City in canary islands: 10 Largest Cities in the Canary Islands?
San Antonio’s Sister City Las Palmas, Canary Island, Spain
By now, you have gotten to learn about Monterrey, Mexico + Gwangju, South Korea with our Sister Cities series. Today, we’re headed near the Moroccan coast to explore one city we share the most history with — Las Palmas, Canary Island, Spain.
Officially known as Las Palmas de la Gran Canaria, this vibrant town is the capital city of Gran Canaria, one of the islands that make up the Canary Islands. Las Palmas is famous for its breathtaking natural scenery. Think: turquoise beaches, warm breezes, and hiking trails situated across mountain ranges. However, there’s more than meets the eye to this beautiful city. Let’s dig deeper into its history…
We might be putting in some last-minute PTO (for research purposes). | Photo via City of San Antonio
A little more about Las Palmas
- Las Palmas is the largest city in the Canary Islands, with a population of 378,517. The city receives thousands of visitors every year.
- Las Palmas’ main industries include tourism, apparel, and manufacturing.
- The archipelago is an autonomous Spanish region located near Morocco, and it is made up of eight islands + smaller land masses.
- Each island is part of one of two provinces: Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
- Together, the Canary Island is home to a distinct heritage made up of Indigenous, Spanish, and Moroccan cultures.
San Antonio and Las Palmas first established their relationship as sister cities in 1975, and since then they have established a solid relationship. In 1999, the Canary Islands government established a trade office, where they coordinate academic, cultural, and trade relations with the Alamo City.
The founding of San Antonio
As the Spanish sought to seize control of their North American territory, 16 families originating from the Canary Islands went to join the military occupation of Tejas in 1731. These first settlers were given the right to create a town government, receive land grants + and the noble title of “hidalgo” (an honorary title given to the first male settlers of a Spanish territory).
They founded the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar, what we know today as the City of San Antonio, becoming the first regularly-organized civil government in Texas.
Two cities 4,000+ miles apart — what do they still have in common?
Many of San Antonio’s historic landmarks are a direct result of the Canary Islands settler’s efforts to create a livable town that emulates the Spanish Crown’s morals. One of the most notable of these is the San Fernando Cathedral. The church was built as part of the center of the San Fernando Parish and used for religious, military, and civic purposes.
Of course, we also have Spain to acknowledge for the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Built back in 1718, the Spanish colonizers first started establishing their military presence in San Antonio. Settlers constructed these structures not only to support themselves in their survival but to disrupt the already established Indigenous communities that lived in the region. Through these missions, countless Indigenous people were forced to convert to Christianity. Learn more about the San Antonio Missions and how to visit them.
Speaking of history, The Canary Islands Descendants Association is a lineage society dedicated to educating Texans on the lasting contributions of the Canary Islanders. Visit its website to learn more about ways to get involved.
If you wish to explore Spanish culture in San Antonio, here are some places to visit:
- Canary Islander Statues, Bexar County Courthouse | Unveiled in 2019, these five figures represent the Islanders’ role in San Antonio’s founding.
- Spanish Governor’s Palace, 105 Plaza De Armas | This adobe home is considered the last visible trace of the 18th-century Presidio San Antonio de Béxar.
- Main Plaza and Military Plaza | Historical district home to Spanish landmarks including the San Fernando Cathedral.
- La Villita Historic Arts Village, 418 Villita St. | Restored 18th-century neighborhood with many attractions for lovers of art.
Canarias / Canary Islands (Spain): Provinces, Major Cities & Municipalities
The population of the provinces of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands according to census results and latest official estimates.
|Las Palmas||Prov||Las Palmas de Gran Canaria||4,066||708,762||767,969||887,676||1,087,227||1,128,539||406600||→|
|Santa Cruz de Tenerife||Prov||Santa Cruz de Tenerife||3,381||658,884||725,815||806,801||995,428||1,044,405||338100||→|
|Canarias [Canary Islands]||CAN||Reg||Santa Cruz de Tenerife / Las Palmas de Gran Canaria||7,447||1,367,646||1,493,784||1,694,477||2,082,655||2,172,944||744700||→|
- Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Madrid (web).
|1||Las Palmas de Gran Canaria||378,675|
|2||Santa Cruz de Tenerife||208,563|
|6||Santa Lucía de Tirajana||73,573|
|8||San Bartolomé de Tirajana||53,066|
|9||Granadilla de Abona||51,850|
Contents: Cities & Municipalities
The population of all cities and communes in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands with more than 15,000 inhabitants according to census results and latest official estimates.
