Buenlugar, aka “Nice place” in Spanish! Here’s why this little town of 779 habitants (2009) is a must-to-see place in Gran Canaria!
First things to know: Buenlugar it’s located in the north of the island, in the jurisdiction of Firgas, and it’s divided in the district of Buenlugar, Itara and La Pamilla. You can easily get here from Las Palmas just taking GC2, then going out at Arucas and from there follow the GC330. By the way, as you’re in Arucas, why don’t take a look to the wonderful cathedral in the centre of the city? Or the see-sight point on the homonym mountain? 😉
And now, some not-boring history!
The first time we could read the name of Buenlugar in a book happened in the XVI century, as a province of Firgas. The name explains very clearly the ambient that surround the area, and also it’s fundamental to know that Buenlugar is halfway and on the limit of the demarcation of the Repartimientos of the city (“portions” in which the city was divided and organized in the Medieval Age, n.d.a), marked by the ancient Valley of Aumastel, later known by the surname of the owner of this land Damián Azuaje.
It’s settled at 362 meters of altitude, with a privileged geographical position that the conquerers noticed very well at the epoca.
From here it’s impressive to notice how the Valley of Azuaje opened its way to the sea during the millions of years, breaking the substrate of the territory and creating an amazing naturalistic miracle. This position was also a limit to the amplitude of the lands that the population was able to use for farming, but despite of this the town was already documented for its tax tributes at the end of the XVII century.
On 23 June 1876, at the time of its division, the town declared eight fanegas and six celemines of farming lands and an amount of 749 reales de vellòn as paid taxes. This goods were shared between its owner, Agustín del Castillo Bethencourt, and his successor, Fernando del Castillo Westerling, fourth and fifth counts of the Vega Grande.
So now let’s go on and do a step more… let’s suppose you decide to go to visit Buenlugar, but you have one of these cars so it’s not a problem where to spend the night! 😉
Well at this point you can drive 6-7 minutes more and explore the town of Firgas too! There you’ll discover the long tradition of lucha canaria (canarian fight) where the Club de Lucha Pollo de Buen Lugar has conquered the First Category! And also, don’t miss a walking in Paseo de Gran Canaria and Paseo de Canarias in the heart of the urban area: pedestrian routes with a natural slope that has been used to build a beautiful waterfall of 30 meters long, made of masonry stones and topped with a beautiful monument, as a representation of the traditional richness in water of the town. In fact, Firgas is also the brand of the most famous Canarian water that started its activity in 1930, and still goes on nowadays.
But it is very limiting to talk about Firgas just for these things.
You really should go to discover the building of the House of Culture, probably one of the most emblematic of this area. Formerly it was build as a hotel in 1870 to accommodate the clients who came to the Azuaje baths. After this, the building was used as the headquarters of the City Council and the Public School. At the present time, it is the Municipal Library, but it also contain an Exhibition Hall and an Assembly Hall.
Other things to discover in Firgas? The Square of San Roque with the monument to one of the most venerated saints in the town, San Juan de Ortega, first patron of the town. From this square you can see one of the most beautiful views of the North of Gran Canaria, and on the sunny days, also the islands of Tenerife and Fuerteventura.
In October 2009 it was also inaugurated the Recuperación de la Antigua Acequia Real (Old Royal Canal) that passes through the same Square of San Roque. Practically, it was opened by a side and it was added a stonework that represents in the form of sculpture women’s hands washing clothes, in remembrance to all the washers that in this place were doing their work.
Last things about Firgas, because it’s better not to forget to do some shopping!
The handcrafts here are very traditional and detailed, as you can discover in every store, where the carpenters, for the quality and design of their works, are the living example of this. The same we can say about the liquors, the musical instruments and the foods, that is really connected to the territory.
The gastronomy of the island is an important element of the cultural identity of the Canarian people. It is characterized by its variety, despite the simplicity: in Firgas, for example, you can taste one of the most representative dishes, the Potaje de Berros (watercress soup), because they’re the main producers… so you can stay sure about the local provenience!
But let’s go back to Buenlugar, now! If you take a look at the map we’re not so far… so we can take the occasion to visit another place that is very close to here too, the Archeological site La Montañeta! I already wrote about this place in this article, but it’s good to remember a couple of things here:
1st. Google Maps will bring you on the wrong road, so remember that point: Calle Alcalde Pedro Moreno 224, because from there you will have to go to left, direction to El Lance.
2nd. La Montañeta is a complex of caves where the aborigines were living, working and having the social life; now has been restored and studied as archaeological site.
At the end of the day maybe you’ll feel a little bit tired, so you can come back directly to the city if you have a hostel there: the bus line is the one that brings to Firgas, so from the station San Telmo you have to take bus number 204, and then stop to Buenlugar, of course! 🙂 Instead, if you optioned for the adventure holiday… take a look to this map and the magic moments will never stop!..
See you on the next route!