Can pictures and letters come to life? Well, miracles do happen after all. Last century, Néstor de la Torre Martín Fernández, Gran Canaria’s most famous painter, created a series a paintings named Poem of the Atlantic, also known as Poema del Mar.
These canvases were inhabited by sea creatures which were a blend of fantasy and reality. This side of the millennium, the circle closes with the project to construct Europe’s largest aquarium called Poema del Mar in tribute to the work of the painter who once imagined a beautiful and dreamlike underwater world. “The sea, the great friend of my dreams”,inscribed the poet Tomas Morales (1884-1921), another famous Gran Canaria writer, in his Ode to the Atlantic.
Work on this spectacular aquarium has progressed in giant footsteps and the project is already half finished. Eventually, the aquarium will measure 12,500 square metres and house 7.5 million gallons of fresh and salt water.
The space is divided into three major areas around a large tropical jungle recreating the transition between terrestrial aquatic environments and marine ones. Another main attraction will be a glass tunnel 37 metres wide and seven metres high which will make visitors feel as if they’re swimming with the fish, sharks, and turtles.
The Poema del Mar celebrates Earth’s biodiversity. It allows you to observe over 300 species and subspecies of fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians including sharks and turtles. The Canary Islands form part of Macaronesia (along with the Azores, Cape Verde, and Madeira). And so special attention is given to representing Macaronesian species.
You’ll see wreckfish, cardinalfish, amberjacks or loggerhead turtles on Gran Canaria island. In the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria . A metropolis reasserting itself as the Atlantic capital.
Infographic: VDR Construcciones