behind images and statues of the foci of their devotions, infused with deep heartfelt sentiments and strongly held traditions, among the faithful you can expect weeping in the streets, wailing, fragrant incense and men in various colours of hoods and robes, among many other strange sights at this time of year on Gran Canaria.
Semana Santa, Holy Week, on Gran Canaria includes a very important set festivities, around which many events are planned and depend. All around the island, particularly the larger towns and churches, there will be processions where icons and statues are carried through the streets. The biggest and most popular ones take place in the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as well as other religious sites such as Teror and Agüimes.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Our capital city, here on the eastern islands, is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria where some of the biggest holiday celebrations of the annual calendar occur this week, with many events celebrated with vigour in intense and devout displays of faith, humility and sorrow.  Welcome to Semana Santa, Holy Week.
Many processions run through the historic centre of the capital (as well as several in many of the older towns and villages around the island) and are often heavily loaded with symbolism and historic traditions, but still manage to maintain their own unique aesthetic and identity, followed by large audiences, as we move through the week.
The passage of revered iconographic images and statues, through the unique colonial old quarter of the capital, Vegueta, offers some unforgettable experiences during the Easter holidays.

From April 10 to 17, the capital of Gran Canaria will, after two years of restrictions, resume the pulse of Holy Week, one of its most unique cultural celebrations, with great historical and cultural importance. Dioceses and brotherhoods promote an intense agenda of processions, which for the most part run through the founding neighbourhood of Vegueta, its parishes and the Cathedral, located in the Plaza de Santa Ana.

On Palm Sunday, the procession of the Burrita takes place, following a route through the streets of Triana, the original merchant quarter, and begins in the Park of San Telmo, where the first port of Las Palmas was founded, in a hermitage long associated with the seafarers and sailors who helped build the city from the end of the 15th century.  San Telmo is guardian to some of the most outstanding, and understated, artistic heritage in the city. On the same day, the procession of the Nazarenos de Vegueta begins in the afternoon with the costaleros starting out from the beautiful old church of Santo Domingo, one of the most charming corners of the the oldest neighbourhoods of the capital.

Other essential processions include the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Los Dolores de Triana, on Tuesday, and the Santo Encuentro, on Wednesday evening, in which the processions of three parishes converge at the door of the city cathedral. On Good Friday, one of the most unique gatherings takes place, the procession of Las Mantillas, from the Santa Ana Cathedral, displaying two of the most important works by revered Canarian sculptor Luján Pérez, and in the afternoon, the Magna Procession which unites all the parishes.

Sunday 10 April, Palm Sunday 
“LA BURRITA” PROCESSION” Palm Sunday, this first weekend commemorates the triumphant entrance of christianity’s central character into Jerusalem on a donkey. The morning procession from Parroquia de San Bernardo, the Ermita de San Telmo, includes an image of the fabled messiah on a donkey, followed by children carrying palms and olive branches.
This procession travels some of the oldest roads in the capital including the streets:  San Telmo, Mayor de Triana, Perdomo, Pérez Galdós, Buenos Aires, Parque San Telmo.
That same evening at 19:00, a hooded “Health and Hope” procession (Cristo de la Salud y La Virgen de la Esperanza de Vegueta) follows with the penitential procession of the Brotherhood and Guild of Nazarenes from the Parish of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in the evening. This procession, in Andalusian style carrying two idols, includes over a hundred members of the order wearing tunics and robes with hoods
An historic route around some of the most important places in the capital: Plaza de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, García Tello, San Marcos, Fernando Galván, Reyes Católicos, Dr. Chil, Reloj, Obispo Codina, Catedral (penance place ), Obispo Codina, Callejón de San Marcial, Plazoleta de los Álamos, Plaza del Pilar Nuevo, Felipe Massieu Falcón, Espíritu Santo, Reloj, Doctor Chil, Doctor Verneau, San Marcos, García Tello, Plaza de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

Tuesday 12 April,  Martes Santo
The Los Dolores de Triana procession of the Brotherhood and Guild of Our Lady of Sorrows from the Parish of San Bernardo and San Telmo starts at 19:30 and returns to the church around 22:30.  This procession, popularly known as the “Brotherhood of Sorrows of Triana”, is sober and austere in style, as the faithful accompany La Dolorosa (“the pained one”) walking behind her son, so full of anguish, and bitterness, that her face is revered for having the serene beauty of an afflicted mother, with her hands outstretched in a plea for his sacrificed life. Men in black and women in black wearing Canarian “mantillas” participate in this procession.
Route : Parroquia en el Parque de San Telmo, Mayor de Triana, Travieso, General Bravo, Pérez Galdós, ( Penitential Station in the Sanctuary of San Antonio de Padua ) , Pérez Galdós, Perdomo, Mayor de Triana – Parque de San Telmo

