Islas Canarias (1)
Las Islas Canarias are an autonomous community formed by a set of seven islands (Tenerife, La Palma, Gomera, Hierro, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura) located in the Atlantic Ocean, in front of the north-western African coast. Canary climate is subtropical and oceanic. Temperatures are warm in all seasons and it rains seldom, with an average annual temperature of 19 ºC. The Canary Islands are a unique place in Europe, standing out in ‘sun and beach’ tourism. Moreover, few volcanic islands worldwide have such a biological and landscape diversity like the Canary Islands. In hardly 7500 Km² are located several habitats, from humid forests in Laurisilva, to subdesert dunes.
Historically, references to the ‘Fortunate Islands’ can be found in Greek and Roman writings. But the islands were not incorporated under the Castile Crown up until 1496, thanks to Juan de Bethencourt. In that year, Columbus´s ships made a stop at the islands before starting off exploring the New World.
Canary art is result of continuous exterior influences, with the exception of cave paintings and recorded stones from times previous to its continental conquest. The “Ethnographic Pyramids of Güimar”-park is a historical monument of great archaeological value where six stepped pyramids can be observed, which are objects of archaeological studies by archaeologists from all over the world. Among late gothic monuments, Las Palmas cathedral and San Gabriel castle in Arrecife stand out. The Mudejar building style also has some monuments on the islands, like the San Telmo church.