La Palma - History

The Guanches

It is assumed that the Guanches (pre-Spanish population) of La Palma have immigrated from North Africa in several waves from about 500 BC. Remnants of the language, traditions, eating habits and the traditional description of the ancient Canarians as tall, light-skinned, Berber-like types... Read more

From Spanish Conquest to Modernity

As soon as the Spaniards had completed the conquest of La Palma, they used the island as an export base for colonial trade and the production of sugar cane. The fluctuations and the dynamic development on the world market of the colonial empires threw La Palma several times in the course of its economic history... Read more

Historical Overview:

from 1100 BC. Phoenician sailors in the Eastern Atlantic, possibly also in the Canary Islands
from 500 BC. The settlement of La Palma by Berber tribes from North Africa (several waves)
25 BC. The African king Juba explores the Canaries (report by Pliny the Elder)
2nd century AD. Ptolemy draws La Palma (Iunionia maior) on his world map
10th century Arab seafarers on the Canary Islands
1336 Lancelotto Malocello lands for the Portuguese on Lanzarote
1447 Hernán Peraza fails at the conquest of La Palmas
1479 The Canaries are awarded by the Pope in the Treaty of Alcácovas Spain
1492-1493 Spanish conquest La Palmas
1496 The last natives of Tenerife are defeated by the Spaniards
around 1500 First emigrations from La Palma to South America
1500-1550 Bloom of sugar cane cultivation on La Palma
1550-1715 Bloom of viticulture
1553 The pirate François Le Clerc burns down Santa Cruz de la Palma
1585 The pirate Francis Drake threatens Santa Cruz but does not take it
1657 Central customs office is moved from La Palma to Tenerife
from 18th century Multiple waves of emigration to South America
from 1773 First democratic citizenship in Santa Cruz
1840-1888 Bloom of the cochineal lice breed; afterward emigration to South America
from 1894 Banana plantations on La Palma
1898 Germany, France, and Belgium try in vain to "buy" the Canaries
1927 Two Canarian provinces: La Palma belongs to Tenerife
18.07.1936 General Franco is fighting from Tenerife against the elected Spanish government
18.07.1936 General Franco putsches from Tenerife against the elected Spanish government
1949 Eruption of the volcano San Juan on La Palma
1954 (still under Franco): first German tourists land on Tenerife, since 1960 building boom there and on Gran Canaria
1971 Eruption of the volcano Teneguía on La Palma
1975 Death of Franco
1982 Canary Islands autonomous Spanish region
1985 Inauguration of the observatory at Roque de los Muchachos
1987 First charter plane on La Palma
1996 Full integration of the Canary Islands into the EU
2002 Introduction of the Euro
2003 All of La Palma becomes a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
2007 One of the largest telescopes in the world goes into operation on the Roque de los Muchachos