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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands were not named for a bird called a canary. They were named after a breed of large dogs. The Latin name was Canariae insulae - "Island of Dogs."

The aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands were called Guanches.

Gran Canaria, the main of the Canary Islands, was conquered by the Kingdom of Castile in 1483, in what was considered a very important step in the expansion of Spain.

Christopher Columbus often stayed at Los Palmas in the Canaries on the way back from America, whilst his ships were refitted. The house where he stayed is now a museum.

The Northern Hemisphere Astronomical Observatory on the island of La Palma and has some of the major telescopes of the world, including the 13 ft William Herschel telescope. Observation conditions are exceptionally good here because there is little moisture, no artificial-light pollution, and little natural airglow.

The Teide volcano on Tenerife is the third tallest volcano on Earth on a volcanic ocean island.

The economy is based primarily on tourism, which makes up 32% of the GDP.

Source Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2013. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.

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