The town of Pájara in Fuerteventura
|Etymology and toponymy|
|Pájara, feminine pájaro, means a small bird, a sparrow (Latin passer, sparrow), formerly a gateway. In Andalusian dialect pájara particularly designates the gray partridge (Perdix perdix) Andalusian settlers discovered many gray partridge in the Barranco de Pájara and gave this name to the locality. A bird - which could be a partridge - is at the center of the shield of Pájara.|
In colloquial language, pájara also means today "fickle woman, bitch, bitch ...".
|The city of Pájara is located south of the Massif of Betancuria, at the foot of the last mountain range; from Pájara arid mountains give way to a green oasis, with arable and fertile lands of the Barranco de Toto. The city center is only 196 meters.|
The north of the town occupies the last slopes of the Massif of Betancuria, with mountains 600 meters above sea level the highest of which is Mount Fénduca, which rises to 609 meters.
In the north, the town of Pájara borders the municipality of Betancuria, along a line extending from the Gran Montaña (708 meters) to Puerto de la Peña (Ajuy) along ridges and scarps and ravines : the ravines of Las Peñitas, of Mal Paso and Ajuy.
To the east, the town of Pájara borders the municipality of Tuineje, a line which starts from the Gran Montaña, down to the southwest, then, from the Montaña Hendida, is moving south and joined the side Tarajalero following the course of the Barranco de Tisajorey.
To the west, the coast is made up of spectacular cliffs, interspersed with rare black sand beaches, like those of Ajuy, of Garcey and La Pared. On the west coast is the military enclave Jable de Vigocho.
|The village of Pájara|
|Pájara is a large village a little sleepy, organized around the square Our Lady of Regla (Plaza de Nuestra Señora de Regla), shaded square where the parish church are located, the city hall and cultural center.|
Pájara is the second oldest town in Fuerteventura after Betancuria : it was founded by Norman settlers of Betancuria in the late fifteenth century or early sixteenth century to exploit the fertile surrounding. In addition to farming, agricultural production was mainly the wheat, barley, potato, tomato, alfalfa and samphire.
The city honors this tradition by agricultural azulejo, placed at the entrance of the resort, which is a shepherd guarding his flock of goats; the municipality of Pájara is indeed one of the regions of Fuerteventura where goats - frolicking freely - are more numerous, more numerous than humans, they say; their milk is produced goat cheese called “queso majorero” (www.quesomajorero.es). One can also see in front of the town hall, a waterwheel animal-drawn nineteenth century, such as those used in the fields for irrigation. Donkeys and camels were used to power water wheels (norias) but also the mills (tahonas). If one is lucky, one can sometimes see the waterwheel next to the town hall operated by a camel.
|Over the following centuries the exploitation of vast agricultural lands in the region enriches a few noble families; these families built small mansions with wooden balconies and patios, typical of the Canary Islands. These venerable old houses have been turned into country homes in rural hotel or restaurant, such as Casa Isaítas or restaurant La Fonda. They can be seen on the northern outskirts of the city, in the streets of Guise (name that takes to the entrance of the village the FV-30 road from Betancuria). The development of the city also took advantage of the activity of the southern ports of the island, the ports of Puerto de la Peña and La Pared, but the city also had to undergo hacker attacks on some occasions.|
|In the eighteenth locality experienced a strong increase in its population, despite several famines due to drought that forced part of the population to emigrate; in 1776, a granary was built to store reserves in case of famine. In the late eighteenth century, the extraction and export of limestone became important activities. In the nineteenth century, making carmine enjoyed a certain importance; this natural dye, also called red cochineal extract was cochineal larvae (Dactylopius coccus) that infest prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) growing naturally in the area. The town acquired its independence in 1812, like most other cities of the island.|
Today, the importance of agriculture for Pájara has decreased, and that is tourism on the almost island of Jandía, which provides most abundant tax revenue of the municipality: in addition to the buildings architecture modern town hall and cultural center - dating from 1970 - the city was able to offer a public swimming pool, located behind the church, which is a rare luxury in an arid island like Fuerteventura. The restored houses, manicured gardens and luxurious even street furniture testify to this prosperity.
|The Church of Our Lady of Regla (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Regla)|
|The parish church of Our Lady of Regla (Nuestra Señora de Regla) is the largest cultural attraction - and perhaps the only - of Pájara but worth a visit - especially for one of its portals including unusual decoration appears to be of Aztec inspiration.|
This portal is one of the first nave of the church which has two. The nave, the left aisle, called nave of the Gospel, was built in the second half of the seventeenth century, at the latest in 1687. Indeed, an inscription discovered on the draft of the framework of the choir of the nave shows “Year of Jesus Mary Joseph, 1687” (Año de Jesús María José, 1687).
