Interactive Map of Canary Islands, Spain
Canary Islands Map Links:
- 1780 map of the Canary Islands
- A chart of the Canarie and Madera Islands between 1702 and 1707
- Canary Islands 1898
- Canary Islands map by William Dampier 1699
- Chart of the Madeira and Canary Islands 1801
- Geological map of the Canary Islands
- Location of the islands of La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, Gran Canarias, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura within the Canary Islands
- Map of the Canaries and Cape Verde islands 1534
- Map of the Canary Islands 1783
- Map of the Canary Islands 2014
- Map of the Canary Islands
- Medeira and the Canary Islands 1898 (Fuerteventura and Lanzarote)
- Medeira and the Canary Islands 1898 (Tenerife)
- Medeira and the Canary Islands 1898
- Political structure of the Canary Islands
- Population by municipality in the Canary Islands in 2018
- Population density by municipality in the Canary Islands in 2018
- Population growth by municipality in the Canary Islands between 1998 and 2008
- Population growth by municipality in the Canary Islands between 2008 and 2018
To see the Canary Islands map might make you believe they should belong to Africa. After all, it is only 62 miles from the nearest Canary Island to the African country of Morocco. However, the Canary Islands are actually part of Spain, and they have been since the Middle Ages.
The Canary Islands map is made up of eight large islands. The western group consists of the islands Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, La Gomera, and Ferro. The eastern group contains the remaining three largest islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and La Graciosa.
The Canary Islands are the 5th smallest territory in Spain, yet the 8th most populated out of the 17 total regions of Spain.
- Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- Santa Cruz de Tenerife
- San Critstobal de La Laguna
- Santa Lucia de Tirajana
- San Bartolome de Tirajana
- Granadilla de Abona
- Population: 2.1 million
- Languages: Spanish, English
- Ethnicities: Spanish, Canarians, Portuguese, Guanches
- Capital: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria & Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The History of the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands were inhabited by many groups of people during ancient times. The first group recorded were the Guanches. The Guanches are considered the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands. Eventually, there were Greek, African, German tribes that would settle in the islands.
The 1400s is the prequel to Spain becoming involved in the Canary Islands. In 1402, the Castilian conquest led by French voyagers Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle led them to the Canary Island of Lanzarote.
They settled Lanzarote and moved on to the island of Fuerteventura and El Hierro. When the islands were finally colonized, the Castilians went to work. They grew crops, set up a government, and began to trade with other territories.
Spanish explorers would stop at the Canary Islands to engage in trade while on their way to the New World in the west. This caused the Canary Islands to flourish in both wealth as well as opportunities.
The island of La Palma was adorned with many churches, palaces, and buildings during this wealthy period, including the iconic Church of El Salvador that was built during the 1500s.
Pirates quickly learned of the wealth that was found at these islands and began to invade during the 16th Century. In 1599, Dutch ships ventured to the Canary Islands and engaged in a battle to take control over the islands.
The Dutch were met with much force from the Canarians and were forced to island-jump, destroying the islands along the way. The Dutch eventually retreated after being unsuccessful in overcoming the Canarians during their attempt to seize the islands.
The British attacked the islands in 1797 but was forced to retreat when they could not take control of the Tenerife.
During the 19th Century, the wealthy sugar crop economy that had been founded in the Canary Islands during the 1400s began to suffer. Sugarcane farming began to take off in the Spanish Caribbean territories, leaving the Canary Islands in a recession, so the Canary Islands had to come up with another way to thrive. This is how the Canarian-American trade was developed. Canarians sold sugar-based crops and rum to American ports in North, Central, and South America.
Some Canarians chose to move to the New World in the west to escape the recession. It is estimated that around 40,000 Canarians emigrants settled in Venezuela alone because of the economic opportunities that Venezuela offered Canarians. Thousands of other Canarians settled in Puerto Rico and other neighboring Caribbean territories.
The Canary Islands were divided into two provinces in 1927. The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife both wanted control of the islands as the capital of the territory. To compromise, the Canary Islands were divided into two provinces, which are still acknowledged today.
General Francisco Franco controlled the islands during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Franco entered the islands and caused major economic distress during this time. A few years later, during World War I, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made plans for the Canary Islands to be seized by the British if Spain invaded British-owned Gilbraltar.
In 1968, Algeria declared that the Canary Islands were an African territory, as the Canary Islands had begun their own independent movement in 1964. This movement declared that the Canary Islands should be self-governing and a part of Africa if they were going to be part of any territory at all.
In 1982, the Spanish government created the Autonomous Community of the Canaries Archipelago, and the Canary Islands Independent Movement ceased all activities.
Today, there are still two capitals that control the islands, making the Canary Islands the only autonomous region in Spain that has two capitals.
The primary language that is spoken and taught in the Canary Islands is Spanish. However, because there was an influx in activity with the United States during the 19th Century, English became a secondary language that is widely spoken throughout the islands.
In addition to the history that the Canary Islands has with America, the islands are also a tourist destination, which makes English a widely spoken language used throughout the territory.
Catholicism is the primary religion practiced in the territory as it has been since the 1400s. There is evidence of Catholicism throughout the islands, especially in the construction of the large churches when the islands became wealthy during the 1400s. Catholicism has remained the primary religion even during the invasion of Ottoman pirates and Dutch aggressors.
The island of Tenerife is the largest and most populated island. The islands were formed by volcanoes located in the Canarian hotspot. Because of this, the islands are mountainous and can experience tremors. The most recent tremors were recorded in 2011.
Because of the nature in which the islands were formed, there are many national parks located throughout the islands. These national parks preserve the forests, mountains, solo volcano, and wildlife.
The climate of the islands can vary depending on the trade-winds. The trade-winds can give the islands a mild and wet climate or a hot and dry climate for the year.
The Canary Islands are known most for its portrayal of the Catholic faith through the churches that were constructed during the 1400s. These are the icons that represent the culture of the Canary Islands, both historically and presently.
Immigration and Migration Patterns
Beginning in the 1800s, Canarians began to emigrate to the New World in the western hemisphere. Opportunities had presented themselves in North, Central, and South America that Canarians took advantage of.
If emigrants were not taking advantage of opportunities in the New World, they were fleeing the unrest that had come from the Spanish Civil War. Unrest and recession in the Canary Islands, along with the opportunities in the New World, were the main reasons that Canarians emigrated from the islands.
These emigrants settled in various territories throughout North, Central, and South America. These areas included Venezuela, Texas, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. 40,000 Canarians alone emigrated to Venezuela between 1840 and 1890, while thousands of others fled to Puerto Rico and neighboring Caribbean territories.
These Canarians are emigrants because they did not return to the Canary Islands. Instead, they found a new way of life in the areas in which they fled.
Those who have a Canarian genealogy may live in various places throughout the world, especially in the western hemisphere. Canarians are found throughout the southern United States, especially in Texas and Louisiana, because of the economic recession and unrest that Canarians faced beginning in the 1800s.
Canarian descendants can also be found throughout the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.
The South American countries of Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela saw an influx of Canarian emigrants who settled in these territories and began a new way of life.
Most Canarian descendants are likely found in these areas of the western hemisphere, but it is also likely to find Canarians in northern Africa. Not only is this because of how close northern Africa is to the islands, but because there were around 1,000 Canarians that were taken back to northern Africa as slaves in 1618.