Santa Cruz Market

The inside of Santa Cruz Market
August 10, 2018

Santa Cruz market is on the Avenida del Puente, the main shopping streeet which runs uphill, perpendicular to the sea front. It was built in 1886 on the site of the hospital of Our Lady of Sorrows, founded in 1514. I think it’s a decidely nice building, with classical lines, and lots of light inside thanks to the big skylight. There are six little side markets plus a big open…

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Pirate’s Day 2018

August 3, 2018

  In 1553 French pirates led by François LeClerc (known as Pata de Palo or wooden leg) attacked Santa Cruz de La Palma and took the whole town over. Then they refused to go until they were paid a huge ransom. Tomorrow (Saturday 4th August) is Pirate’s Day (Dia del Corsario) and there’ll be a reenactment starting at 6pm by the Naval Museum (the copy of Columbus’s ship at one end of…

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Flags Galore

Garafía's flag
June 27, 2018

  You see a lot of flags on La Palma. Most English visitors will recognise the flags of Spain and the European Union. But the Canary Islands are an autonomous region within Spain, and they have their own flag too. You see it a lot, especially around May 30th, which is Canary Day. And then each island has its own flag. Here’s the flag of La Palma: And as if…

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Las Nieves Sacred Museum

The back of the statue of Our Lady of the Snows, Sacred Museum, Las Nieves, La Palma island
May 27, 2018

I’ve written before about the lovely church at Las Nieves. Las Nieves means “The snows”, and Our Lady of the Snows is the patron saint of the island. The statue in the church is small, maybe 20″ high, and she dates from the early 15th century. That’s before the Spanish conquest of the island, because she was brought here by missionaries. Most religious statues here are made of wood, but…

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Fiesta de la Cruz

Detail of a cross decorated with jewellry for Fiesta de La Cruz, Breña Baja
May 2, 2018

Fiesta de La Cruz is a major festival in Santa Cruz de La Palma, Breña Alta, and Breña Baja. On the night of May 2nd (Monday), practically all the roadside crosses in Santa Cruz, Breña Baja and Breña Alta will be decorated, most of them gorgeously. The people who worked on them sit close all night, usually making a party of it and setting off lots of fire-crackers. This is…

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The bell of La Verdad finally arrives

The bell of La Verdad being carried to the naval museum at Santa Cruz de La Palma
April 28, 2018

I saw the handover ceremony on Thursday evening. They did a good job, bringing an honour guard in 15th century dress. The families of the original builder, owner and captains went onto the ship, together with local politicians and people from the naval museum. Speeches were made and the bell formally handed over from the ship’s captain (on the right) to the mayor of Santa Cruz (on the left). The…

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