Wednesday 13 April, Miercoles Santo
Starts at 20:00 at arrives back to the Parroquia de Santo Domingo at 23:00.
This procession has stages throughout strategic points around the historic old quarter district of Vegueta; the meeting of the Holy Women and St. John with the christ on his way to Golgotha (Calvary), where the holy crucifixion is supposed to have taken place. The first stop is at the Temple exit, with the holy man carrying a cross on his back and meeting Simon the “Cyrenian” on the way towards Plaza de Santa Ana.
At the second station, San Juan and La Magdalena, go in search of the messiah, finding him in the Plaza del Espíritu Santo. After the second station, they visit La Verónica and Our Lady of Sorrows of Vegueta, and together they march in search of the man Jesus.
Once found by St. John and Mary Magdalena, they go to give the news to the Virgin Mary, who they find at the gates of the Casa de Colón. Along the way St. John, Mary Magdalena and La Dolorosa all meet Jesus again, this holy meeting takes place in the Plaza de Santa Ana. Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus, unfolding the Holy Face Cloth. Later they offer Penance in the Cathedral – Basilica de Santa Ana.
Good places to watch from are the Plaza De Santa Ana and Plaza de Santa Domingo where the procession starts and travels along calles (streets) Obispo Codina, Espíritu Santo, Reyes Católicos, Dr. Chil, Dr. Vernay, San Marcos, Garcia Tello and Plaza de Santo Domino

Thursday 14 April, Holy Thursday  
Leaving at midnight to arrive at the Hermitage for around 02.30. The Via Crucis in silence accompanys the image of the “Holy Christ of the Good End”, first brought out into the streets in 1941, from dawn on Holy Thursday until Good Friday morning.
Before leaving the hermitage the Miserere is sung.
A bell marks each of the stops and then restarts of the procession. Celebrating the Stations of the Cross in places where wooden crucifixes have been hung from various old mansions in Vegueta to mark the end of Lent, the season of abstinence. Expect men in hoods with incense and smoke, lanterns and tall staffs
Route: Plaza del Espíritu Santo, Castillo, Doctor Chil, Plaza de San Agustín, Procurador Luis Mesa Suárez, San Agustín, Espíritu Santo, Reloj, Obispo Codina, lateral de la Plaza de Santa Ana, Castillo, Plaza del Espíritu Santo

Friday 15 April, Good Friday 

Faithful women dressed in traditional White Canarian scarves, “The Sorrowful” follow the path of the pain of a Mother behind her crucified son. The cortege prays with the Holy Rosary and upon arrival at the Plaza, and before entering the Temple, the Bishop imparts a Blessing from the Balcony of the Episcopal Palace. From the entrance to the Cathedral, to the sound of Chopin’s Funeral March, the Sermon of Seven Words is celebrated.
Leaving at 11:00 and arriving back at 12:30. Route : Obispo Codina, Espíritu Santo, Reyes Católicos, Doctor Chil, Plaza del Espíritu Santo, Castillo, Plaza de Santa Ana, Obispo Codina to the Cathedral.
Magna procession Inter-parish of Vegueta

The Virgen de los Dolores crosses the Guiniguada ravine (on the banks of which the old town was founded) as part of the Magna on Good FridayThe parishes of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, San Agustín and San Francisco take their religious icons out to the streets and join in stages to form the Magna Procession.
From the Parish of Santa Domingo leaving at 18:30 and returning to the temple at 22:00.From the parish of San Agustín, leaving at 18:45 and returning to the temple at 21:30From the parish of San Francisco leaving at 19:00 and returning to the temple at 22:00

‘Retiro de Triana‘ processionFrom the parish San Francisco de Asis leaving at 22:30 and returning at 23:30
‘Retiro de Vegueta‘ processionleaving from the church Santa Domingo de Guzmán at 22:30 and returning at 23:30

Sunday  17 April, Domingo de Resurrección 
A premiere act of the procession ‘del Resucitado‘  on Easter Sunday morning at 11:30, which departs from the large parish church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán.

