If you are travelling to Guimar for your holiday, the following information may help by giving you an overview of the resort.
The barren landscape of Tenerife’s east coast does contains two outstanding attractions – the Basilica de Candelaria [considered to be the holiest site in the Canary Islands], and the Piramides of Guimar, [Guimar pyramids] which pre-date the Spanish conquest and are of global archaeological importance.
Guimar is an easy day-trip from all the main resorts – but particularly accessible from Santa Cruz de Tenerife – and is offered on some bus tours.
Pyramids of Guimar
The once thriving agricultural town of Guimar is best known as the location of the Pyramids of Guimar [Piramides de Guimar] and is a great day out when you are on your Guimar holidays. Built by the native Guanches, they were long dismissed as piles of stones heaped by farmers clearing the land. However, closer inspection by archaeologists revealed three pyramidal constructions, each at least 100 metres long and made of carefully squared stones laid out with considerable geometric exactitude.
First studied in 1990 by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, the six rectangular mounds at Guimar were once deemed to be no more than piles of volcanic stones cleared from the nearby fields by the locals. However, Heyerdahl’s excavations showed that the structures are carefull built, arranged in large steps, with a smaller staircase climbing to a ceremonial platform on top.
The structures at Guimar point to the location of the sun during the winter and summer solstices and the stairs up each flat-topped pyramid face the rising sun. Now carefully rebuilt to what is thought to be their original form, a platform and series of walkways allow visitors to inspect the pyramids – there’s no climbing allowed. The importance of these structures goes far beyond an intriguing insight into indigenous culture and is generally considered as evidence of a stepping-stone in the migration of an ancient African culture to South America. The site museum at Guimar focuses on this, its displays – largely petrogylphs and pottery – suggesting the Canary Islands are a missing link between these ancient cultures.
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