- The Milky Way over Bentayga © Nacho Gonzalez
- Potters of the Gran Canaria highlands © FEDAC
- Solar hierophany in the Risco Caído © Julio Cuenca
- Panel of public triangle engravings © Julio Cuenca
- View of El Parralillo dam © Orlando Torres
- Overview of the Complex of Sierra del Bentayga © Javier Gil Leon
- General view of Roque Bentayga © Julio Cuenca
- View of Mesa del Junquilo © Javier Gil Leon
- Tejeda Basin © Javier Gil León
- Troglodyte potteries © FEDAC
- The Milky Way over the Bentayga Highlands © Nacho Gonzalez
RISCO CAÍDO AND THE SACRED MOUNTAINS OF GRAN CANARIA INSCRIBED ONTO UNESCO’S WORLD HERITAGE LIST
New to 2019, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has added Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria to its List of World Heritage Sites in recognition of its outstanding cultural value. The news comes in the wake of the 43rd meeting of the committee where a further 28 sites were added to UNESCO’s existing World Heritage List.
Risco Caído is a land-form and archaeological site on the island of Gran Canaria which contains prehistoric cave dwellings, temples, and granaries attributed to the pre-Hispanic culture of the Canary Islands. The site consists of 21 hand-dug caves, the most famous of which, Cave Six, is said to be a huge solar and lunar calendar meaning the site may have once been an ancient observatory. The presence of these troglodyte settlements is proof of the presence of pre-Hispanic cultures that evolved in complete isolation for over 1,500 years following the arrival of North African Berbers. Aside from the remarkable archaeological findings the area, whose geographical boundaries are set by the Caldera de Tejeda volcanic basin, features a range of spectacular natural formations such as cliffs, ravines and volcanic formations, set in a landscape characterised by its rich biodiversity.
UNESCO recognises the exceptional universal value of Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria and the vestiges of this pre-Hispanic culture that have survived in time and space, shaping the landscape, and conserving traditional practices such as transhumance, terrace-farming installations, and water management installations. This is an exceptional case, in which traditional land use practices that are highly adaptive and original, stemming from a culture that has disappeared, are still in use today.
Acting Spanish Minister for Culture and Sport, José Guirao, congratulated the people of the Canary Islands “on having successfully conserved this enormous wealth of archaeological sites within such an overwhelmingly stunning landscape for centuries”. Guirao also took the opportunity to say that the Government of Spain is going to "keep working to conserve, communicate and maintain this heritage wealth for future generations" and invited the whole world to "visit Risco Caído and all the sites recognised in Spain over the last few decades".
For more information on UNESCO’s inscription of Risco Caída and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria, please visit https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1578/
For more information on Gran Canaria as a visitor destination, please visit www.grancanaria.com/turismo/en
For more information on the Canary Islands as a visitor destination, please visit www.hellocanaryislands.com