Processions during Holy Week in the municipality of Teror
Sunday 10 April, Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) at 11:45Tuesday 12 April, Martes Santo at 20:00Wednesday 13 April, Miercoles Santo at 20:00Thursday 14 April Jueves Santo at 20:00 and at 22:00Good Friday 15 April, Viernes Santo at 20:00 and 21:00

Semana Santa in the municipality of Agaete 2022Friday, 8 April – Parish of Our Lady of the Conception18:30 Pray the Rosary.19:00 Eucharist19:30 Via Crucis. Adoration of the Cross
Saturday, 9 April -Hermitage Our Lady of the Miraculous El Risco 17:00: Blessing of the Palms. Eucharist and Via Crucis.-Our Lady of the Conception Parish 19:30: Eucharist. At the end, Sacred Concert by the Guayedra Musical Group.
Palm Sunday, 10 April -Hermitage of las Nieves 10:00, Blessing of the Palms and Eucharist.-Parish of Our Lady of the Conception at 12:00. Blessing of the Palms. Procession and Eucharist with the Lord on the Donkey.-Paris of San Pedro Apóstol. Agaete Valley at 19:00. Blessing of the Palms in the Neighborhood in Front and procession with the Lord on the Donkey towards the parish and Eucharist.
Holy Monday, 11 April -Parish of San Pedro Apóstol. Agaete Valley18:30 Penitential Rosary. 19:00 Eucharist. 19:30 Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 20.00 Confessions.
Holy Tuesday, 12 April -Parish of San Pedro Apóstol. Agaete Valley19:30 Eucharist. 20:00 Procession of the Meeting.
Holy Wednesday, 13 April. Meeting with the Lord of the Passion-Parish Our Lady of the Conception:18.30 confessions and at 19.00 Eucharist and procession of the Encounter: Jesus carrying the Cross on his back. Virgin of Sorrows and Saint John. Fervorín in the meeting.
Holy Thursday, 14 April. Fraternal Love Day-Parish of San Pedro Apóstol. Agaete Valley:17:30 Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper and at 18:00 Eucharistic transfer to the Monument.-Parish of Our Lady of the Conception19:00 Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper. Eucharistic transfer to the monument.20:00 Holy Hour and Procession of the Via Crucis.
Holy Friday, 15 April. contemplate the cross-Parish of San Pedro Apóstol. Agaete Valley:09:00 Via crucis celebration. Then, celebration of the Lord’s death.-Parish Our Lady of the Conception:18:00 Celebration of the Passion and death of the Lord. Sign of the Crown of Thorns. Magna procession.22:00 Holy Burial and Procession of Solitude.Holy Saturday, 16 April. The resurrection-Parish of San Pedro Apóstol. Agaete Valley:18:00  Solemn Easter Vigil-Our Lady of the Conception Parish:19:30  Solemn Easter Vigil
Easter Sunday, 17 April -Hermitage of Our Lady of the Snows: 10.00 Eucharist.-Parish Our Lady of the Conception: 12.00 Eucharist.

Sunday 10 April at 11:00 From Templo Matriz de Santiago, procession of the Jesus arriving to Jerusalem
Tuesday 12 April at 19:00 Eucharist and at 20:00 procession of the Holy Christ tied to the Column, Ntra. Sra. de la Soledad y San Juan Evangelista.Wednesday 13 April at 19:00 eucharist and at 20:00 Procession of the Holy Christ with the Cross on his back and when arriving at the front of the Casino, Santo Encuentro with San Juan, La Verónica and his Mother Ntra. Señora de los Dolores. Next, Sermon of the Encounter. Accompanied by the municipal band of Gáldar.
Thursday 14 April l10:00 h. a 13:00 h. Habrá sacerdotes en el confesionario para quienes deseen recibir el sacramento del perdón.17:30 h. Eucaristía de la Cena del Señor en la parroquia de Ntra. Sra. de Fátima de la Montaña y reserva del Santísimo en el monumento. A continuación, Hora Santa.19:30 h. Eucaristía Solemne de la Cena del Señor, a continuación, procesión claustral del Santísimo bajo palio y reserva en el monumento.23:00 h. Hora Santa00:00 h. Viacrucis con el Santísimo Cristo de Indias.
Friday 15 April at 19:00 Holy office of Passion and the Death of the Lord, followed by the Magna procession in the following order:
I Cruz Procesional de Santiago (siglo XVI gótico renacentista).II Jesús Atado a la Columna (siglo XVII).III Ntro. Padre Jesús Nazareno (Siglo XVII).IV Banda de Música la Isleña.V Ntra. Sra. de la Soledad (siglo XVII, procedente de la antigua Iglesia de San Antonio de la Vega).VI Santísimo Cristo de Indias (siglo XIX).VII “Santa Cruz”, con la “Magdalena” (siglo XVII), “San Juan Evangelista” (obra contemporánea) y las insignias de la Pasión.VIII Santo Sepulcro (obra contemporánea).IX Santísima Virgen de los Dolores (Luján Pérez, 1756–1815).X Clero Parroquial.XI Pendón de la Real Ciudad bajo Mazas.XII Excma. Corporación Municipal.XIII Banda de Música de Gáldar.
at 22:00 Sermon of Solitude and procession of the retreat of Our Lady of Sorrows accompanied by the municipal band of Gáldar.
Saturday 16 April at 22:00 Easter Vigil of Resurrection, followed by procession of the Blessed Sacrament under a canopy and blessing.



