There are towns whose cultural legacy speaks to us of splendorous past. So it is in the case of Antigua, in the flat central part of Fuerteventura: its centre attests to an historic and artistic heritage of great worth, which is reflected in its architecture. But if one thing in particular defines Antigua’s countryside it is the windmills that break up the flat landscape with the blades, just like bygone times, moved by the gentle, warm, trade winds.
History and traditional architecture in Fuerteventura
Visitors have a couple of ‘must see’ stops in Antigua. The first is the Windmill Museum of Antigua, where you can see, in a completely renovated building, just how the grain was milled in the olden days. The museum stands beside an impressive stately home, where you can buy from an ample selection of island craft goods. In the town centre you will find examples of traditional local homes as well as mansions that belonged to wealthy families, such as the Casona del Portón.
Antigua is located in the eastern area of Fuerteventura. Geologically, materials from the different phases of the formation of the island come to the surface within the municipal boundaries and its landscape has been shaped by erosion. They served as a channel for the lava from subsequent eruptions as can be appreciated in some ravines in the municipality, such us Pozo Negro, in which there is a pre-hispanic archaeological site: La Atalayita. The lava flows from another volcano, Toneles, which increased the size of the island towards the sea and created an irregular shoreline with many small beaches.
The municipal district is characterized by the fact that it has broad plains inland. On one of these plains, Mafasca, which has given rise to traditional stories about lost souls. Antigua has some protected natural spaces: The natural Monument of Caldera de Gairía, the Natural Monument of Los Cuchillos de Vigán and the protected Landscape of Malpáis Grande and Betancuria Rural Park.
Its geo-morphological shape has marked to a great extent the economy of the borough Villages full of traditional architecture devoted to agriculture and livestock-keeping, in which numerous windmills stand out are scattered over the broad plains; It is precisely this landscape which justifies this part of Fuerteventura being called “La mancha de Canarias” (In allusion to the part of mainland Spain called “La Mancha”, where Don Quijote had many adventures, which is noted for the large number of windmills).