Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountain Areas in Gran Canaria were declared a World Heritage Site

Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountain Areas in Gran Canaria were declared a World Heritage Site

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• The cavern of Gran Canaria captures the sun from equinox to equinox and offers an incredible account of the fertilization of the earth each dawn.
• When the sun stops entering, the full moons enter to mark the passage of the months until the following spring.
• The Cabildo de Gran Canaria has promoted the candidacy of Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria, the only Spanish proposal to be inscribed in World Heritage today in Azerbaijan, and which has been declared as such.
• The prodigious cave was a wanker until the archaeologist Julio Cuenca discovered it in the nineties, who noticed the play of lights in 2009.

The cave of Risco Caído de Gran Canaria

The play of the light of the Sun and the Moon in the cave of Risco Caído de Gran Canaria It is so extraordinary that it has nothing to envy to the fabulous temple of Abu Simbel in Egypt.

It's more, It is unique in the world and axis of the cultural landscape of the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria, what have been declared today as Unesco World Heritage.

Its about lost temple of the aborigines of Gran Canaria, an almogarén that until a few years ago was the jerk of a cattle rancher in the municipality of Artenara who never imagined that every time he entered this time capsule to take care of his animals, he traveled back to the beginning of the era, much less developed a prodigious story.

And is that at the dawn of the first day of each spring The morning Sun enters in a phallic shape to fertilize Mother Earth and travel along her wall, carved with a whole kind of pubic triangles located in a kind of border on three levels to tell a story that uses the entrance optics, its breaks and notches, as well as the changing angle of the light beam to change shape as the altarpiece carved in the rock runs through and shows the face of a child and even a pregnant woman, although the profusion of its meanings are still to be revealed in its entirety.

This has been the case in the last 2,000 years or more. from the spring equinox to the fall equinox, at which point the Sun stops entering and the full moons begin to enter, thus marking the passage of the months until the next spring equinox.

It marked the future of an entire society until the conquest in 1484, when it fell into oblivion until in the mid-nineties the archaeologist Julio Cuenca He was trapped by its wonderful dome because also, as the director of the file promoted by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Cipriano Marín, expresses, if it is a spherical dome, much more so is this paraboidal structure that involves handling a concept and a really complex execution and surprising, in fact absolutely unusual.

Lost in the dome, it wasn't until 2009 that Cuenca noticed the entrance of light and its different forms, and realized that he must begin to observe the cave at dawn, and thus the lost temple of Artevigua of the ancient canaries, a population that has its roots in the ancient Berbers of North Africa and manages to develop a singular culture in complete isolation.

The Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria

The Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria are a cultural landscape -defined by Unesco as a joint work of humanity and nature-, made up of 1,500 caves, a thousand cave-dwelling public triangles -the largest concentration in the world-, and vestiges that allow us to speak of a relict and living landscape at the same time full of temples, sanctuaries, fortified granaries located in impossible places, necropolis, vertical troglodyte settlements and cave dwellings that have been occupied at times without interruption from centuries ago to the present day.

And all this -and here is one of the keys-, in a indissoluble relationship with the cloudscape, which led the Cabildo de Gran Canaria to promote the first one before Unesco that includes this association with the sky.

In its journey, it has added the support of the population and the four municipalities of the 18,000 hectares covered by the proposal, as well as the support of the Canary Islands Government, which in turn transferred the proposal to the Spanish Government, which made it its own and on Sunday it will be the only one presented by Spain.

Abu simbel

There are temples in the world where the sunlight enters once a year, goes down a corridor and touches a strategic point, as in Ireland, or the imposing temple of Abu Simbel dedicated to Ramses II, where the sunlight twice per year, but "this level of projection is unique in the world, and it is even more surprising that it is on an island", points out the discoverer of the cave, who is part of the expedition of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria headed by its president, Antonio Morales, and also made up of Cipriano Marín and the insular inspector José de León and his team, who move to Baku with the aim of receiving the historic news of its inscription as World Heritage.

The archaeoastronome expert and researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canaria Juan Antonio Belmonte emphasizes that the Egyptian temple is linked to its calendar and plays with the effect of lights and shadows, like the cave of Risco Caído, with a dynamic in that sense always similar within the context of each culture, and both with symbolisms associated with the control of time.

The director of the file highlights that Fallen Cliff marks the equinoxes, so that it offers its extraordinary visual effect 180 days a year, at the end of which the full moons enter, which shows, together with other temples of the cultural landscape, a high knowledge of celestial events and the stars, as well as mathematics , geology and geometry.

Cultural landscapes represent a very special category before Unesco because they are places capable of showing the interaction of human communities and their environment and bear witness to the creative genius and imaginative vitality of humanity.

Haunted landscape

The tormented landscape that hosts this cultural area is sheltered by the imposing Caldera de Tejeda18 kilometers in diameter, which arose from the collapse of the impressive stratovolcano of Roque Nublo, today a monolith symbol of Gran Canaria, and at its feet the result of “a tremendous commotion in the bowels of the earth, it seems like a petrified storm”, as Miguel de Unamuno described it in wonder.

In geological terms, the area welcomes an extreme geodiversity that constitutes an open book to the contemplation and learning of unique geological manifestations that include inverted relief, as well as ridges, escarpments, promontories, cliffs and ravines that, as if that were not enough, present a rate of endemisms and protected species unparalleled in the protected areas of the north of Africa and southern Europe.


The attributes that give the landscape its universal value are therefore the astronomical almogarenes, the sacred spaces, the troglodyte habitat, the Libyan-Berber engraving stations, the exceptional profusion of pubic engravings, expressions related to the culture of water - today Gran Canaria is the place in the world with the highest concentration of boreholes verticals of up to 400 meters and large dams-, and the old transhumance routes, a tradition that survives today and to which we must add the pottery or the gofio itself.

The result of the genetic analysis of the barley grown in the area is also extraordinary: it is the same variety as a thousand years ago and it is the only case of a plant thus genetically verified in the world.

Via Cabildo de Gran Canaria

Video: Agricultural Landscape of Southern Oland - UNESCO World Heritage Site