The town of Tuineje in Fuerteventura
|Tuineje is a small agricultural town southeast of the island of Fuerteventura. Although it is the fourth town in the municipality by population (about 1000 people), Tuineje is the capital of a joint that includes some coastal villages, the port of Gran Tarajal (over 7000 inhabitants) small resorts of Tarajalejo (about 1300 inhabitants), Las Playitas (800) and Giniginámar (600), and some agricultural villages in the interior, as Tesejerague (1200 inhabitants) and Tiscamanita (500). The entire town has a population of about 13000 inhabitants.|
Tuineje is also known for having been the site of a battle against English privateers in 1740; the shield of the city shows the mountain Tamasite and the effigy of a camel used in this battle and the weapons of the belligerents, guns for the British, fighting sticks for Majoreros.
|The town of Tuineje is located south of the central plain of island of Fuerteventura, which reaches in this part of the island at its widest. The city lies at an altitude of 205 m, on the edge of the mountains that occupy the south of the island. These reliefs, which are in the form of headlands and edges, serve to limit the vast inland plain of Fuerteventura.|
Near the town center are lined several volcanic cones and extensive lava fields: the Malpaís Grande (Great Maleterre) and Malpaís de la Pierna.
Inwards, to the north, there are the foothills of the Massif of Betancuria, corresponding to the island base. A small area of the Rural Park Betancuria is part of the municipality of Tuineje.
To the east and south of the town, a series of valleys perpendicular to the coast, separated by headlands or edges, which may tend to form cliffs on the coast. The highest of these cliffs are on the side of the east, where there is the Lighthouse Entallada. Some beaches are scattered along the coast at the mouth of the valleys best known are those of Gran Tarajal to Giniginámar of Tarajalejo.
North, Tuineje borders the town of Antigua, a straight line from Morro Jorjado to the Punta del Cháfiro on the coast. The short section from the Morro Jorjado and summit of Gran Montaña (708 meters), forms the border with the municipality of Betancuria. While to the west, the border Pájara begins at Gran Montaña, following a series of hills and ridges, and the ravine of Tisajorey to its mouth.
By its position Tuineje is an important node of road traffic Fuerteventura: at a junction located within the city road FV-20, from Puerto del Rosario (35 km) and Antigua, leads towards Gran Tarajal and towards the main road FV-2, while the FV-30 road leads to Pájara and Betancuria in the mountainous west.
|The village of Tuineje|
|The main cultural attraction of Tuineje is the parish church, St. Michael the Archangel church, eighteenth century.|
Furthermore we note the Moorish character of the style and arrangement of some houses; this is due to the influence of Moorish slaves who settled in the region. These houses were also distinguished by the absence of white in a camouflage goal during pirate raids. Many of these traditional houses are now abandoned.
|Church of St. Michael the Archangel (Iglesia de San Miguel Arcángel)|
|The St. Michael Church Archangel Tuineje its origin in a chapel dedicated to the saint (Ermita de San Miguel Arcángel), built in 1695, where the first Mass was celebrated in 1702. This chapel with a single nave was fortified by a crenellated wall of defense, as evidenced by a mural of the current church altarpiece commemorating the Battle of Tamasite (1740).|
In 1764 the congregation decided to build a larger church, but construction did not begin until 1782 and was completed in 1790. The new church has two naves - equal in size - and a campanile. On this date Tuineje became an independent parish from that of Betancuria.
Inside the two naves are separated by Tuscan columns connected by arches. Nightstands are separated from the nave by arches, larger and pointed, based on a powerful central pillar. The choir is in the apse of the nave of the Epistle (right aisle).
A mural in two panels at the bottom of the altarpiece represents the battle of the Montaña de Tamacite which opposed the inhabitants to English privateers in 1740. The fortified church played a role in this battle and the English - before retiring - tore off an arm of the statue of St. Michael the Archangel. Tradition has it that St. Michael helped the Majoreros to win the battle of Tamacite.
