This island's most venerable fortress now also houses a modern-art collection.
The oldest defender of Las Palmas
Built in 1494 on the coast of a small peninsula also home to the fishermen's quarter known as La Isleta, the doughty, square Castillo de la Luz has a decidedly medieval air about it, thanks to its thick stone walls, turrets, towers, and cannons, along with a wooden drawbridge. Gran Canaria's first defensive structure, the "Castle of Light" defended Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from pirates and military foes alike into the 19th century (though it did suffer grievously and was rebuilt after an attack by Dutch pirates in 1559). After more than a century of abandonment it was restored in 1969 and again in 1998, and today in addition to walking its keep and ramparts, visitors can also take in the collection of the Martín Chirino Foundation of Art and Thought, showcasing the abstract sculpture and other works of the eponymous Canarian artist, a Las Palmas de Gran Canaria native who passed away in 2019.
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