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Old Town of Vegueta

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Vegueta, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Translated by Emma Twomlow — 2 months ago

Original text by Antoni Carballo Santana

Vegueta, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

I prepared myself to go to the area of Vegueta by bike to learn more about the old town, when halfway down the coastal promenade, my back tire burst. So I had to go all the way back home to change my mode of transport, and I took the motorbike. On the way back to mine, I managed to take a photo of Las Alcaravaneras beach so that you can see it by night. You can practise any sport there without any problems.


Apart from showing you the area, I wanted to go to Vegueta because on today's date, they are shooting the film Allied, and the main character is Brad Pitt. I went in order to see if they passed me here doing a scene or if they would let me do a scene with him! Just so I could take some photos of the shooting. But no, I only saw the enormous unfolding going on in the streets. There was also loads of security so nothing disturbed the filming. But it was rolling. I could take some photos like these, where you can see a classic car from the time period the film's based in. Anyway, better than nothing. This place is called the Columbus Alameda.



I went at night so you can see the lights on the streets, and I think it's in your best interest that you get to know this area. A lot of history is conserved in these streets, in fact it was named an artistic historical ensemble. Vegueta, according to historians, was where the conquest of Gran Canaria began. Nowadays it's an important central zone, due to its cultural interest from having emblematic buildings such as theatres, markets, plazas, and the cathedral. In Vegueta you will be able to find the largest concentration of cultural places in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. So this means that if you're not one for coming here just to party, this might interest you.

Vegueta Market

Vegueta Market was the first ever market to be created in Gran Canaria. Inside it you can find all sorts of food related things, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, cheese, eggs, legumes, sweets and many other things. If you're an Erasmus student and you have chosen to live in Vegueta, I recommend that you do the shopping you need to do in this market. You'll find the same stuff that's in the big supermarkets and it's all fresh. The market is located just in front of the Pérez Galdós Theatre and between these two buildings, you'll find the mouth of the Guiniguada ravine.


Pérez Galdós Theatre

The Pérez Galdós Theatre, is a theatre that stands out because of its height and because of its two parts that are well-distinguished with regard to its structure and design. This theatre combines a modern design, that was made in the last refurbishment and a classic design from when the building was built. Just in front of the theatre, you can catch a guagua (bus) as the guagua terminal is right there. The only time I've personally gone inside this theatre was when they held a television contest there. The contest was called "Tienes Talento" (You Have Talent), and it's one of these programmes that goes all over different cities to hold this competition where people show off their skills. There are singers, jugglers, or whatever other special talent they have. From the Pérez Galdós Theatre, we're then going onto the main street of Triana.


Calle de Triana

The Calle de Triana nowadays represents a commerical area, full of shops of any kind, including the leading brands in fashion. You will even be able to find a McDonald's right at the beginning of this street. It's a long street, which is around a kilometre in length. It starts at San Telmo Plaza, and ends right next to Pérez Galdós Theatre. Previously a tram used to pass through this street. Now, the only thing they have conserved of it are the rails on certain parts of the street that it once used to move around the city. On special dates such as the days counting down to Christmas or the day of the Reyes Magos, the street is so full of people you couldn't even imagine it. They also open all the shops at their "nocturnal" timetable. At the same time that the shops begin their late night shopping schedule, the bars and pubs that run perpendicular and parallel down this street make the most of the time of year and play music to liven up the atmosphere. I would recommend that you'll have a great time if you're here around these dates. As soon as we reach the end of the Calle de Triana, we're going to San Telmo park.



San Telmo Park

San Telmo Park can be found right behind my back in the previous photo I showed you. It's a park that has a chapel and it's very busy there daily. Also, just in front of you if the Guagua Station (Bus Station). It's a big park and on certain dates they set up some stalls that sell handmade crafts. Near San Telmo there's a very central block of student halls, and you also have the Department of Teaching in one of the streets a little higher up. It's an ideal area if you're going to stay on the island to study for a while. It has everything close at hand.