The Iglesia de San Miguel Arcángel is located on the Paseo de la Libertad; most of the time, it is closed.
Festival San Miguel and the Battle of Tamasite on 13 October.
|The village of Giniginámar|
|Giniginámar (about 600 inhabitants) is as a line of white houses with flat roofs, behind a black pebble beach, on which there are a few tiny fishing boats. This beach is hardly crowded that weekend by the natives.|
In the village, a small modern church, Our Lady of Carmel (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen), almost merges with the houses. In the background of the village was initially built a vacation housing complex for Austrian holidaymakers. It is now mainly occupied by Island residents working in the resorts of the peninsula Jandía.
Inland, the access road FV-525, 4 km long, was the wide valley Río de Giniginámar where sheep and goats are seeking their livelihoods in arid mountain slopes.
|The village of Tesejerague|
|The village of Tesejerague has about 1200 inhabitants. It has a small chapel dating from the first half of the eighteenth century, the Chapel of St. Joseph (Ermita de San José).|
|Natural Monument of Los Cuchillos de Vigán (Monumento Natural de los Cuchillos de Vigán)|
|Natural Monument of Cuchillos de Vigán is shared between the municipalities of Tuineje and Antigua; it is located in the eastern part of the municipality of Tuineje. This Natural Monument was first classified as Parc Natural Black Well (Parque Natural de Pozo Negro). Natural Monument includes part of the area occupied by the latest materials of Malpaís Grande, the Malpaís de la Pierna and the volcano of Caldera de los Arrabales. The protected area extends to the coast, encompassing the ravines of Gran Valle and Roque, around the massif of Vigán. The rugged coast has spectacular cliffs of Cuchillo de la Entallada falling into the sea.|
Natural Monument of Cuchillos de Vigán is one of the last bastions of endangered species such as the Canary Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus majorensis), named locally guirre, osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and the Barbary falcon (Falco pelegrinoides). There is also an endemic plant of the Canaries, the (Crambe sventenii). The highest mountain, Mount Vigán, rises to 463 m. On the rocks of the mountains Vigán are etched representations of extinct animals endemic to the region.
| Natural Monument of the Caldera de Gairía (Monumento Natural de la Caldera de Gairía)|
|The Natural Monument of the Caldera de Gairía, located east of Tiscamanita, is shared between the municipalities of Tuineje and Antigua.|
| The Protected Landscape of Malpaís Grande (Paisaje Protegido de Malpaís Grande)|
|The Protected Landscape of Malpaís Grande is shared between the municipalities of Antigua and Tuineje.|
|The battles of Tuineje|
|The battles of Tuineje took place in the context of the “War of the ear of Jenkins’ (1739-1748), who opposed the Spaniards to the English in the Caribbean and the” war of the Austrian Succession "(1740- 1748). In this context the Canary Islands were strategically interesting for England, because it was a crossroads of four continents waterways. In an attempt to occupy the Canary Islands, the British began a race war; English privateers were based in Funchal, in Madeira, which belonged to Portugal, a neutral country in the conflict; English pirates captured ships carrying goods within the archipelago. Fuerteventura lost nine cargoes during the first two months of the war; grain exports to neighboring islands - which lived Fuerteventura - were almost arrested.|
A first incursion corsairs took place on 12 and 13 October 1740. English - 53 in number - landed on October 12 at dusk in the bay of what is now Gran Tarajal, and on October 13, advanced towards Tuineje probably with the intention take the capital Betancuria. They passed the English plundered the fields and houses, and pillaged the church of Tuineje, tearing off an arm of the statue of St. Michael the Archangel, adding sacrilege to barbarism.
The military governor of Fuerteventura, Colonel José Sánchez Umpiérrez, gathered a small band of 37 armed peasants only five firearms and Canarian fighting sticks; the Majoreros used a herd of dromedaries as a living shield; English fired a first salvo on camels and before they could reload their muskets, the Canarian attacked, killed 23 British prisoners and made most of the other; only a small number of English privateers could join their ship. Two guns were taken from the English; they still adorn the entrance to the Ethnographic Museum of the island Betancuria.
