Santa Lucía, Gran Canaria
The picturesque little village of Santa Lucía with whitewashed houses and
surrounded by palm trees, is further inland and located on the upper levels of the
fertile palm valley of Santa Lucía de Tirajana.
Find out when and where the Santa Lucía market is held.
During the 60's the population of this municipality grew rapidly after the introduction of tomato cultivation and the tourism boom. Many people moved south to work in the southern tourist resorts of Maspalomas, Puerto Rico and Playa del Inglés and preferred to settle in the municipality of Santa Lucía de Tirajana, as property prices were less expensive.
However, until then, the population of Santa Lucía village was very small and widely spread so that within the confines of this municipality you also find the village of Sardina and the coastal towns of Doctoral and Vecindario.
Almost as if it were an ancient fortress standing proudly on the top of a hill stands "La Iglesia de Santa Lucía" (the church of Santa Lucía) which although built as recently as 1898, is built on the site of a former 17th century chapel.
Unusually, the Santa Lucia church sports a dome, which is more reminiscent of a mosque, than a church.
Like most of the municipalities Santa Lucía de Tirajana has it's own fiestas like the 13th of December. December 13th the fiesta is in honour of the patron saint, Santa Lucía. These fiestas have been declared a tourist attraction, as they manage to combine religious festivals with public sentiment. Arising from this combination of originality and tradition are events such as the procession of the image of Santa Lucía on December 13th, the crowning of La Lucía together with her Swedish namesake, and the Procession of the Day of the Labourer on the following Sunday.
"The Day of the Labourer", the fiesta in honour of la Virgen del Rosario, is an event which attracts a large number of visitors to Santa Lucia de Tirajana. These days it is a procession where thousands of participants gather, dressed in typical canarian costumes: black hat, espadrilles, the Canary Islands knife, the pumpkin full of mejunje (a local liquor), wine, rum or water, and with typical canarian food such as goat cheese, pork crackling, small cakes, a block of gofio and fried sardines.
On this day, carts drawn by tractor or cattle, parade through the streets of Santa Lucía offering such products for the many visitors to try. Finally, on October 24th the fiesta in honour of San Rafael is held in Vecindario. This is a local fiesta of the municipality of Santa Lucía de Tirajana, and includes, among other events, a large cattle show.
The village of Santa Lucía also boasts a small ethnographic and archaeological museum, One of the many museums which charts the history of Gran Canaria. The Museo del Castillo de la Fortaleza, houses archaeological finds from the surrounding areas, such as: Guanche (which originally meant, guan/Man of the che/snow; This referred to the snow capped peak of Mount Teide. Therefore Guanche could actually mean Man from Tenerife but today is used to refer to the indigenous aboriginal people that inhabited the Canary Islands), artefacts, agricultural tools, pottery, even a Roman amphora of the 3rd century from the time before the fall of the Roman empire, wicker work, leather goods and skeletons are also displayed. The facade of the building housing the artefacts, is recently built, and resembles a fortress with battlements and turrets. It also has a reconstruction of a typical 17th century Canarian bedroom.
Close to the village of Santa Lucía just waiting to be discovered is a very important rock. The Fortaleza Grande just happens to be a rock curiously shaped rather like a fortress. It was at this Fortaleza Grande rock near Santa Lucía that the last battle, fought by the indigenous peoples (the Guanches) fighting for the freedom of their island took place. The battle is called the battle of Tirajana. The 29th of April saw the battle take place and marks the day of the end of the Castillian crown's conquest of Gran Canaria. It was here in the municipality of Santa Lucia de Tirajana, that the last of the Guanches surrendered to the Spanish invasion. Legend has it that some of the Guanche soldiers who refused to give up and who chose not to follow the order to surrender, threw themselves from the rock, and with them two of their leaders. To this day the 29th of April sees a ceremony take place on the plateau behind this important rock near Santa Lucía, in commemoration of this important historical event, which took place on Gran Canaria all those years ago.