The town of Villa de San Andrés has been declared a cultural heritage site

2 March 2015

Bien de Interés cultural

If you walk through the cobbled streets of San Andrés in the north-east of La Palma, you will find yourself in one of the oldest and once most important towns on the island.


Abundant fresh water flowed from the gorge of Los Tilos in Los Sauces to pour into the sea at San Andrés. A wealth that attracted many foreigners, mainly Portuguese, Catalans, Genoese and Flemings.

Already in the first years after the Conquista, the town was granted the title of "Villa", (small) town.


Around 1515, the church Iglesia de San Andrés was built. From the XVIth to the XVIIth century, the town flourished and came just after the capital, Santa Cruz.

Manor houses with thick walls of stone and clay were built, some of the coats of arms have been preserved, just like the Ermita del Pilar.

The main source of income was the cultivation of sugar cane


From the port of El Guindaste, right next to the Barranco del Agua, cane sugar, wine and rum were exported.

Later, banana cultivation was added and replaced sugar exports.

Lime delivered from Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura was burned directly at the port. It was needed for irrigation canals and in construction in general. The well restored lime kiln is another landmark of San Andrés.

Ancient buildings also include the little church Ermita de San Sebastian, the old cemetery, the Stations of the Cross (El Calvario) and the remains of the Franciscan monastery La Piedad.

The Canary Islands government has now declared San Andrés a Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC). A heritage site full of traditional and popular architecture.

The protected buildings cover an area of almost 60,000 m² inside and outside the village. Of this, about 25,300 m² form the actual historical complex, the rest is protected zone.

Palm groves, flower-filled gardens and squares together with the evergreen banana plants wrap themselves like a protective cloak around this little gem, which is now hopefully awakening to a new flowering. A visit to San Andrés is definitely worthwhile.

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