Museo Canario, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

(240+ reviews on the web)
History Museum
Visit Museo Canario for a detailed cultural, natural, and archaeological history of the Canary Islands. Founded in 1879, it is the largest institution of its kind in the Canary Islands. This museum offers detailed explanations of the way of life of the inhabitants of the islands before the Christian Conquest and Spanish colonization of the 15th century. Of particular interest here is the large room of cabinets filled with the skulls of native people. You can also take advantage of the museum's large library of newspaper and historical archives. Free on Mondays, and every day for children under 12 years old. Add Museo Canario to your Las Palmas de Gran Canaria travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Las Palmas de Gran Canaria trip itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Archeological evidence exists (and lots of skulls and bones) that the Canaries were inhabited long before the European invasion. People lived in caves (there are cave paintings) and in fishing communi...  more »
  • As a student in social anthropology with an interest in physical anthropology I loved this museum. One of my favourite outings in Las Palmas - the fact that is was in Spanish did not bother me - Lesle...  more »
  • Beautiful museum that teaches you about the life on the canaries before the islands were colonised. There are a lot of items and models on display, and the museum is clean and feels up to date. But If...  more »
Google
  • . It could have been SO much better! I like museums, because I like learning things. I like to read all the labels and gather the information. Yes, I know that I gather it and then lose it, as I can never remember most of it, but I still like the gathering. This museum was disappointing. The information was scarce in any language but Spanish - not a problem for me - but what information was actually given was not very useful. There were cases and cases of broken bits of something-or-other. The information given was Where it had been found, When it had been found, but never What exactly it probably was and How exactly it was used and Why. Seeing something and being told it had been dug up in October 1965 in the town of X was of no interest to me. And cases and cases of skulls? They would have done better to select three or four that were representative of different epochs or geographical origins, and explain carefully the differences and similarities, and give an idea why. A Guanche skull from 8 centuries ago, comparing its features with a Berber skull from N Africa today, for example. Slightly more interesting was the large model of a dwelling, but I am going to be picky here too. They showed the roof, with branches - thinnish ones, not tree-trunks - making a base for the roof. On top were placed flat stones. But the stones were totally out of scale. Measuring them against the human figures, they would have been so heavy that it would have been almost impossible for the builders to lift them, without technology, onto the roof. And then the weight would have brought them immediately crashing down through the fragile roof supports. This was so clearly unscientific that it annoyed me almost as much as the couldn't-care-don't-care attitude of the lady at the front desk, who could barely take her eyes off her smartphone to give us our change when we bought our tickets, and, later on, when I asked where the lavatory was, didn't even bother to raise her eyes or even open her mouth - just gave an airy wave of her hand. The museum is, however, situated in an attractive part of the town - go and visit the Mercado de la Vegueta if you are there one morning - a wonderful bustling produce market. Much more fun than this rather boring museum! .
  • Nice little museum with lots of info on the (pre)history of the canarian people.
  • A little boring for me. There was just prehistoric exhibition in only two floors. I wouldn't go again.
  • It has been the second visit to the museum, and Ibacame acutely aware that this museum has some peculiar properties. I would expect that a museum that aims to explain the history of the native polulation prior to Spanish Colonialisation, would present artifacts in semantic order, i.e, early settlements, high culture, colonialisation. Instead, the museum displays artefacts by function, there isd a room for pottery shards ands vessles, one for clothing, one of stone tools and one for human ramins etc. None of these are dated, put into social, historic, religious or developmental stages. On the landing of the first floor e.g., is an exhibit showing the effects of diet (cereal consumption leads to caries, legume and pulse consuption to dental erosion). If this exhibit was dated post colonialisation, then the interpretation is vastly different than if was dated long before colonialisation. If we apply this critical thinking now to the entire exhibition, then categorising pottery into "simple", "advanced" or "complex" shapes becomes an equally questionable practice. So I left the museum with the question if the real purpose is to pay lip service to the people, their way of live, culture and religion, in order to gloss over the consequence that coloialisation was a strategic geographic gain for Spain, spelled death, suffering and extinction to the native population.
  • One of the places one must visit in order to have a great day in Vegueta. There, one will learn about the ancient canarians, how the lived... and how they died, I recommend visiting the mummy and skull room, incredible! There's a museum gift shop where one might find something he likes.

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