Shifting Sandcastles in the Sky: Spanish Supreme Court upholds the cancellation of the Tauro Beach coastal territorial plan on Gran Canaria

A little-known beach on the south west of Gran Canaria has been making big waves, again, following more than 30 years of talk, 20 years of hype, 16 years of planning procedures and 6 years of controversy in the hands of the recently bankrupted Grupo Santana Cazorla. It appears the long awaited Tauro Beach project has finally been cancelled, after years of intrigue, investigations, recriminations and shifting sands. Well, cancelled for now, at least.
Reporting: Edward Timon .:.  –  Main Image: Bård Ove Myhr –
A correction was made to this article on April 6, as detailed at the end

The Special Territorial Plan of the Litoral de Tauro (PTE-29) was finally approved back in 2014, by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, 8 years after being initially put forward to regulate a long-touted tourism development, including a new artificial beach project, that had been promoted by a timeshare company, the Anfi Group, as early as 2001. The beach development was to be complemented by a 322-berth sports marina and a new shopping and leisure area, as well as up to 7,500 tourist beds in the Tauro valley, expected to rejuvenate and improve the tourism offering on the Costa Mogán, bringing prestige, jobs and new riches to the popular tourist destination.
The beaming CEO of Grupo Anfi, José Luis Trujillo, said, after many years of waiting, regulatory reformulations and bureaucratic pitfalls, and having won the contest against Puerto Rico SA for the concessions to run the businesses on this new beach, “Anfi’s dream continues with the construction of a beach that will be a benchmark for leisure on Gran Canaria” pointing out that the beginnings of this planning project had first been put forward back in November of 1987.

– Tauro Beach and Amadores in the now defunct plan
– David Silva, Trujillo and Bueno shovel sand on Tauro Beach July 2015
This helpful distraction diverted much attention from the Anfi Group’s recent change of fortunes, in January 2015 following a supreme court ruling, the first of many, against Anfi, among others, on mis-sold timeshare. The judgement opened the company up to huge numbers of potential claims for selling illegal contracts valued, by some insiders, in the tens of millions or possibly more. In the time since Anfi’s financial liabilities have grown and grown, simply due to being judged to have wilfully and repeatedly ignored the rules and the law.  It attracted the attention of other more political animals in the area.
There were lots of reasons for caution, particularly after such a long journey to achieve administrative consent for such a big project. None of this, however, stopped Mogán’s mayor, Bueno, newly elected just over a month before, from immediately getting in on the action, heralding the project as good for Mogán “a beach that will serve to attract more tourists to the municipality” wasting no time in joining the July 2015 photo-opportunity to shovel sand, alongside local-born international football star David Silva, finally breaking ground on the development, and giving the project her new administration’s seal of approval. Fences were erected and heavy machinery brought in to start work in early 2016.
– Tauro Beach as heavy machinery moved in before the sand arrived in 2016
Sandcastles in the sky
More than 50 legal objections had been made to the plans, from various quarters, claiming a total lack of consultation, inadequate permissions from property owners, deficient environmental impact studies and a raft of other complaints, including allegations from almost all of the local residents who would be directly affected, many of whom have lived on the shoreline of the Tauro bay for decades.
The final go-ahead to begin came from the Canary Islands head of Costas (regional coastal authority), José María Hernández de León, himself; and 70,000 tons of desert sand was hurriedly extracted, illegally, from the nearby disputed territory of Western Sahara then dumped on to what had been up to that point a pebble beach.  The project, now underway, it was announced with much publicity, would be finished by Christmas 2016 at a cost of €2.5m. The Mogán mayoress told journalists that the residents of Tauro beach would have to leave.
– The tide takes the sands from Tauro Beach
No sooner had work begun, however, than cracks appeared in the execution of this long awaited flagship project.  Local mariners, who understand the tides on that coastline, were dubious about how long the sands would last. For the first time in living memory, the sea flooded in over the freshly landscaped beach to inundate the homes of residents, most of whom could ill afford such a disastrous occurrence, and some of whom felt intimidated by the sudden failure of the shoreline. The project was halted pending further engineering studies and environmental reports.  The Green Party claimed irrevocable damage to a protected habitat.  The Canary Islands head of the Costas was removed from his post and then arrested by the Guardia Civil,  charged with falsification of documents, and having lied about failures in his duty, when it was discovered he had failed to verify the required property rights prior to ordering the project to proceed.
– Tauro Beach and ignored barriers
In frustration, locals tore holes in the fences so as to be able to access the now modified shoreline. Court action was initiated to remove Anfi’s permissions and concessions, while they scrambled to try to gain the missing property permissions to continue the development. Mogán town hall refused to police the coastal strip of land, or remove bathers from the beach, making clear that it was Anfi’s responsibility now, as was the destruction of their fences by members of the public trying to reach the sea.
13 shacks, which several people had made their homes, were questionably and brutally torn down by the infamous Catalan evictions company, thought to be neoconservative leaning (though who say they are a-political), whose skin-headed, musclebound “businessmen” claim to be “experts in mediation”, using a gang of thugs and a JCB, about which Mogan town hall claimed, despite having had to give permission for such action, no real knowledge, as they weren’t present, mayoress Bueno declaring that the Town Council “has nothing to do with this matter.”

