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A Day in Gran Canaria

Par: Cityseeker
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Elder Museum of Science and Technology

The Museum of Science and Technology is one of the latest attractions which Las Palmas has to offer its citizens and visitors. The building consists of four floors, each of them representing a theme. Even though there are panels with explanations all over the museum, there are also guides who will help you with any question or doubt you may have. Special consideration is given to children in this museum. There is the Pirindola hall, and Robot Eldi, who sings, dances and organizes games. Two other attractions, popular with the public in general, are Cinema 70, a non-stop documentary show, and Foucault's Pendulum. There is also a souvenir shop.

Ile de la Grande Canarie (Iles Canaries), Espagne
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Casa Museo Pérez Galdós

In 1964, this museum was set up in the former home of Benito Pérez Galdós as a tribute to one of the most famous and internationally-renowned Canary Island literary figures. It's a faithful example of a 19th-century middle class Canary Island house, and, inside, you'll find some of the author's original manuscripts, plus part of his collection of 19th and 20th century Spanish literature. Among other notable items on collection, a lovely portrait of the author by the Valencian painter Joaquin Sorolla stands out. Every two years scholars from all over the world meet here for the Congreso Internacional de Estudios Galdosianaos.

Ile de la Grande Canarie (Iles Canaries), Espagne
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Casa de Colón

The Casa Museo de Colón commemorates explorer Christopher Columbus' visit to the islands on his way to discover the Americas, as well as the role that the Canary Islands played as a bridge between the New and Old Worlds. A reproduction of the navigator's shipboard cabin, complete with an exhibition of pre-Colombian ceramics inside are featured. A section of the museum is set aside for a fine arts exhibit. The building itself is a fine example of typical Canary Island architecture, with an impressive Gothic sandstone façade and lovely wooden balconies. Admission is free.

Las Palmas, Espagne
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Las Palmas Cathedral Catedral de Canarias

Construction began with volcanic stone in 1497 and it opened for worship almost a century later, since then there have been continuous extensions and renovations. It's located in the historic part of Vegueta, one of the original districts in the capital of the island. Owing to five centuries of building work, there are several styles of architecture, from Gothic on the inside, to neoclassical outside. However, its wealth of statues are its main attraction. One of the most important is El Portapaz (the Peace Bearer), by the famous sculptor Benvenuto Cellini. The statues on the altars, by Luján Pérez, a Canary Islander, do justice to the building. The cathedral houses the Museo Diocesano de Art Sacro (Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art)and admission is free.

Ile de la Grande Canarie (Iles Canaries), Espagne
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Museo Canario

This museum, founded by Doctor Chil y Naranjo in the 19th Century, offers a splendid survey of the history of the pre-Hispanic Canaries. Apart from the very complete library, which is no doubt the best in the archipelago, the visitor can admire ancient mummies of pre-Hispanic Islanders, little clay figures, models and representations of what life on the island was like before the arrival of the Spaniards and pieces of great archaeological value, such as fish hooks, needles, remains of skins and other objects. It also houses one of the most complete specimens of a Cromagnon. Visitors can ask for guided tours and there is a gift shop for souvenirs.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Espagne
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Barrio de San Francisco

This district was established at the same time as the neighboring San Juan district, around 24 June 1483. As a small hill known as Santa María la Antigua, it was the place chosen by (or relegated to) craftsmen and shopkeepers who relied on the gentlemen of San Juan to earn their living. The houses and streets are the best remaining example of common urban construction on Gran Canaria. You can visit the San Francisco Church, erected on the site of the old Santa Maria la Antigua chapel. For further information, call the Tourism Office.

Telde, Espagne
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Tara y Cendro

The first inhabitants of Telde lived on the northern slope of the cliff, where the Prehispanic settlements of Tara and Cendra are now located. In reality, it's a group of very primitive buildings formed from cave-dwellings dug out of the rock, although some of these caves were formed by volcanic eruptions. One of the main characteristics of these two enclaves is that the cave-dwellings were still used until quite recently, both as homes and as places for keeping cattle. Tara was the location of the discovery of the so-called Idolo de Tara (Tara Idol), an anthropomorphous statue, considered the goddess of fertility, which can be seen in the Museo Canario. For more information, ring the Tourism Office at the above number. Admission to the various districts is free.

Telde, Espagne
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Barranco de Los Cernícalos

This natural attraction is a magical 12 kilometer-long ravine through which water flows all year, forming impressive gorges and waterfalls. At the bottom of the gorge are authentic little reed beds full of maiden hairs and watercress, and home to many animals, including a wide range of birds of prey from Cernícalo (sparrow hawk) to reptiles, and of course a wide variety of insects and amphibians. Bathing in the waterfalls, after walking a distance along the ravine, is an unforgettable and refreshing experience. For more information, call the Tourism Office.

Telde, Espagne
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Cocodrilo Park

This park is found in the midst of mountains and an area of beautiful vegetation. It's famous for its animals, including 200 crocodiles, tropical fish, piranhas and a big variety of tortoises, parrots and cockatoos, different types of monkeys, zebras, leopards, deer, llamas and ducks. You can also visit la Isla del Tesoro (Treasure Island), the cactus garden, the beer tent and the souvenir shop. There are shows with parrots (at 11a, 1p, 3p and 5p) and the crocodiles (noon, 2p and 4:15p). They have their own bus service collecting people from the various hotels in Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés.

Villa de Agüimes, Espagne
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Cactualdea Park

This natural park is on the western part of the island. It contains miles of cacti, hundreds of palm trees, dragos trees (native to the Canaries) and huge aloes. It is a unique environment; there's nothing like it anywhere else in the world. You can also see the caves in which the Guanches - native inhabitants of the island - lived before the Spanish conquest. You can also visit the excellent wine cellar and taste the wines that are bottled here. The shop sells small gift items as well as cacti in all shapes and sizes. The park is open all year round.

San Nicolás de Tolentino, Espagne
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Playa de Maspalomas

This 10 kilometer-long stretch of golden beach has been awarded an EU "Blue Flag" category in recognition of the quality of the waters, the cleanliness of the beach and the range of facilities on offer. Northern Europeans dream of this place during their long cold winters and come in droves throughout the year. Attractions include a lighthouse and the famous sand dunes (a protected natural heritage site). Other entertainment options are the water sports or the bars, restaurants and night clubs. The beach is cleaned daily, there are lifeguards, private beach clubs and water sports facilities.

San Bartolome de Tirajana, Espagne
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