Cultural heritage of Fuerteventura: what they are and where they are

Cultural heritage of Fuerteventura: what they are and where they are

Fuerteventura can boast a long list of cultural heritage that perhaps not all of you know or have already visited.
These are the BICs, i.e. the Bien de interes cultural, a list of sites, assets, and much more that the Spanish government and, in particular, that of the Canary Islands, has drawn up to highlight not only monuments of historical interest, but also landscapes of great importance or perhaps events and intangible assets present in the various municipalities of the islands.
In this article you will find all these assets of cultural interest in relation to our beloved Fuerteventura.
On your next trip, you’ll have one more reason to see something new that you may have missed last time.

Our journey through the cultural heritage of Fuerteventura starts from the north and from the municipality of La Oliva where there is immediately a place that many have certainly visited:

1. The Barranco de los encantados, of which we have spoken extensively in this article, constitutes a heritage of paleontological, geological, landscape as well as historical-cultural interest.
It became part of the BIC with a decree dated April 22, 2008.

2. The Barranco de Tinojay, also located in the municipality of La Oliva is an asset of archaeological interest recognized as such in October 2006.
Along the Barranco de Tinojay there are engravings that serve to trace the history of the Canary Islands and, in particular, that of Fuerteventura.
On the rocks of Tinojay are in fact engraved ships representing the different cultures and populations that, for various reasons, would have sailed here in the past.
Ships of various ancient peoples are represented in the Barranco de Tinojay, such as Egyptian, Cretan, Greek, Phoenician, Punic, Roman galleys, Nordic or Mediterranean cokes, caravels and carracks, galleons and more.
All these representations and engravings have made historians think about the reason for the various shifts over time and the evolution of history on the island.

3. The Archaeological Zone of the Barranco del Cavadero is located in the municipality of La Oliva, specifically from the place where the ravines of Risco Azul and Cavadero join.
The rock carvings of the Barranco del Cavadero were discovered by the editorial team of the Advance of the Archaeological Chart of Fuerteventura in the 1980s and have since constituted one of the most spectacular rock ensembles on Fuerteventura.
These cultural manifestations belong to the society of the mahos, and are a tool that helps to reveal some aspects of the pre-European phase of Fuerteventura.
The inscriptions of the Barranco del Cavadero are engraved on basaltic blocks placed on the walls of the ravine channel and consist of several panels distributed in three stations along its route.
The engravings can also be classified into two different types: alphabetic and geometric.

Casa de los Coronales, Cultural heritage of Fuerteventura

Frank Vincentz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. The Casa de los Coroneles (photo above) is classified as a monument, is located in the municipality of La Oliva and is a clear example of Majorera vernacular architecture.
The Cabrera Bethencourt family built this building in the second half of the 17th century with the clear intention of making the Casa de los Coroneles the center of their power made up of land holdings.
Externally the crenelated towers stand out, while inside there is a large patio connected by various rooms.
There are, among others, stables, barns and warehouses.

5. Castillo de El Cotillo (Torre de Nuestra Señora del Pilar y San Miguel o Torre del Tostón)

I believe that almost everyone who has been to El Cotillo has seen the tower that juts out over the sea, not far from the marina.
The Torre de Tostón was the work of the engineer D. Claudio d L’Isle, who died in Fuerteventura shortly before completing the fortifications that he had started, which were this one in El Cotillo and the one located in Caleta de Fuste.

6. Castillo de Fuste or Torre de San Buenaventura

The Caleta Tower is part of the island’s monuments and belongs to the Municipality of Antigua.
Since until the eighteenth century Fuerteventura did not have any building or fortification capable of protecting the island from enemy attacks, this was one of the first to be created for this purpose.
With a decree dating back to April 22, 1949 on the protection of Spanish Castles, the Torre de San Buenaventura has become an asset of cultural interest of Fuerteventura and Spain.

7. The lime kilns of Guirra ( Conjunto de Hornos de Cal de la Guirra)

The exploitation of lime in Fuerteventura dates back to the 17th century. However, it was between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century that a large number of lime kilns were built, especially in coastal areas, such as those of La Guirra.
The complex is located at the mouth of the Barranco de Miraflor and consists of three ovens, a warehouse, a house-dwelling and a cistern with a capacity of approximately 300 cubic meters.
Belonging to the Municipality of Antigua, the ovens were declared a monument of cultural interest with a decree dated May 6, 1999.

8. Cueva de Villaverde

It was discovered in 1979. It is a volcanic tube about 190 meters long. The study has provided valuable information on the way of life of the ancient inhabitants of the island, who used this type of formation both as a home and as a burial site.


