The Majestic Cathedral of Santa Ana: a Historical Heritage of Gran Canaria

In this post, we’re going to highlight one of the most visited places in Gran Canaria, as well as being one of the most emblematic and representative monuments of the city: the cathedral of Santa Ana, also known as the basilica of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.


This majestic cathedral is an exponent of Canarian religious art and has a rich history and impressive architecture, which makes it visited by thousands of tourists every year. In this article, we’ll explain the history and main architectural features of Santa Ana Cathedral, as well as give you the reasons why you should visit it.


How to get to the Cathedral of Santa Ana

The Cathedral of Las Palmas is located in the heart of the historic centre of the capital of Gran Canaria, among such important monuments as the Columbus House, the Canarian Museum and the square to which it gives its name, the square Plaza de Santa Ana. If you’re in the city, it’s very easy to get to the cathedral, as it’s located in an easily accessible area with very good public transport connections.


History of Santa Ana Cathedral

santa ana and the plaza in las palmas

The construction of the basilica of Santa Ana in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria dates back to the end of the 15th century, although one of its towers wasn’t completed until the 20th century.


The church has had two main construction phases, the first began in 1497 until 1570 and the second began in 1781 until the present day. Its architectural style is a mixture of various styles, including Gothic, Renaissance and Neoclassical.


Throughout its history, the cathedral of Santa Ana, as we can see, has undergone several modifications and restorations, the most important of which was after the fire that affected it in 1949. Thanks to this restoration, it was able to recover all its original splendour.


From its construction until the beginning of the 19th century, Santa Ana was the only cathedral in the Canary Islands, and it should also be noted that it has been declared a national historic-artistic monument.


In its interior we can find many works of art, among which we can highlight the work of the Dolorosa de Luján Pérez, as well as the Christ of the same author. The basilica has the privilege of having been consecrated by Pope Pius IX in 1874, and was elevated to the category of cathedral in 1924.


Main architectural features of the cathedral

main architectural features of santa ana

As mentioned above, Santa Ana de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a work of architecture that combines elements of different styles, giving it that original character that makes it so striking. We’ll now describe some of its main architectural features:


1. The façade of Santa Ana

This is one of the most representative parts of the cathedral and has two towers and three doors. The central door, known as the Puerta del Perdón, has the richest and most striking decoration.


2. The rose window

Located on the main façade, it’s a large circular window that’s typical of the Gothic style.


3. The interior of the cathedral

Inside, the cathedral of Las Palmas has several side chapels, all with their respective altarpieces. One of the most outstanding is the High Altarpiece, which depicts the Virgin of Antigua, patron saint of the island.


4. The church choir 

Located in the inner part of the church, more specifically in the upper part, it has carved wooden choir stalls that date back to the 18th century and has several paintings on its murals.


5. The tower of the Cathedral

This is the highest point of the basilica and has a neo-gothic style, with a height of 45 metres.


These are some of the most outstanding features of the architecture of the Cathedral of Santa Ana, a work so impressive that it’ll never cease to amaze you.


Reasons why you should visit the Cathedral of Las Palmas before leaving the island

fachada de santa ana

If its history and architectural features haven’t convinced you to visit the most important church on the island, here are some more reasons why you should visit the Santa Ana Cathedral in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria:


1. An unique work of art

The Cathedral of Las Palmas is an impressive work of art that combines elements of different architectural styles and is one of the most representative monuments of the city.


2. Travel back in time

Visiting the cathedral will transport you to another era, as its interior is full of religious objects and decorations dating back centuries.


3. A place of pilgrimage

Because of its religious importance, the venue of the Canary Islands Diocese of the Catholic Church, Santa Ana, is a place of pilgrimage for many believers from all over the world.


4. A panoramic view of the capital

From the tower of the cathedral you’ll have a unique and spectacular panoramic view of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.


5. Accessibility

Santa Ana is located in the centre of the city, in the historic centre of Vegueta, which makes it easily accessible to all visitors. Moreover, its opening hours are Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 16:30 and Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:30, being quite flexible, so you can visit the Church at any time of the day. If you’re looking for free things to do on Gran Canaria, visiting the Cathedral is a great option.


All in all, the Santa Ana site is well worth a visit for those interested in architecture, history and culture, as well as for those who simply want to appreciate a majestic work of art and enjoy the views of the city.


Where to stay in Gran Canaria

In summary, we've looked at the Cathedral of Las Palmas, Santa Ana, of the best free activities to do in Gran Canaria. If you’re looking for holiday rentals in Gran Canaria to stay and not miss out on anything, then take a look at our catalogue! At VillaGranCanaria we offer you some options such as villas with private pools or holiday rentals near the beach that’ll allow you to enjoy all the comforts of luxury. 


We invite you to choose the property you like the most and make the most of your stay in Gran Canaria, discovering all that the island has to offer!

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