La Luz Castle is one of the most important buildings in the architectural heritage of Las Palmas. It was built in 1494 by Juan
Rejón, an Aragonese captain in the service of the Castilian navy, who was appointed by the Catholic Monarchs to participate
in the conquest of the Canary Islands. Rejón founded the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and after the conquest he had
this emblematic landmark built not only for the purpose of it being used as a fortress against Dutch and English pirates
(Drake, Van der Does, etc...) but also as a deterrent force against potential enemies. It has also served as a pest house,
makeshift field hospital, an inn and a lighthouse throughout the years.
It is located in the northern part of the island, next to La Luz Port in Las Palmas. This fortress was originally built over a reef
and was constantly buffeted by the sea, remaining isolated during hide tide. However, the subsequent development and
modernization of the town left it on dry-land after its surrounding area was filled with earth. It rises up majestically like a
guard building with its magnificent turrets and watchtowers. During many years, this castle was the only means of defence
for the city of Las Palmas.
It is a square-shaped building with three levels. It has three round towers and a platform adapted for eleven cannons. You
can access the interior via a drawbridge. A half arch shows the image of Our Holy Virgin (Nuestra Sra. Virgen de La Luz).
The passage of time obviously affected not only its original use, but also its external appearance, as result of sea and wind
erosion and attacks by pirates during the 16th century, during which the city was looted and burnt. The fortress ended up in
a ruinous condition. In the 1960's however it was partially reconstructed to become an exhibition gallery. It was only
recently that the castle has been turned into a new exhibition space equipped with appropriate facilities
for a contemporary museum, after being fully restored.
LA LUZ CASTLE ROYAL VISIT (28.01.2014)
The Prince and the Princess of Asturias visited Gran Canaria on their way back to Spain from Honduras to officially
inaugurate the newly-restored La Luz Castle, which was the first ever fort to be built in the Canaries. Prince Felipe was
accompanied by his glamorous wife, Letizia Ortiz and local authorities, during the visit.
|Castillo de La Luz (Las Palmas)
|The Prince of Asturias
officially inaugurates the
newly-restored La Luz
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