The list goes on and on.  These and many more reasons for caution when dealing with institutions and entities who display little observance of State planning laws, or ordinary people’s fundamental rights.  People for whom power and money and nepotism, and even suspected fraud and corruption on a grand scale, consistently seem to trump any considerations for the everyday norms that are in place to regulate business and urban developments and to protect individuals from being harmed by large corporate and political interests.
Editors Comment: Shifting Sands
– Bueno inspects Tauro Beach
As the situation, and the confusion, has worsened for the Tauro project, so our good lady mayor and her administration have announced that they will be taking over this newly sandy beach at the mouth of the Tauro valley.  Similarly they have refused to renew the long-standing concessions for the Puerto Rico beach and for Amadores beach, claiming administration of these facilities as revenue generating assets for the town hall of Mogan. 
If one were to have a suspicious mind, one might suspect some sort of subterfuge in this latest blow to the private investment projects of Mogan.  But of course that would be cynical.  Surely it will only be the good people of Mogan who will, in the end, profit from these shifting sands. Right?

Back to the drawing board
For now, though, it seems that all is quiet again on the pristine sands of Tauro beach.  The territorial plan, PTE-29, providing the framework for the project was declared null and void in March 2019.  And news has come this first weekend in April that the Spanish Supreme Court will not allow any of the appeals presented by the Cabildo and the Government of the Canary Islands against the sentence handed down by the Superior Court of Justice for the Canary Islands (TSJC) due to non-compliance with Coastal Law, specifically due to the absence of a mandatory and binding report from that Coastal Authorities which would have been needed before it had gained final approved in 2014.
The order not only concludes that “the remedies prepared have no interest in cassation”, that is to say that the substance of the appeals contain no new evidence that might lead the Supreme court to either reconsider the verdict, nor re-interpret the existing tenets of applicable law, but also orders the appellants (those filing the appeals) to pay the costs, as they had alleged in their appeals that the breach of the Coastal Law (Spain’s Ley de Costas regulating protection, use and policy of the maritime-terrestrial public domain, in particular the maritime shore) had not been expressly raised by the company that had originally appealed approval of the Plan, Puerto Rico SA.

