El Faro de Maspalomas Lighthouse in Gran Canaria is planning to open a craft shop, museum and a tourist information point.
Maspalomas lighthouse launched its first beam into the skies one night in 1890. Over 125 years on, this emblematic display of Gran Canarian civil engineering located down at the south of the island is gearing up to beam a brand new kind of light, thanks to a project to open a craft shop and information point to the general public on site. They will also be restoring the former living quarters of the lighthouse-keeper, prior to the installation of the automatic beam mechanism, and also the rooms where the old machinery is kept, a real museum piece indeed.
In this way, Maspalomas and the promenade along Meloneras will boast a brand new shining light –literally in this case- of tourist interest which will enhance the appearance of the walkway along the seafront of Meloneras. It is a spot that is walked along by thousands of people on a daily basis who come to take in the ocean views, the shopping and eating areas, as well as the wonderful sunsets. The light, in its many formats, definitely reigns firm at the south of Gran Canaria.
These refurbishment works, commissioned by the Craft Department at the Cabildo de Gran Canaria with a budget of 1.4 million euros, will create a space inside the old tower to show off the artistic creations of the island’s craftsmen and women to visitors. The project will also herald a second phase, in the form of an ethnographic museum, to be managed by the Foundation for the Ethnography and Development of Canary Crafts (Fedac in Spanish).
Also, to make the most of the strategic positioning of the Maspalomas Lighthouse, the works will include the installation of a display stand by the Tourist Board offering information in several different languages down to every last detail of the many places of interest to visit on the island here at this tourist hub. The tower, having directed sailors for over a century during its enlightened history, will now turn its attention to a new kind of direction service.
The Maspalomas lighthouse is considered a Site of Cultural Interest, having been built towards the end of the 19th century, based on designs by Gran Canarian engineer Juan León y Castillo. The building towers over fifty metres high, the result of nearly three decades of building. At the time, the lighthouse stood over barren land and its construction materials had to be taken to the site via a harbour.
The Maspalomas lighthouse served as an essential guiding light at the end of the 19th century and most of the 20th century for boats covering the routes between Europe and America, and at the time it was the single, yet magnificent, construction at the end of long strip of sand which was at the beginning of what is now Playa del Inglés and which ended up near to Oasis de Maspalomas. Over time, the lighthouse saw how the landscape was changing all around, mainly down to the tourism phenomenon. Today it stands firm and proud, adapting itself to the present and preparing itself for the future.