Santa Brígida has its place in my family memories. In the Canary Islands is just like that, every family has its places, a geography of its own. The municipality of Santa Brígida is the third smallest town in Gran Canaria and it stretches mostly on the stream of the gorge Barranco Guiniguada. Santa Brígida flourishes as a bunch of pictures in my memories… its old town, warm and tiny, me and my cousins playing around the small church, the first teenager talks about love, the volcanic landscape of lapilli (picón in the Canary Islands Spanish dialect), the living silence of La Caldera de Bandama (volcanic crater), and the panoramic view of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from the Mirador del Pico de Bandama (Bandama Natual Monument).
Bandama takes its name from Daniel Van Dame, a Flemish trader of the XVII century, a pioneer that dare to raise grapevines in this volcanic area. Nowadays, vineyards are a characteristic symbol of Santa Brígida so that stopping by Bodegas Marcelo-Plaza Perdida, Viña La Vica y Bodega Los Lirios (Ask for their raisins!), surrounded by a volcanic landscape, is a must.
A bit of history
However, Santa Brígida is much more than wine. Santa Brígida is pure History. Taking a look from the Mirador del Pico de Bandama to Las Isletas bay is imagine the Dutch pirate Van der Does fleet of 74 ships exchanging canyon shots with the Castillo de la Luz (La Luz castle or Las Isletas fortress), clearing out the old sand dune field between Las Canteras beach and Las Alcaravaneras by sweeping fire: a hell of fire and gunpowder.
The Dutch pirates and the Canarian militia
The Dutch pirates found in Santa Brígida a fierce opponent: the Canarian militia. They paid a high price until they entered into the city, stole the bell of the chapel of San Telmo (Parque San Telmo) and burnt down the old city of Vegueta. Then they ran after the Canarian militia to Santa Brígida, tracking the stream of the Barranco Guiniguada; there, the militia placed in an ambush and defeated the pirates. This battle is known as La Gesta del Batán. Since then, the motto of Santa Brígida is “By Spain and Faith We Defeated the Dutch”.
About La Vica and Plaza Perdida wines (Spanish)