The 2014 territorial coastal plan for Tauro, in Mogán, which was annulled by the TSJC in March 2019, had authorised the construction of a marina with 322 moorings, the regeneration of the beaches at Tauro and El Cura and the creation of a promenade along that strip of shoreline that would be paid for with a private investment estimated to be in excess of €31 million.  The marina planned in Tauro, was initially to be built between that beach and the El Cura beach (Playa del Cura), but the plan had, in the end, changed the position of the marina to the other side of Playa de Tauro, against the cliff that separates it from Amadores beach. The Plan, now void, also contemplated the implementation of a hammock and umbrella service on both beaches and the creation of a promenade that would link these two beaches with Amadores.
Bankruptcy of Santana Cazorla
Meanwhile, in recent weeks, in a separate court judgment investigating the business dealings of the Hermanos Santana Cazorla SL (HSC) the company has been pronounced completely bankrupt. After years of ducking and diving, wrangling and wriggling, the courts have concluded that this well-known island construction, development, promotion and investment company cannot possibly service their debts, due to a negative operating capital exceeding €72m. 
Last week the family-run company whose portfolio of investments and subsidiaries stretched across many business areas from Hotels, to a multi-award-winning winery, various construction companies, and numerous other interests across Gran Canaria, these islands and elsewhere, has seemingly been put out of business.  However we are told that the woes of HSC do not affect the entire Santana Cazorla Group, which is diverse.
**On March 31 Anfi CEO, Jose Luis Trujillo, sent a letter to all of their timeshare “owners” and clients, known now as “members” to explain that HSC SL are not the specific company who own 50% of Anfi resorts (the other half owned by rivals Lopesan Hotels) but in fact this major share of the timeshare group, with a “golden vote”, is owned by a completely separate company who, the letter says, is not a subsidiary of HSC and therefore is totally unconnected to the dealings with Anfi.
Specifically, the judge suspended the companies 959 Oliva Inversión Internacional SL; 947 MSC Inversión Internacional SL; Santana Cazorla Servicios SL, and Bodegas Tirajana SL.
HSC was operated by the Santana Cazorla brothers, whose children, and other family members, do involve themselves in various aspects of the group of companies, whose interests spread far and wide across the islands.  Although Santana Cazorla were the developers who provided machinery and workers for the transformation of the now defunct Anfi Tauro Beach, Trujillo makes clear in his letter that HSC’s bankruptcy is unlikely to have any serious repercussions for Anfi, themselves.
And we have no reason to doubt him.
Altogether this looks like the end of the road for the Tauro Beach project, for now at least, with several years likely to elapse before anyone tries a further plan on this scale. But in a municipality like Mogán, where huge urban projects are sometimes green lighted, seemingly without warning, or consultation, it really is anyone’s guess as to what might just happen next.
What is clear is that citizens of Spain have a constitutional right to access all coasts, which are in the public domain.  One important question will now start to be asked in earnest, particularly by the residents of Playa de Tauro, and that is when will the fences be removed again, and when will the people of Mogán regain their right to access their beach once more?
The founders of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria & Tourism in Mogán
Puerto Rico SA have been operating for more than 50 years on the south of the island, under the  auspices of the Roca family, who literally founded Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria in 1968, having purchased the entire valley two years earlier, for the meagre sum of 30m pesetas.  The Barranco de Puerto Rico was part of a huge estate farm, some estimate 8 million m2, stretching 12km inland and another 2km to the west), and on the cliffs either side of the valley was constructed the tourist resort town we know today. The resort peaked at 20,000 tourist beds, however a large number of those apartments were subsequently sold to private buyers who chose to live in them,  able to take advantage of a town hall who seemed happy to turn a blind eye to the existing laws around residential use of tourist property, the land it is built on and the licenses under which it operates.  The current mayor expressed her displeasure, in 2015, at tourist beds not being used for tourism, however after a long controversy, the Canary Islands Government stepped in to regularise those who had bought in good faith, while making clear new procedures for change of use in the future.
The four Roca brothers, who had done very well out of construction in the early 60s tourism boom in Maspalomas, and whose father was a well known realtor, started work on Puerto Rico in 1966. By 1972 they were constructing the very first artificial beach in Spain, which in turn kick started tourism in the area.
Mogán prior to that was an agricultural zone, peopled by simple folk, with dirt roads and a small fishing fleet. They say the town hall still had an earthen floor. Any visitors who came, headed to Playa de Mogán, and due to their free loving, smoke hazed ways, were known as Los Hippies. The Roca clan and their descendants did so well from the concessions to operate tourism infrastructure, and from urbanising the Puerto Rico valley, selling plots for tourism development, and promoting the building of “Shopping Center Puerto Rico”, that in 1986 they were able to construct Gran Canaria’s second artificial beach at Amadores.  Those whose families had always held power in the area must have looked on with green eyes at these incoming businessmen with fresh ideas and the ability to attract capital.  They welcomed them with open arms, and Mogán propspered.
The town hall’s recent decisions to refuse support for their concession  renewal applications, may feel like a slap in the face after so long, but running tourist beaches is big business round these parts, with a lot of potential benefits, and this administration has never been backwards about going forwards when it comes to grabbing revenues and awarding contracts to businesses they take a shine to.  Will Puerto Rico SA recover, yes, most certainly.  Will they try again, for sure, they have lasted longer than most operators on the coast of Gran Canaria’s wild south west, and certainly they are tenacious enough to take on the dynastic political families who tend, by hook or by crook, to gain control of this local council.
Even with the best will in the world, even mayors are somewhat limited to the 4-yearly electoral cycle. Somewhat.  Let’s see if we don’t find a Roca on the ballot in 2023… or perhaps sufficient divisions will remain to keep the same old faces on the same old lamp posts and billboards, serving up more of the same for a fist full of dollars and few years more.