Ermita de nuestra senora de la Caritad, Cultural hermitage of Fuerteventura
Frank Vincentz, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

9. Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Agua de Bueyes): The Hermitage of Our Lady of Guadalupe is located in Agua de Bueyes, municipality of Antigua, on a small hill belonging to the extension of the southeast slope of Lomo la Virgen.
The first references to its construction date back to 1644, its structure is quite simple, built with masonry walls and covered with cake and with poor quality wood. In 1718 expansion works were undertaken.
Inside, the roof is made of three-sided wood, decorated with simple geometric patterns.

10. Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad. Tindaya: The hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad is the one in the photo above.
The whole exterior is whitewashed, with the exception of the hole belfry which rises on the left side of the facade and is made with the so-called “piedra molinera”.The movable assets that compose it and which constitute an essential part of its history are: main altarpiece (Baroque, 18th century), paintings of the Dream of San José (very close to the style of Cristóbal Hernández de Quintana) and the Immaculate Conception ( Canarian school), image of Our Lady of Charity (with candlestick), etc.

11. Ermita de Nuestra Señora de La Concepción. Llanos de La Concepción: The place of Llanos de La Concepción was known until the end of the 18th century as Llanos del Otro Valle or Llanos de Santa Inés. This rather old settlement built its temple between 1784 and 1796.
On November 3, 1796, the entire neighborhood undertook to equip and maintain the temple that would be dedicated to Nuestra Señora de La Concepción, later taking the name of said patroness.
With the Parochial Restructuring Plan of Fuerteventura, completed in 1792 by the prelate Antonio Tavira y Almazán, the fief Los Llanos de La Concepción became the property of the newborn Casillas del Ángel and as a result of the Constitution of 1812 and the subsequent territorial division into municipalities, said place was part of the municipality of Casillas del Ángel until September 21, 1926, the date on which said municipality disappeared when it was annexed to Puerto Cabras (current Puerto del Rosario).

The following personal property is part of the history of this hermitage are: Pulpit, 18th century altarpiece, wooden crucifix from the late 1800s to early 1900s, Photo by La Piedad. Oil on canvas in which the Virgin is represented at the foot of the cross with her son in her arms. Round sculpture. It represents Our Lady of the Concepción, small in size, 30 cm, carved in wood and polychrome. The stoup, wooden confessional, banner in white cloth embroidered with the Marian symbol and a polychrome wooden throne.

12. Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Merced y bienes muebles vinculados. El Time: The hermitage of El Time was built in the second half of the 17th century thanks to the efforts of D. Manuel de la Trinidad, a resident of the place, who in October 1670 asked the bishop for a license to build a hermitage dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Merced on their own lands, pledging to endow it and its respective share. In 1674 the hermitage was already finished and equipped with ornaments and objects necessary for worship.

13. Ermita de Nuestra Señora de La Peña. Vega de Río Palmas: The Hermitage of Nuestra Señora de La Peña in Vega de Río Palmas was built in the 18th century, by agreement of the inhabitants of the island who decided to build a new temple at their own expense, starting work in 1705 and finishing in 1716. In its Some elements of a previous hermitage to this one that already existed in the Vega de Río Palmas were used in the construction, also dedicated to the patron saint of the island, which was built in the 16th century.
On June 30, 1716, the Bishop granted the license for the blessing of this new temple and the ceremony was held on August 26, 1716, presided over by the Beneficiary and Vicar of the island, Esteban González Socueva.
In the internal structure of the church there are elements of interest such as the wooden choir, which is located above the main door and the triumphal arch that separates the main chapel from the nave of the temple.

14. Ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores y San Miguel Arcángel: The hermitage of La Caldereta was born from the desire of the local inhabitants to have their own place of worship within their own village.
Initially La Caldereta did not have a hermitage and it was for this reason that the inhabitants, having to go to La Oliva or Vallebron in order to find a sanctuary, started the procedures to be able to build their own one dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Gracia.
The Bishop initially agreed to move the hermitage of Vallebron to La Caldera but the protests of the local inhabitants and the consequent conflicts linked to these procedures meant that only sixteen years later La Caldera could really obtain its own hermitage dedicated to Nuestra Señora de los Dolores y San Miguel Arcángel which was completed in 1808.

15. Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Puerto Rico (La Capellanía): As is the case with the vast majority of hermitages built during the 17th and 18th centuries, this building lacks history, even though it is known to have been the former home of a priest.
The construction was possible thanks to the faith and enthusiasm of the inhabitants, who knew how to transport stones, mix mud, build walls and work wood.

16. Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Buen Viaje. El Cotillo: It is located on a small square in El Cotillo and its facade faces the sea.
The hermitage was founded by the captain and sergeant major, D. Sebastián Trujillo Ruiz, on June 7, 1680.

17. Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Socorro. La Matilla: The Hermitage of Nuestra Senora de Socorro is located in La Matilla and was blessed in 1714 to allow the inhabitants of the time to have their own sanctuary.
Over the years it has undergone several renovations.

18. Ermita de San Agustín. Tefía: The Hermitage of San Agustín is located on the slope of Tefía, municipal term of Puerto del Rosario, in the place called Tefía de Arriba.
Once this license was obtained on March 19, 1714, the temple was blessed under the dedication of San Agustín.

19. Ermita de San Antonio de Padua, Toto: This hermitage is located in the center of the village of Toto, in the Municipality of Pajara.
The local residents contributed to its construction which was completed in 1795.
It has been declared a historic-artistic monument due to its peculiar characteristics and its relationship with the environment.

20. Ermita de San Antonio de Padua, Lajares: There is not much information about the hermitage of Lajares.
It appears to have been built around the 18th century.
Inside there is a wooden sculpture of St. Anthony.

21. Ermita de San Francisco Javier (Las Pocetas): The Hermitage of San Francisco Javier is located in Los Pocetas in the Municipality of Antigua, a few minutes from Antigua itself.
It was blessed in December 1775.

22. Ermita de San Isidro, in Triquivijate: Not too far from the previous Hermitage, we can find the hermitage of San Isidro in Triquivijate, also in the Municipality of Antigua.
Also in this case the hermitage was born thanks to the funding and efforts of local citizens, exactly in 1715.

23. Ermita de San José of Tesejerague : The hermitage of San José dates from the first half of the 18th century. It is located in Tesejerague, in the Municipality of Tuineje.
It has been extended and remodeled several times in the past.

24. Ermita de San Marcos Evangelista en Tiscamanita: The Hermitage of San Marco Evangelista of Tiscamanita, located in the Municipality of Tuineje, dates back to the 17th century.

25. Ermita de San Pedro de Alcántara. La Ampuyenta: The hermitage of San Pedro is located in the municipality of Puerto del Rosario and dates back to 1681, when it was founded by Don Pedro Medina and his wife Doña Agustina Vetancor.
Inside the hermitage you can find numerous paintings, both on the wall and on the easel.

26. Ermita de San Pedro y San Juan. Vallebrón: We have already mentioned this hermitage when speaking of that of La Caldereta (see point 14).
In fact here once there were two hermitages but over time only this one remained, dating back to the 18th century.

27. Ermita de San Vicente Ferrer. Villaverde: The hermitage of Villaverde is located in the center of the village, which is part of the Municipality of La Oliva.
Presumably dates back to the 18th century.
Throughout its history, the hermitage has undergone several interventions, the last one in 1996, in which the roof was restored.

28. Ermita de Santa Inés. Valle de Santa Inés: The hermitage of Santa Inés is located in the Municipality of Betancuria and dates back to 1580.
The current image, however, is the result of the reconstruction works dated 1669.

29. Ermita de San Roque. Valle Ortega: The Hermitage of San Roque is located in the Municipality of Antigua and dates back, like many other hermitages in Fuerteventura, to the 17th century.

Frank Vincentz, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

30. Ermita de Santo Domingo de Guzmán. Tetir: There is no certain news of the hermitage of Tetir until 1778, the year in which it obtained the status of parish.
In the same year he also obtained the first modernization works, perhaps to adapt the structure to the new status or perhaps to restore the building which presented the first damages of the time.
Inside there are several paintings and sculptures, as well as the characteristic elements of a village church.

Cultural events

31.Fiestas Juradas de San Miguel Arcángel: The Sworn Festivities of San Miguel in Tuineje belong to the group that it catalogs as Historical Festivities “whose origin and current celebration make direct reference to an important event of the island’s past.
They are celebrated every October 13, being one of the busiest on the island.
Its solemnity has been increasing in recent years and evokes a historical event which is omnipresent throughout the celebration: the invasion of some English pirates in 1740 and their expulsion by the Majoreros.

Another wide-ranging representation, incorporated in the last twenty years, is that of the British landing on the beach of Gran Tarajal and their meeting with the neighbors, who transform the city of Tuineje and the Llano Florido into the theater of battle.

The Fiestas Juradas de San Miguel Arcangel have been declared Assets of Cultural Interest with a category of local or insular scope by a Decree of May 15, 2007

32. Romería de la Virgen de La Peña, en la isla de Fuerteventura: The Romeria of the Virgen de La Peña is one of the most important religious-festivities on the island, where popular devotion and cultural traditions are revealed.
The exact year in which it began is not known, although a 19th-century manuscript records the celebration of a pilgrimage to the Vega de Río Palmas in 1881, a date that could correspond to the historical moment in which this September festival begins.
Pilgrimages arrive from all corners of Fuerteventura and until relatively recently also from Lanzarote, moved by devotion, to make promises, to ask thanks to the Patron Saint and to participate in the religious and recreational-festive acts that are organized during the feast days.