But the danger was not removed by this first victory: November 24, an English troupe landed again in Gran Tarajal. But this time, the Majoreros were prepared when the English came to Tuineje. Not far from the city, at Llano Florido, local militia attacked the English privateers, which were completely destroyed.
Madrid, January 10, 1741
With letters from Puerto de Santa Cruz in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, after the fourth day, we heard from two landings made by the English in Fuerteventura, one of the islands on 21 October an English corvette arrived in the dark to Puerto de Tarajalejo. 50 armed men went to Tuineje, where they were looting, imprisoned two families and entered the hermitage of San Miguel. At midnight, Lt. Col. José Sanchez Umpiérrez, military governor of the island, which incidentally was staying at his country house that night, was informed of the news. As it was a mile of this place, he mounted a horse with four parents and others, a total of 33 men, and went to meet their enemies. He began to negotiate with the return of the booty and prisoners, in order to let slip the time so that more people can get. The English accepted an agreement, and set the battle order on high ground. Given this, the governor began 40 camels as a trench to prevent the first barrage of enemies without giving them time for a second, he attacked them with such courage that after a bout of hour, ours managed to defeat them completely, only with spears, pointed sticks, spears and five firearms. 30 of them were killed and 20 others were taken prisoner; 5 of our men died and 16 were injured out of danger. This happy event was due to the great effort of Lieutenant Colonel, who killed more than 10 English with his pike, including one who ran away to sea in losing blood from the hermitage said. The trophy for this fight was 150 rifles, 50 rifles with bayonets, 50 swords, a drum, a flag, a trumpet and two grenades, which were distributed in accordance with an order of the Captain General of these islands, between those who participated in the action. The 24th day of the same month, another British sloop, without news of the previous, landed in the same port. 55 armed men also went to the place and the aforementioned chapel, but said Lieutenant Colonel, Captain Melchor de Llerena, Captain Soto and other officers with several men attacked them with such courage that they do not let a life, losing only five of our men, captain Soto being among them. They took the enemy, this time, 55 rifles with bayonets, 55 pairs of pistols, 55 swords, a drum, a flag and a trumpet, shared among the winners.
The print shops of La Gaceta.
|The Oath of St. Michel festivities (Jurada de San Miguel) commemorate the victories of the Canaries on the British at the battles of Tuineje in 1740. It originated in the oath that made the military governor of Fuerteventura, Sánchez Umpiérrez, to give thanks to the Holy Archangel. These festivities take place around October 13 and result in an outdoor show recalling these historical events.|
|The economy of Tuineje has long been based on the cultivation of cereals, as evidenced by the many windmills remains that adorn the landscape between Tuineje and Antigua, including Tiscamanita. But the cereal crop has almost entirely disappeared, replaced by growing tomatoes and potatoes and forage crops (alfalfa and millet). Tomatoes are grown under veils of protection against the sun and wind, to reduce water needs.|
Livestock farming is still important, especially for goat meat production and the production of cheese. This wine is housed, but also freedom, as a complement to agricultural activity, especially along the coast.
Fishing remains important in Gran Tarajal, but is now almost reduced to inshore fishing.
Tourism is mainly located in Gran Tarajal to Las Playitas at Giniginámar and Tarajalejo, with some tourist urbanisations.
|Hotel Casa Rural Tamasite|
|The Hotel Rural Casa Rural Tamasite is an old farmhouse dating from the early nineteenth century, which was converted into a small hotel of four apartments, well equipped and decorated in traditional Canarian style. The hotel offers spectacular views of the Mountain Tamasite. Pool in the garden and barbecue in the yard.|
Price: 50 € per night.
Phone: 00 34 928 164 991; mobile phone: 00 34 605 606 135
Site on the Web: www.casatamasite.com