The mayor, Bueno, has kept a very low profile in recent days, having spent months trying to distract the world with her “humanitarian efforts” to remove irregular migrants from the Port of Arguineguin, she moved on to marching through the streets with anti-immigration protesters.
Subsequently she has made loud, if meaningless, noises regarding her opposition empty hotels temporarily accommodating migrants, reading well the rightist rhetoric, stirred initially by fishermen afraid of Covid infections, then others with time on their hands, to join the cries to “Save Tourism” by moving these people out of her municipality, she has even tried to fine those hoteliers who aided the humanitarian effort, while detention camps were being constructed into which to move the migrants.
Now that all but a handful of migrants remain in Mogán, along with a couple of hundred unaccompanied minors, accommodated in the municipality’s (still empty) hotels, and while a further influx (of either visitors or migrants) is awaited, presumably tourism has now been saved. Bueno will no doubt return to other more pressing matters, such as jetting off to meet with her Madrid legal team, to prepare a defence for her upcoming court appearances to answer many niggling doubts that have arisen about her administration’s management of municipal affairs, and indeed how it was they came to office in the first place.
Various concerning questions have certainly emerged, both before and during her tenure in the town hall, regarding the methods with which she and her party serve the good people of Mogán.
Not least of all the fact that she has been under investigation for many years, this time round since at least 2015, over very serious allegations of fraud, nepotism, irregularly awarded contracts, urban planning concerns and various alleged electoral irregularities.
She faces trial, likely this year, following a very public arrest by Guardia Civil last September, along with two of her councillors, which she responded to by concentrating on international migration, and alleging a massive state conspiracy against her.  Without a doubt she is bare faced and tireless.  We wish her well. Qué Bueno.

**An error in this article, published April 5, was corrected after it came to our attention that the bankrupt company Hermanos Santana Cazorla had been incorrectly stated to be a shareholder in the timeshare operators Anfi Group.  A letter signed by Anfi CEO Jose Luis Trujillo, made clear to Anfi members that there was no reason to be concerned with regards to the bankruptcy as HSC, though part of the same family of companies, was not in actual fact the company that owns a 5o% shareholding in Anfi.
If you spot any errors in our reporting please do not hesitate to contact us  by email, or through our Contact page, or by calling +34 928 987 988

Bulo in Paradise: The Tauro Beach Saga

The Ballad of Tauro Beach:...Posted by The Canary News on Thursday, April 8, 2021


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Shipping companies start sending ships to the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Port of La Luz to circumvent the blocked Suez Canal

Shipping companies have started sending ships via the main Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Port of La Luz to avoid the blockade in the Suez Canal. The president of the Port Authority of Las Palmas, Luis Ibarra, confirmed on Saturday that the capital will be one of the beneficiaries in the commercial crisis caused by the Ever Given accident, caused when the large container ship ran aground last Thursday in the famous Egyptian canal. Freight companies have signalled that they now intend to avoid the growing maritime traffic jam that has formed in the Red Sea by instead skirting the African coasts, making the Canary Islands a stopover on their merchant trips headed for the ports of central Europe, mainly Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg.

