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After several years of reconstruction, which cost almost 1.5 million euros, we finally had it in 2019. The lighthouse in Maspalomas – Faro Maspalomas has been reopened to the public.

Faro Maspalomas
Lighthouses in Gran Canaria

The lighthouse is located on Punta de Maspalomas, at the end of Maspalomas beach, next to the dunes, lake and oases of the same name. It is the southernmost tip of the coast of Gran Canaria. Together with the Punta de Arinaga lighthouse in the north-east and the Punta del Castillete lighthouse in the north-west, they form a system for marking the sea route along the coast. Despite the number of lighthouses on Gran Canaria, Faro Maspalomas is by far the most popular lighthouse on the island. It is considered a cult symbol of the island and one of the most famous monuments on the island. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in operation in the Canary Islands to this day. It is a national cultural and technical monument.

The lighthouse is helping sailors for more than 130 years

The decision to build a lighthouse in Maspalomas was issued at 1861. However, implementation did not begin until 1884, when Juan de León y Castillo was commissioned to develop the project. The work lasted until 1889 and the lighthouse released the first flash of light on the night of February 1, 1890.

Faro Maspalomas
Faro Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, project from 1885

The lighthouse is conceived as a set consisting of two main buildings, the house of the lighthouse keeper and the tower. The house with a rectangular floor plan is based on the traditional Canarian architecture of palaces with a patio. The facades of the building are designed in the spirit of the period in which the lighthouse was built. The house is connected to the base of the tower and acts as its base, which carries the most important part of the lighthouse. There were living quarters, warehouses and technical areas in the building, which served the lighthouse keeper not only for housing, but also as a background for operation and maintenance. There is also a generator set and today also batteries, which guarantee operation in the event of disconnection or failure in the electrical network. Above the entrance to the building is a small wooden balcony, typical of Canarian architecture.

Faro Maspalomas
Faro Maspalomas today

The tower is located on the south side of the house, which faces the ocean. The construction of the tower itself is a slightly tapering cone with a height of 54.7 meters. The diameter in the upper base is 6.2 meters. There is a lighting system, with which the lighthouse reaches a height of 60 meters. There is a staircase inside. On the south and north side of the tower there are several openings that provide lighting for the stairs. The tower is built of typical blue-gray stone. At the top is a skylight, which has a more decorative function.

Faro Maspalomas
Faro Maspalomas

The lamp consists of a glass dome with a diameter of 3.7 meters. It contains optics and a 1,000 W halogen lamp emitting white light. Light from the lighthouse is visible up to a distance of 19 nautical miles. Today, the operation of the lighthouse is fully automated.

Today the lighthouse also serves tourists

After reconstruction, the main building became the seat of the information center. In addition to tourist information, you will find a small souvenir shop in the center. Various exhibitions are organized in the lighthouse. During the opening, there was, for example, an ethnographic exhibition focusing on rural life in Gran Canaria until the middle of the 20th century.

Faro Maspalomas
Ethnographic exhibition in Faro Maspalomas

At the time of the 50th anniversary of the man’s landing on the moon, an exhibition was held in the lighthouse focusing on the role of Gran Canaria in this event. About the importance of Gran Canaria in the flight of Apollo XI. you can find out in a separate article that was dedicated to this event.

Faro Maspalomas
Exhibition on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo XI flight.

The tower itself is not open to the public. However, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the view of the surroundings from the terrace on the roof of the main building.

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Martin Smolen

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“We are incredibly proud to be Canaries,” Alfredo, the owner of a small restaurant in Playa del Inglés, once told me when I was visited Gran Canaria. “There are the most beautiful beaches with the most beautiful sand with the most incredible waves. On the shore are the most beautiful hotels, promenades and cafes. The island is home to the most hospitable people. Grow the tastiest tomatoes, the sweetest bananas, the most fragrant roses. We will make the best wines here and the cuisine is also the best.”

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