At the heart of the Vegueta quarter sits the twin-towered Santa Ana Cathedral, the first church in the Canaries, which was built on the orders of Los Reyes Católicos, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, after Gran Canaria was conquered in 1478.
Construction started around 1500 and was not completed until almost four centuries later, making the intervention of several architects and artists inevitable, the result of which can be seen in three basic architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance and Neoclassical.
Very little is known of the original plans but, according to some existing drawings, the works began as a Gothic structure with three naves of the same height. Some remarkable pieces of art can still be seen in the chapels of the cathedral including many statues, most of which are from the famous religious sculptor José Luján Pérez.
In the south wing of the cathedral, the Patio de los Naranjos (Patio of Orange trees), you’ll find the Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro (Sacred Art Museum) exhibiting many valuable sacred artefacts, some noteworthy paintings, including works by Dutch masters, and a collection of Spanish sculptures, gathered from the last four centuries.
Monday – Friday 10.00 to 16.30 and Saturdays 10.00 to 13.30 – access only through the Sacred Art Museum – €2.40 for adults/children enter free.
A modern lift in the south tower brings visitors up to the top from where great views over the city and the harbour can be enjoyed. Using the lift costs €1.50.