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Betancuria, the Cradle of History
In the hinterland of Fuerteventura
How to get to Betancuria
There are several ways to get to Betancuria. If you are in Corralejo or El Cotillo, follow the signs for La Oliva: pass the city and after a few kilometers turn right, following the indications for Tefia. Climb up to Morro Velosa (the Mirador is fantastic, there you can also find a bar with a diner): stop and admire the statues of the Giants Guize and Ayose, the reigning protectors of the ancient island of Fuerteventura. A few more miles and you’re here.
If you are from Puerto del Rosario or from the south, follow the signs for Antigua, then continue to Betancuria.
A peaceful people
Betancuria owes its name to the first founder of the city, the Norman Jean de Bethencourt. This is the oldest settlement of a certain relief on the island made by men, which occurred (as reported on the inscription at the foot of the statues), in 1404.
The inhabitants of the coast side, continually overwhelmed by the pirates’ invasions, moved inland, finding this valley, hidden from the surrounding hills. It once had to be very lush, because much of the greenery on the island is still found in this area, starting from Betancuria and coming up to Pajara.
It became the historical capital of Fuerteventura until it was razed by a Berber attack in 1593: it was laboriously rebuilt in 1691 and is still maintained in the wonderful state which you can admire.
What to see in Betancuria
The city is extremely clean and lovely, let’s say almost fake, if you want to be desecrant. If you let the stone-paved streets guide you, soon you’ll arrive at the Church of Santa Maria, with its beautiful bell tower and the typical Canarian balcony.
Do not miss the Convento de San Buenaventura, for which there have recently been allocated large sums for the complete reconstruction.
In the immediate vicinity, also in Plaza Concepciòn, you can find a wonderful fountain and the Handicraft Museum.
You can also visit the Museo de Arte Sacro de Betancuria.
Adjacent to the square with games for children, you will find a directory with the paths you can follow (with relative length in km) and things to visit.
In a few hundred meters there are at least a dozen restaurants for all budgets. I never stopped for a quick lunch, I just drank a coffee at the Bodegòn of Don Carmelo, munching a large toast. I was recommended by various parties the emblazoned restaurantCasa Santa Maria, which actually would seem very nice and good looking.
I recommend going back at least a couple of times to explore even the surroundings: I climbed into a field of aloe to see the city from above and I must say that there was nothing to be seen but, well, that’s it. On the other hand you can eat without difficulty even at the tavern or the Gambuesa.
I went a few times to see this bombonniere, and both times I was amazed by the fact that there are no classical painters, portraicists, not even a chinese with thundering sonic swords. Amazing.
Perhaps the choice of the Council of Betancuria is precisely that: to maintain the peace and the silence that the ancient inhabitants sought, before being slaughtered by the Berber, poor ones.
Let yourself be amazed:)
This post is also available in: Italian