“It is too early to know the real scope of this crisis because everything depends on the time it takes to resolve the accident,” said Ibarra, “but everything that passes through the Cape of Good Hope [South Africa] will be beneficial to us.” For the moment, he stressed that companies have already confirmed that several ships from Asia will pass through the Islands, with a final destination in Europe, with freighters with capacity for 12,000 containers.
The capital of Gran Canaria will be a stopover in the transit of goods between continents, which would usually take the shorter route via Suez, although we will not be able to handle mega freighters such as the stricken one currently blocking the canal, as Las Palmas does not currently have cranes capable of operating with vessels carrying up to 24,000 teus (containers). The ships will unload containers that were destined for Mediterranean ports on the Island, which will then be sent on to their final destination. This stop will allow companies to avoid having make even larger detours towards the Strait of Gibraltar. The Puerto La Luz is better positioned than most others, in Algeria, Morroco or Portugal, according to Ibarra. “The location of Las Palmas is perfect in this regard,” he stressed.
The commercial crisis unleashed by Ever Given will offer benefit to the island, not only in the movement of containers through the different terminals of La Luz, but also in the supply of fuel. Sources from the oil company Oryx pointed out that the situation in the Suez Canal “may be positive” for their facilities on Gran Canaria, but everything will depend on the time that the sea passage remains blocked and the subsequent unblocking of the vessels currently built up in the Red Sea. The La Esfinge pier at the port has sufficient draft to moor oil tankers of almost 300 meters in length.
Sources consulted by Spanish language daily La Provincia agree that it is still too early to know the extent of the current commercial crisis or effect it will have on maritime traffic in La Luz. No date has yet been suggested for the unblocking of the canal; and once the accident is resolved, the Suez passage must be decongested. Shipping companies have indicated that there are more than 200 container ships stuck in the area until further notice. On Monday new movements are expected from shipping companies after the weekend break.
Ibarra points out that the Port will see repercussions from the blockade in Suez by the middle of the week, since ships take an average of between seven and eight days to go around the African continent from Southeast Asia. “Everything will depend on how many companies choose to divert their ships, the products they transport, the urgency of the recipient,” said the president of the Las Palmas Port Authority.
Comparison of the size of the ‘EverGiven’, as long as the main shopping street in Las Palmas
The African route is, of course, more complicated than the Suez Canal alternative as it is longer and presents problems including the potential for piracy, especially for those ships that need to stop for refuelling. The distance between Singapore, the main shipping zone from Southeast Asia, to the Netherlands, by going round South Africa, is about 23,300 kilometres compared to the 16,400 usually travelled via Egypt. It is approximately 20,000 km from either Singapore or from Suez to The Canary Islands Archipelago .
Ibarra also pointed out that whatever happens next, the canary islands are unlikely to suffer any supply problems due to the accident, since ships that use the Suez Canal route are not normally carrying cargo destined for the Islands. In mainland Spain, however, the logistical consequences will be greater particularly for destinations in the Mediterranean. “A blockade like this interrupts the rotation of containers,” he explained, while highlighting that the situation will not last long, predictably, not more than a month.


The Canary News

Las Palmas remembers their connection to best selling crime novelist of all time, unveiling Plaza Agatha Christie, with a memorial plaque

Our provincial and island capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, this month officially honoured the famous British mystery crime writer, Agatha Christie, by naming a public space after her. The City Council revealed the signage naming Plaza Agatha Christie, near to the La Cícer pedestrian footbridge, to mark the 45th anniversary of her death.  2020 marked the centenary of her first ever published novel. The place chosen recalls the ties that the “first lady” of crime had with the city, and the sea she loved, while staying at the Hotel Metropole here on the island.
The Mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Augusto Hidalgo, along with the Councillor for Culture, Encarna Galván and the Councilor for the Isleta-Puerto Guanarteme District, Luis Zamorano, unveiled the sign on January 12, the 45th anniversary her death, a gesture approved by the city council back in April 2018, as a tribute to one of the greatest writers of all time, the world’s best selling crime novelist, to memorialise her ties to the city ​​and its beaches, her adoration for sea bathing, her passion for surfing, and her long walks throughout the various streets of the capital of Gran Canaria.

Her experiences here on the island and in the archipelago are reflected in her legacy, particularly in her later works and in her claim to have encountered the real Hercule Poirot on a boat here on the islands. It is also stated, in a 1977 biography, that Las Palmas de Gran Canaria features in various adventures, penned by the author, including Miss Marple’s “The Thirteen Problems”. The city captivated here while on the island for a period “of disconnection and personal reflection” following an episode the year before when she went missing, after discovering her husband’s infidelities, and was later found without memory of where she had been.
She first stayed in Tenerife, but then having finished writing the novel “The Mystery of The Blue Train”, which she later described as ‘easily the worst book I ever wrote’; she decided, in the February of 1927, to move to Las Palmas with her 12 year old daughter and her personal secretary. Chrisitie stayed for a week at the Hotel Metropole, which itself features in one of her short stories, The Companion: “…ships from all over the world put in at Las Palmas. Sometimes they stay a few hours, sometimes a day or two. In the principal hotel there, the Metropole, you will see people of all races and nationalities – birds of passage. Even the people going to Tenerife usually come here and stay a few days before crossing to the other island.”
Though The Metropole no longer exists, in its place, beside The British Club, looking out to sea from the old British merchant neighbourhood of Ciudad Jardin, stands the Las Palmas city council building, where a plaque has also been placed.
Her life has also been commemorated by the Culture Department of ​​the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council with the weekly publication of fragments from her writing, throughout last September, marking the 130th anniversary of her birth, last year.  The first call for a mystery and detective novel contest was also made, the winners of which were announced this month, pending presentation of the award, planned for a public ceremony that will take place when the “Promotion of the City of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria” publishes the winning novel.
Agatha Christie maintained her links to the island and her happy days here bathing and surfing, with the praise she dedicated to the city, which will from now on always be remembered with this newly named plaza next to the epicenter of the long established British colony that long lay midway between the Port of La Luz and the original old town of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.



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