By exploring the architecturally interesting buildings on the Spanish island of Fuerteventura you can learn a lot more than you might think about its history, the people who lived there, the manner in which they lived and any hardships they may have suffered. Whether you visit the many religious buildings, fortifications, lighthouses or residential buildings it is like looking through a hole in time
Fuerteventura’s Religious Buildings
Throughout Fuerteventura there are many religious buildings. In fact, there are about 20 chapels and 12 churches. The chapels were built by the people of the villages they served and because of this are very simple architecturally in design, much like many of the buildings built during the 18th Century. The churches on the other hand were built immediately after a village was established and are also characteristic of their time. As time and its events have not always been very kind on the churches, they have been worked on often, whether it was after fire damage, pirate attacks or it was just to improve the sound levels.
Fortifications and Lighthouses
While centuries ago fortifications were built to give protection and security to the villages and cities from invaders, there was also six lighthouses that date back even earlier. Some of the fortifications that are still intact and worth visiting include El Toston and In Caleta De Fuste which still stand today as a testament to the island’s past.
Cillas And Taros
The islanders needed a place to store agricultural products and crops, so taros and cillas were built. The taros were used as a place to store and sell manual equipment, cheese, agricultural products and domestic appliances. The cillas were used almost exclusively by the churches to store its members donations and so that the church could own crops. There are six varieties of taros still standing that you can check out in La Matilla, Pajara, Ampuyenta and Lajares. Only one Cilla remains, the Cilla de La Oliva.
Tenrias And Mills
Another building used as part of the Fuerteventura economy of old, these were used to tan leather. To have a close look at how they tanned leather in the past, you should visit the one remaining tenrias at Teneria De Mezquez. Mills used to grind corn and were an important part in the production of a toasted wheat or maize flour known as gofio which was part of the local diet. The first hand mills were made very simply, until the late 18th Century brought with it the tahonas which were built onto the farmhouses and used to grins the corn.
As Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands, a hotspot for tourists seeking fun and frolics on the sandy beaches, you could be forgiven for being unaware of its rich historic and cultural architecture. However, the small glimpse above into how life was in the past on the island will undoubtedly have opened your eyes to the real Fuerteventura that so many holidaymakers miss when they visit.
Post created by Tony, a british blogger who has his own blog at www.rocktravel.org