At that time the church of Pájara was dependent on the parish Santa María de Betancuria, the only parish of the island of Fuerteventura. However Bishop Juan Ruiz Simón (Bishop of the Canary Islands from 1706 to 1712) came to the island of Fuerteventura and criticized the lack of ecclesiastical presence in the remote villages of the capital Betancuria; on his return to mainland Spain, he informed King Philip V. This led, in 1708, the founding of the auxiliary parish of Nuestra Señora de Regla in Pájara. This was the first parish of Fuerteventura to separate from the parish of Betancuria with the parish of Our Lady of Candelaria in La Oliva.
|The portal of the nave of the Gospel is made of a copper-colored stone; its excellent workmanship is faithful to the reputation of the region stonemasons. This portal is of Mexican baroque style with elements of the Aztecs. The door is topped by a round arch; both sides are a pair of pilasters with capitals decorated with plant motifs.|
Above the arch of the arched door and pilaster capitals rests an entablature. It is this entablature has an exotic decoration, carved in low relief, reminiscent of the stone sculpture of the Aztecs. We think this is a priest who stayed in Mexico that was the source of those reasons.
The ledge is divided into three parts:
- A relief frieze shows two snakes that bite the tail, enclosing within this circle, one sun and one moon; ornaments feathers left and right, above the capitals, beyond any interpretation.
- A triangular pediment containing a rosette-shaped stone sun wheel; The pediment is open at the top; near the top two big cats - perhaps Cougars - climb outside the gable; above the pediment are patterns that are clearly Aztec-inspired; in the open top of the pediment is a disc on which a woman’s head crowned with a plume of feathers and wearing celestial wings symbolizing divine grace; each side of the woman’s head is a face of Indian. This set looks like a pre-Hispanic ceremonial visible to the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
- Above all this stands a Christian cross, evoking perhaps the Christianization of the Hispanic world. From either side of the pediment, we can also see a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit and a locked heart. The locked heart refers to the sincerity, love and goodness, and the key is a symbol of power and command; it is she who dominates, opens and closes the door. To the right and left are the heads of two-headed snakes showing threatening language.
|Due to the rapid growth of the population of Pájara in the early eighteenth century, the parish church for the new parish of Our Lady of Regla soon proved too small; in 1711 was decided the creation of a second nave. This new nave to the right of the nave of the Gospel and named Nave of the Epistle, was completed in 1733 and dedicated April 14, 1734 by Bishop Pedro Manuel Dávila y Cárdenas, bishop of the Canary 1731-1738.|
In her Synodal chronicles of 1935, the bishop said: "we had a nave in this church, which was no longer able to accommodate the faithful of his parish, whose numbers had increased. In this year it is completed and it is very satisfying. "
|The church that we see today includes two buildings, almost identical dimensions, covered with four-sided tiled roofs.|
Each of the two aisles - the nave of the Gospel to the left and the Nave of the Epistle to the right - has its own sacristy against the wall of the apse. The interior of the church has different architectural styles including Mudejar, Gothic and Baroque.
|Inside, the two naves are separated by stone columns supporting arches. Each nave is covered by a Mudejar wooden roof resting on consoles decorated reinforced by ties of geometric patterns.|
The church has two tall choirs who are separated from their respective nave by pointed arches of slightly different dimensions; these arcs are traversed by a rib from the keystone to the marquee of a hexagonal central pillar.
At the foot of the church, a platform is supported on wooden poles and spans the width of the two naves.
Under this platform - the side of the nave of the Gospel - a low arch opened and closed by a gate allows to see the remains of a ribbed vault at the base of the church’s bell tower.
|The Church of Our Lady of Regla houses a statue of the Virgen de Regla, one of the invocations of the Virgin Mary, which might have been brought from Mexico. The patron saint of the city of Pájara is also venerated in the town of Regla, in the province of Havana in Cuba.|
Beautiful gilded Baroque altars were completed in 1785. Other notable works of religious art of the church Nuestra Señora de Regla is an altarpiece with paintings and sculpture in the round, an altar with oil painting on canvas depicting the Souls, a sculpture of a Ecce Homo, a font carved in stone and painted, baptismal font carved in stone, an altar of Our Lady of Sorrows, a painting of St. John the Evangelist, an oil painting representing God the Father, a statue of St. Anthony of Padua, a statue of Jesus Savior, Christ Crucified, a carved pulpit in polychrome wood and gold, a silver monstrance, a votive lamp.
|The church of Our Lady of Regla is located on the Plaza de Nuestra Señora de Regla; it is surrounded by a beautiful garden with mature trees that mask the modern buildings of the city hall and cultural center. These large trees also shade the facade of the church, and it is better to come in the late afternoon when the sun illuminates the beautiful reddish stone of the Gospel portal.|
The church is open daily from 11 am to 13 pm and from 17 am to 19 pm. A Mass is given on Sunday at 19 pm.
The interior is quite dark, lit only by two small windows at the entrance to the nave of the Epistle - on the right - there is a timer that allows pay for illuminating the inside by placing a coin one euro.