La Candelaria, La Oliva, Events in Fuerteventura
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria
Image by Victor R. Ruiz from Flickr

33. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Antigua: The church was built between the 16th and 19th centuries and inside you can find paintings and characteristic structures of the time.
Its external structure is typically Canarian, white in color with a bell tower to highlight its presence.

34. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria: Religious property located in the Tindaya estate, municipality of La Oliva.
All of the exterior is whitewashed, with the exception of the hole belfry which rises on the left side of the facade and is made with the so-called “Piedra molinera”.
By a decree of March 2003, the group of chattels belonging to this church is declared as a category of associated chattels.

35. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Regla: The church of the Municipality of Pajara was declared an asset of historical-artistic interest with a Decree of 7 February 1986.

36. Iglesia de San Miguel Arcángel: Even the church of Tuineje is the result of changes that have taken place over time.
It all started with a small hermitage back in September 1695 which was followed by several extensions.
Then, in 1764, the parishioners decided to build a chapel and, since then, the extensions and decorations continued up to what is now the current church.

37. Iglesia de Santa Ana. Casillas del Ángel: The Church of Santa Ana is located in the port of Casillas del Ángel, in the municipality of Puerto del Rosario. It was built around the first half of the 18th century.
Inside there are numerous paintings and sculptures.

38. Iglesia Parroquial de Puerto del Rosario: The works began in 1924 in the main square of the town. The first temple undergoes many repairs and expansions.
With an ordinance of July 1993, the Parish Church of Puerto del Rosario was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, as a monument category.

The windmills of the island of Fuerteventura

Cultural heritage of Fuerteventura
Image bySabine Löwer from Pixabay

The windmills have become part of the island landscape, becoming silent witnesses of the past, in which they played an important role in the economy of the islands. In the case of Fuerteventura they existed in abundance because this typology develops mainly in arid or desert regions, taking the wind as a source of energy, to make up for the lack of water currents. The almost permanent presence of air currents on the islands and the orography of the island contributed to this, characterized by extensive plains interrupted only by these peculiar constructions.

List of mills in Fuerteventura declared Assets of Cultural Interest by Decree 162 of 29 June 1994:

  • Molino de Corralejo in La Oliva.
  • Molino de Villaverde (Montaña del Molino), in La Oliva.
  • Molino de Tefia, in Puerto del Rosario.
  • Molino en Llanos de la Concepción in Puerto del Rosario.
  • Molino de Antigua (en el pk de Ampuyenta), in Antigua.
  • Molino de Valles de Ortega, in Antigua
  • Molino de Valles De Ortega (Nucleo). in Antigua.
  • Molino de Valles De Ortega (Nucleo). in Antigua.
  • Molino de Corralejo in La Oliva.
  • Molino de el Roque, in La Oliva.
  • Molino de Lajares, in La Oliva.
  • Molino de Lajares, in La Oliva.
  • Molino de Villaverde, in La Oliva
  • Molino de Tindaya-Tebeto, in La Oliva.
  • Molino de la Asomada, in Puerto del Rosario.
  • Molino de Puerto Lajas, in Puerto del Rosario.
  • Molino de Almacigo, in Puerto del Rosario.
  • Molino de Almacigo, in Puerto del Rosario.
  • Molino de Los Llianos de la Conception, in Puerto del Rosario.
  • Molino de la Angua-Durazno, in Antigua.
  • Molino de la Corte, in Antigua.
  • Molino de Tascamanita in Tascamanita (Tuineje).
  • Molino de Tascamanita in Tascamanita (Tuineje).

39. La Casa de Fray Andresito: This historical site deserves an article of its own, given its long past.
We can only say that it is located in Ampuyenta, on the road to La Oliva and is the house where Andrés García Acosta was born and lived.

40. La Casa del Inglés: La Casa del Inglés is an 18th century house, located in the place called “Sitio de Don David”, in the municipality of La Oliva, located on the left side of the road that goes from La Oliva to Villaverde. This house is an outstanding example of the architecture developed by the rural bourgeoisie.

41. La Pared de Jandía: it was declared an archaeological zone with a Decree dated May 2014.

42. Poblado de La Atalayita. Valle de Pozo Negro: The archaeological zone belongs to the Municipality of Antigua and La Antalayta is located in an area once dedicated to pastures and crops.
It seems there was also a small spring in the area.

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