Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: European Geography
|Coat of arms||Map|
|Autonomous Region:||Canary Islands|
some reads 99.77 km²
|Population:||376,953 ( ISTAC, 2003)|
|Location:||28.1/28°6' N lat.
15.41667/15°25' W long.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a Spanish city, the capital city of Gran Canaria which is one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, 210 kilometers located off the northwestern coast of Africa. It is also the capital of the province of Las Palmas and co-capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands.
The population of the city of Las Palmas was 377,600 as of the 2003 census, making it the largest city in the Canary Islands. The population of the whole urban area was estimated in 2003 to be 609,628, ranking as the 10th-largest urban area of Spain. (Gran Canaria island had 789,908 inhabitants in 2003).
The city was founded in the 24th of June, 1478 by Juan Rejón and the Castillian troops, after fighting the local Guanches (aboriginal people of the Canary Islands). In 1492, Christopher Columbus stopped in the city prior to his first trip to the Americas. He also stopped on the way back to Spain. Today, a museum is named after him - Casa Colon in the Vegueta area of the city.
Las Palmas is today a very cosmopolitan city. There are popular beaches nearby (Las Canteras and Las Alcaravaneras) and a busy harbor (Puerto de la Luz harbor) - one of the busiest ports in the world during the 70s~early 90s. As a result, many people from all over the world live and work in Las Palmas. Merchants and traders from Africa, China, Russia and the Middle East mingle with each other in the streets of the harbour. The Korean and Indian communities are the largest foreign communities on the island, although the majority have been acquiring Spanish citizenships over the years.
According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at the Syracuse University (USA), the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria enjoys the best climate in the world.
The main City Festival ( Fiestas de San Juan) is in June, celebrating the foundation of the City.
The Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is one of the most typical and famous parties of the city, and is not only well known in Spain, but also has worldwide fame.
There is also a good Theatre and Dance Festival and an International Film Festival.You can find also the very beautiful Alfredo Kraus Auditoriumnamed after the unforgettable tenor from Gran Canaria. It is just next to Las Canteras Beach the best urban beach on the World.
Sites of interest
- Canarian Museum
- CAAM Modern Art Gallery
- Science and Technology Museum
- Nestor Museum
- Columbus House
The city is linked with three superhighways including the GC1 to the south, the GC2 to the west and GC3 to the centre of the island. The nearest airport is the Gran Canaria International Airport or the Las Palmas - Gando International Airport located 18 km from the capital.
Notable Natives and Residents
- Antonia San Juan
- Javier Bardem, a Spanish actor
- José Viera y Clavijo
- Benito Pérez Galdós, writer
- Sven Giegold, a German politician
- Mateo Gil
- Alfredo Kraus, was a Spanish tenor
- Juan José Armas Marcelo, a Spanish writer
- Marta Marrero, tennis player
- Juan Negrín, politician
- Nicolas Estevanez, military officer, politician and poet
- Magui Serna, tennis player
- Juan Carlos Valerón, football (soccer) player
- Manuel Pablo García Díaz, football (soccer) player
- Juan Fernando López Aguilar (Spanish Minister of Justice)