Plaza of the Frogs

The Plaza of the Frogs is found in the same position as the Pérez Galdós Theatre, passing through Calle de Triana but a few metres further up. This plaza is a meeting spot and there are bars with terraces all around where you can have a quiet cold beer. It's called Plaza of the Frogs because right in the middle it has a fountain with frogs in it. Also in the same plaza, there's a library with multiple floors. If you don't ask what this building is, you'll pass it by, unnoticed. Right in front of the plaza, the building that's shown in the photo, is the Monopol Cinema, that keeps battling against the bigger commercial cinemas For me personally, I have a special soft spot for this cinema. The films that they show in this cinema are movies that you definitely wouldn't see in another cinema. If you sit yourself down on a terrace in the Plaza of the Frogs, and you look up to the sky in the direction of the Guiniguada ravine, you'll see the Cathedral of Santa Ana with its two bell towers.


Cathedral of Santa Ana

The Cathedral of Santa Ana is an historic monument that you should visit regardless of what you believe in. It's very pretty to look at because of its interior architecture. Right in front of it you'll find the Plaza of Santa Ana and the Town Hall. It has a huge facade with two bell towers, and inside there are a lot of Saints. I can't tell you who they are though as I don't know all of them. Around the plaza you'll find sculptures of dogs, the so-called dogs of Gran Canaria (the -can in Gran Canaria came from the -can in "canine" because upon the discovery of the island, they found hundreds of Canarian dogs as well). There are other places of cultural interest around this area too. I remember when I was little, that I went to a place where they keep all the historical documents in an impressive way. From the Cathedral of Santa Ana, I'm going to start walking a little bit behind here, and we will be in the Plaza de Pilar Nuevo, next to the sculpture of Nestór Álamo.





Plaza del Pilar Nuevo

The Plaza del Pilar Nuevo, according to what my parents have told me, is the place where people formerly came to meet to collect water. The plaza is found at the rear part of the cathedral and behind the Columbus Museum. To get there you have to walk through a pretty, narrow, zigzagging alleyway like you can see in the pictures.




Columbus House Museum

The Columbus Museum makes reference to the pioneer of the Americas. In the museum you will be able to see mapa, objects from the era and the story of how Columbus carried out his most important trip. You will also be able to find a replica of the boat that he navigated. The museum forms part of what would have been Columbus's house in those times.


Cuyás Theatre

I've only been to the Cuyás Theatre twice, once for my girlfriend's graduation and once to see the Canarian comedian Manolo Vieira when he put on a show in this theatre. The Cuyás Theatre can be found on the street parallel to the Calle de Triana, so it's very easy to find it. They're still putting on plays and shows. They even release publicity for them on the television. In my opinion, it's these theatres that are actually the most active on the island nowadays. With regards to the building, you can walk past it unknowingly because its exterior looks like any other normal building.



One thing you should always have in mind when you're walking through the streets of Vegueta is how well everything is signposted so you can't get lost. But, as I always say, if you do get lost don't worry, as you can always find your way with the sea. From that point on, when you find the sea, circle the island and you'll definitely find something. I'm positive.


Palacio de Justicia

It's an old building that you can see in the background of the photo with its tower. This area is very busy during the morning. It's very difficult to park there, which is why the bike is the best option you can have. You can't go to Vegueta without taking a photo with the "Vive Vegueta" sign, can you? Come on don't be too proud to take a photo, I know you want it. I won't look.



I hope that you've enjoyed this trip and the most emblematic buildings of the area. The area actually extends much further than this, but the essential things are in this exact area that I showed you. It's ideal for walking through at night, and having a drink on the Calle de la Pelota where you'll find a lot of bars that do tapas with beer, wine, or whatever drink you like, all at a very affordable price. Thursday nights are key in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Enjoy your Erasmus experience!

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