The feast of the patron saint of the city, Our Lady of Regla, is celebrated around June 2 The ceremonies last for several days; the day before, around midnight, a large fireworks and fired; in the evening, around 20 pm, a procession through the streets.
|The Monument of Natural of Ajuí (Monumento Natural de Ajuí)|
|The Natural Monument of Ajui is the oldest place of the Canary Islands. The other islands, as well as the American and African continents, had not yet separated. Some of these rocks are composed of fossilized marine sediments contain fossils of marine animals.|
|The Natural Monument of Montaña del Cardón|
|The Natural Monument of Montaña del Cardón has an interesting endemic flora.|
|The village of Toto|
|Toto is an agricultural village of fewer than 300 inhabitants, located 3 km east of Pájara, along the FV-30 road between Pájara and Tuineje. It is a small oasis of greenery, well irrigated, at the foot of arid mountains.|
Toto has a chapel built in the second half of the eighteenth century and completed in 1795. The chapel of St. Anthony of Padua (Ermita de San Antonio de Padua) comprises a single nave, but almost identical portal, one located in the front, the other in the wall of the Epistle to the right; both portals are topped with a round arch and built in the same light stone adorning the corners of the building. The bell tower, crowned with a pinnacle flanked by two decorative scrollwork, is placed on the upper left part of the facade. The vestry is leaned against the church wall bedside.
The roof is timber three slopes, covered with tile. The frame is trough-shaped reinforced by three tie rods of wood.
The interior houses a plaster altar, three-body, made in the nineteenth century by an anonymous author. The central body of the altarpiece has a niche containing a carved wooden statue in round bump and polychrome, representing St. Anthony of Padua. The saint is holding a book in his right hand and squeezes it against the Child Jesus.
|The beach of Garcey (Playa de Garcey)|
|The only access to the beach Garcey is from the FV-605 road to Pájara in La Pared; 3 km after the junction of the FV-621 road to Ajuy, a large share not indicated on the right track. The track first skirts the Montaña Mezquez (414 m) before heading to the southwest by a rather flat ravine where grow some fig trees. Some allowed fincas on the left and, shortly after, before the mouth of the ravine, the trail leaves the ravine to the left and runs parallel to the coast. We’ll stick to the larger multiple tracks. After about 7 km the trail reaches the Barranco de Garcey. There are a few meters to the Playa de Garcey. An all-terrain vehicle is essential.|
A rocky promontory delimits the beach on the right. While the upper layer of the promontory has been completely preserved, the surf dug a tunnel into the lower layer of limestone; This tunnel crosses the promontory through. To the left of the beach begins a military zone forbidden access; it is a maneuver camp and a firing range where there is a risk of unexploded ordnance.
In 1994 ran aground off the beach of Garcey a former luxury cruise ship, the American Star, which was towed to a demolition site in Thailand. For many years the range Garcey was a place of excursion for the curious who hoped to recover as a souvenir of furniture objects from the wreck; seven people were killed in the eddies diving near the wreck. The last vestiges of the luxury liner sank in the waters in 2007 during a storm; it remains almost nothing, but the diving and swimming are strictly prohibited on the beach Garcey.
|The village of Esquinzo|
|Esquinzo is a village - about 600 people - on the east coast of the peninsula Jandía, between the resort of Costa Calma (16 km northeast) and the Morro del Jable (6 km at the South West). Esquinzo has a beautiful beach called Playa de Butihondo popular with windsurfers - not to be confused with the Playa de Esquinzo located northwest of the island of Fuerteventura, near El Cotillo.|
|The bus station Pájara is Calle de Nuestra Señora de Regla, opposite the church.|
Line 4: Pájara - La Pared - Morro del Jable
Starting Pájara in the morning at 6: 30 pm, Monday to Saturday; from Morro Jable afternoon at 16 h 15.
Site on the Web: www.tiadhe.com/rutas/04.htm
Line 9: Pájara - Gran Tarajal - Morro del Jable
Departure from Pájara to 6: 30 pm, Monday to Saturday; return Morro Jable afternoon to 16 pm.
Site on the Web: www.tiadhe.com/rutas/09.htm
Line 18: Pájara - Gran Tarajal (connections to Puerto del Rosario).
4 times a day.
Site on the Web: www.tiadhe.com/rutas/18.htm
|Taxi station on Calle de Nuestra Señora de Regla (near the restaurant La Fonda).|
Phone: 00 34 928 161 503
|Weather and forecasts|
|Hotel-restaurant Casa Isaítas|
|La Casa Isaítas is a rural hotel located in an old mansion with two patios, carefully renovated. It offers 4 double bedrooms, a kitchen Canarian restaurant and a tapas bar. Home in German, English, Spanish and French.|
Address: Calle Guise, 7 (opposite the church). Ample parking.
Phone: 00 34 928 161 402
Mobile phone: 00 34 607 928 307
Site on the Web: www.casaisaitas.com
Rates: Double room: € 84; individual use: € 66. Half board on request.
|Bar-restaurant La Fonda|
Price dishes: from € 10.
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 23 pm 30; closed on Wednesdays.
Address: Calle de Nuestra Señora de Regla, 23
Phone: 00 34 633 113 888