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The Mysterious Pyramids of Güímar

30 November 2021

Unveiling the secrets behind Tenerife’s pyramid structures

Europe is known for its gorgeous landscapes and striking architectures across its many countries, but have you ever heard of pyramid structures within its lands? It seems that no matter where you look on this globe, pyramids always have a way of appearing and cultivating an air of mystery about them. The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt are famously the most popular pyramid structures on this Earth, yet other historical places like Intiwuatana in Machu Picchu, Monte Alban in Mexico, Brihadisvara Temple in India and Angkor Wat in Cambodia take pyramid form as well. While most of these structures were built for religious purposes, signifying the importance of life after death through glorification, most of the ancient civilization’s motives and processes behind the execution of these colossal structures in this specific shape remains an undiscovered mystery to most people. While Europe isn’t that famous for having ancient pyramids, as there is no evidence of any ancient civilization attempting to build one there; it seems that the Canary Islands beg to differ. Geographically, the islands are closer to the continent of Africa, which lends well to the justification of the ancient Güímar Pyramids being there. Politically, the Canary Islands are considered to be an autonomous community of Spain, thus making them a part of Europe, and Güímar Pyramids the first and only ancient European pyramids.

Güímar, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Güímar, the town that lends its name to the pyramids, is a southern town of the island that is well known for its breathtaking nature and vast gastronomic and cultural variety. It is a brilliant place for sports within nature such as biking and hiking, and also offers visitors access to some of the most beautiful natural reserves in the world. One of these reserves, known as “Majanos de Chacona”, is the Pyramids of Güímar Ethnographic Park. Stretching at about 690,000 square feet (64,000 square meters), this park was built around the six stepped complex structure pyramids found in the region. It is said that Güímar itself used to have nine pyramids in the past, but only six of them survived the course of history and still stand at about four meters high. These six strange structures are made of stone and follow the geometrical steps of Aztec temples found in Central America (patterns of Mexican, Peruvian and Mesopotamian ones) – which still baffles historians, archaeologists and all history buffs that encounter the place.

The Mystery Behind the Pyramids of Güímar 

The existence of these pyramids was discovered recently, towards the beginning of the 1990s, and their purpose still remains a mystery today. Many explanations and theories rose since the discovery of the structures: from carvings done to huge rocks to volcanic rocks that farmers made when clearing their lands, while others (such as Antonio Aparicio Juan and César Esteban López) argue in their 2005 book titled The Pyramids of Güímar: Myth and Reality that the pyramids are Freemason structures; it seems that the Pyramids of Güímar strike up quite the controversial historical debate. It was with Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl, however, that the pyramids became a center point of focused discovery. Heyerdahl first heard of the pyramids upon their discovery in 1990, and directly moved to the island – where he set up home in Güímar and remained there for the remainder of his life. He was the one to discover the pattern similarities between these structures and the one in Central America. He theorized that they were built at a time when people were traversing the oceans and that they were linked to the pyramid building of Egypt (at the eastern point of the African continent) and Central America (at the western point across the ocean). Heyerdahl suggested that the structures were not haphazardly piled-up stones, and he maintained a belief in the hypothesis that the pyramids were connected with Guanches. We don’t know a lot about the Guanches, but what we do know is taken from the writings of the Spanish Chroniclers and archaeological discoveries made. The Guanches were the Indigenous inhabitants of Tenerife, believed to have arrived on the archipelago sometime in the first millennium BC. The aforementioned documentations state that they were hunter-gatherer tribes that are genetically linked to modern North African Berbers, however some historians suggest that they were originally inhabitants of Atlantis that survived and were very tall with clear rosy skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. It is quite clear that the history is too unclear on this ancient civilization, however it is thoroughly argued that the pyramids in the region are products of their very existence.

What to do in Güímar?

Once you visit the gorgeous town of Güímar now, you can get the chance to visit the Casa Chacona Museum, where you can learn more through pictures, sculptures and ceramics about the history of the place and the pyramids themselves. You can also pay the underground auditorium a visit, where documentaries about the expeditions and theories of Heyerdahl that link the Pyramids of Güímar to other cultures are regularly projected. Don’t forget about the wide array of botanical gardens present in the area, that not only educate visitors about the diverse flora of the region, but also offer breathtaking landscape sceneries. With more than 20,000 square meters of pure botanical collection gardens, prepare to embark on a journey of plant learning and discovery. One of the most interesting gardens is the Poisonous Garden, which contains the most dangerous species of plants in the world – fully instructive on the plant’s medical uses, myths and legends. The town of Güímar also offers great volcanic landscapes with places like the Natural Reserve of Malpaís de Güímar..

The Park of Güímar is a great place to enjoy and learn more about the island itself, divided into four different trails on the themes of history, botany and nature of the Canary archipelago. Apart from solving its complex historical mysteries, it seems that you have a lot to do and discover for the next time you decide to have a great Canary Islands tour. The weather is exquisitely pleasant all year long, so what are you waiting for? An awesome trip awaits your booking right now!

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