|Granadilla de Abona||13,752||16,884||21,135||41,209||51,850||16250||→|
|Guía de Isora||10,145||11,915||14,982||19,734||21,827||14410||→|
|Icod de los Vinos||20,231||21,445||21,748||23,314||23,310||9586||→|
|La Laguna (San Cristóbal de la Laguna)||106,146||110,895||128,822||152,025||158,010||10245||→|
|Las Palmas de Gran Canaria||360,098||354,877||354,863||381,271||378,675||10332||→|
|Los Llanos de Aridane||15,311||16,189||17,720||20,493||20,648||3560||→|
|Puerto de la Cruz||21,353||25,447||26,441||31,349||30,179||883||→|
|Puerto del Rosario||12,634||16,485||21,296||35,878||41,786||29077||→|
|San Bartolomé de Tirajana||17,739||24,451||34,515||53,440||53,066||33242||→|
|San Miguel de Abona||3,935||5,118||8,398||16,465||21,872||4204||→|
|Santa Cruz de la Palma||16,775||17,205||17,265||16,568||15,446||4341||→|
|Santa Cruz de Tenerife||185,899||200,172||188,477||204,476||208,563||15044||→|
|Santa Lucía de Tirajana||26,628||33,059||47,652||66,725||73,573||6253||→|
- The population estimates are based on the municipal register. Because of definition differences they are not exactly comparable with census results.
- (1981) M. Mas & F.J. Goerlich: La localización de la población española sobre el territorio.
(1991) (2001) (2011) (2021) Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Madrid (web).
Canary Islands Tenerife. Notes
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awakened volcano flooded the whole island with lava
September 21, 2021
An evacuation has been announced on the island of Palma due to a volcanic eruption. More than fifty tourists and several thousand Spaniards living here have already been taken out. The Russians have not asked for help yet.
In the Canary Islands, about fifty policemen and soldiers are sent to eliminate the consequences of the eruption of an awakened volcano. It hasn’t stopped for several days now. There were no casualties, but the situation is critical. A massive evacuation has been announced on the island of Palma. More than 5,000 Spaniards fled their homes. Tourists are also being taken out of the danger zone. However, Russian citizens have not yet applied for help, our consulate reported.
Fiery fountains tearing apart the darkness of the night – this spectacle in the Canary Islands could be called bewitching, if not for the danger that an erupting volcano poses to local residents. Nearby are several settlements.
“I thought it was an explosion, everything rumbled so loudly. Then I saw smoke, huge clouds of ash,” says Anna Vina, a resident of the Canary Islands. “Everything was very close to my house, and we ran away.”
An evacuation has been announced on the island of Palma. More than fifty tourists and several thousand Spaniards living here have already been taken out. “It’s terrible because we suddenly lost everything we had,” complains Teresa Rodriguez, a resident of the Canary Islands.
Lava is on the heels – streams six meters high devour abandoned housing. More than a hundred houses have already been destroyed, car skeletons are smoldering in garages. The element is blocking escape routes. “A few hours ago, lava cut off the highway leading to our city and ended up in residential areas,” says Noelia Garcia Leal, mayor of Los Llanos de Aridane. “It flows through several streets, and we don’t know which way it will go this stream.”
The river of fire flows not from one vent, but from 10 different points at once. Speed - 700 meters per hour. The temperature is over a thousand degrees Celsius. Everywhere in the Canaries, forests and fields are blazing. The scale of the disaster is clearly visible from the air.
Because of the eruption, Spanish airlines are canceling flights to the Canary Islands, and the authorities have banned navigation in the dangerous area – the lava is already in the coastal zone. All emergency services are thrown to fight it. Life on the island is now almost like under the laws of war. “Here we have a command post and a utility yard, all at once,” says Omar Hernandez, a member of the El Paso city council. “At this football field, we receive all the evacuees and distribute them to other municipalities on the island. We are immediately deploying rescuers and the police.”
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has already arrived in the affected areas. A hand on the chest is a sign of solidarity. The head of the Spanish government even postponed his trip to the UN General Assembly in New York. Instead, he is holding a meeting of a special committee set up to deal with the fallout. “The state undertakes to compensate the affected families so that people can restore their normal lives,” the prime minister said. “As for the restoration of houses, I assure you, we will not leave anyone in trouble.”
Before this eruption, the volcano was silent for half a century. Although recently the National Geographic Institute of Spain has recorded an increase in seismic activity in the Canary Islands.