Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Canary Islands - Mapcard of Gran Canaria

Isla de Gran Canaria.

Sent by Desiree, a postcrosser from Holland.

This is from Wikipedia : Gran Canaria (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡɾaŋ kaˈna.ɾja]; originally meaning 'Great [Island] of Dogs') is the most populous island of the Canary Islands, with population of 829 597 (2008) which constitutes approximately 40% of the population of the archipelago. Also, it is second most populous island in Spain after Majorca. Located on the Atlantic Ocean about 150 kilometers (~93 miles) off the northwestern coast of Africa and about 1350 km (~838 miles) from Europe.

The capital of the island, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is also the largest city and capital autonomous community of the Canary Islands.

Gran Canaria was populated by the Canarii (Guanches), who may have arrived as early as 500 BC. The Canarii called the island Tamarán or Land of the Brave. After over a century of European (French, Portuguese...) incursions and attempts at conquest, the island was conquered on April 29, 1483, after a campaign that lasted 5 years, by the Kingdom of Castile, with the support of Queen Isabella I, a conquest which turned out to be an important step towards the expansion of the unified Spain.

The capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was founded on June 24, 1478, under the name "Real de Las Palmas", by Juan Rejón, head of the invading Castilian army. In 1492, Christopher Columbus anchored in the Port of Las Palmas (and spent some time on the island) on his first trip to the Americas.

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