About Catedral de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Catedral de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Las Palmas or Santa Ana Cathedral) is an impressive cathedral constructed in several phases. A combination of neoclassical, gothic and other architectural styles, Catedral de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria also houses several works of religious art.
Catedral de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria history
Building of the cathedral commenced in 1500 under Diego de Muros, dean of Santiago and third Bishop of Las Palmas. The city of Las Palmas had only been founded in 1478 by the invading Castilian army, at the time considered the de facto capital of the Canary Islands. Architect Don Diego Montaude and his successor completed the structure in 1570. Shortly after, in 1595, Francis Drake unsuccessfully attempted to plunder Las Palmas.
The cathedral was designed in the Gothic pointed style, which was influenced by the growing population and wealth of European cities and their desire to show local and national grandeur – ideal for a newly established capital city. The signature of the cathedral was its interior piers or columns, built as imitation palm trees. The church was left unfinished in the 16th century.
During the 18th century, the cathedral was reconstructed and refurbished after the then Bishop, controlling a large surplus from the tithe, decided to embellish the church. Until 1819, the Catedral de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was the Canary Island’s sole cathedral. Therefore the additions of the 18th century included feathering, enrichment with ornaments, features of semi-Moorish inspiration and Italian enamel.
Catedral de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria today
Today, the rather stark yet immaculate interior is open to visitors wanting to escape the bustle of the Santa Ana Plaza and hot summer weather. While the interior is surprisingly modest, pause to admire the central courtyard and compare the palm trees with their imitation counterparts inside. The cathedral is also home to the Diocesan museum.
A highlight of your visit will be climbing the bell tower via a lift, only €1,50, an ascent rewarded by far-reaching vistas of the old town, harbour and beyond to the Atlantic Ocean.
Getting to Catedral de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Located in front of the Santa Ana Plaza, the cathedral is reached via public transport on the 54 bus line, the Reyes Catolicos stop only 130m away. If driving, the cathedral is just off the GC-1 in the busy city centre, and there is parking nearby at Lugar Mercadillos parking site.