Timeline Canary Islands

  • 570 BCE

    Discovery of the Canary Islands

    The islands were possibly first discovered by the Carthaginian explorer Hanno the Navigator, in 570 BC.
  • Period: 570 BCE to

    Canary Islands

    The Canary Islands is an archipelago belonging to Spain and is made up of eight islands. It is located in northwestern Africa. The islands are of volcanic origin and are 30 million years old.
  • 500 BCE


    The first settlers of the Canary Islands were the Guanches, who arrived in the 6th century BC.
  • 1312


    Lanceloto Malocello, a navigator and explorer from the Republic of Genoa, rediscovered the islands in 1312 and conquered Lanzarote. He is the originator of the name of the island.
  • 1339

    Portolan of 1339

    Portolan of 1339
    The first portolan in which the Canary Islands appear was created in 1339, by the Mallorcan cartographer Angelino Dulcert.
  • 1341

    Portugal expedition

    In 1341 Alfonso IV of Portugal sent an expedition under the command of the Florentine Angiolino del Teggia with the purpose of collecting information about the islands.
  • 1344

    Luis de la Cerda

    Luis de la Cerda
    Pope Clement VI names Luis de la Cerda Infante de Castilla, although he has not visited the Canary Islands nor has he participated in the Conquest of the Canary Islands.
  • 1351

    Bishopric of Fortune

    When Luis de la Cerda failed in terms of the evangelization of the islands, the work fell to the Mallorcan missionaries, thus creating the Bishopric of La Fortuna in Telde.
  • 1390

    Jean de Bethencourt

    Jean de Bethencourt
    He wanted to conquer the islands and had the support of Enrique III and the help of the Crown of Castile.
  • 1402

    Conquest of Lanzarote

    Conquest of Lanzarote
    On May 1, 1402, Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle left La Rochela (France) for the Canary Islands in order to see and visit everything in order to conquer it. That same year Bethencourt conquered Rubicón (Lanzarote) under the Crown of Castile.
    The island was conquered by the south. At that time it had a population of 300 inhabitants. The Majos who occupied the center and the north of the island did not offer resistance.
  • Period: 1402 to 1450

    The seigneurial conquest

    The seigneurial conquest is the conquest carried out by the nobility for their own benefit. In this part, the weaker islands were conquered, Lanzarote, El Hierro, Fuerteventura and La Gomera.
  • Period: 1402 to 1496

    Conquest of Canary Islands

    In this period the conquest of the islands took place. It was not an easy military conquest, given the aboriginal resistance on some islands. Neither was it politically, since the particular interests of the nobility converged. The conquest of the Canary Islands is divided into seigneurial conquest and royal conques
  • 1405

    Conquest of Fuerteventura

    Conquest of Fuerteventura
    Jean de Bethencourt traveled to Castile in search of help. He obtained the necessary means from Henry III.
    During Bethencourt's absence, Gadifer had to face the double rebellion of his men. In 1404 the conquest of Fuerteventura was resumed, but both acted separately. In 1405 the conquest culminated with the submission of the kings of the island.
  • 1405

    Conquest of El Hierro

    Conquest of El Hierro
    At the end of 1405 El Hierro was easily conquered by the small aboriginal population.
    Bethencourt remained in the islands until 1412, in which he returned his Normandy domains, leaving his possessions to his relative Maciot.
  • 1406

    Conquest of La Gomera

    Conquest of La Gomera
    The island was not conquered militarily but incorporated by means of an agreement between Hernán Peraza el Viejo and some of the aboriginal factions.
  • 1447

    Conquest attempt on La Palma

    In 1447 Peraza's son, Guillén set course for the island of La Palma to carry out a surprise attack. The troops landed in the canton of Tihuya in the west. They were attacked by King Echedey and his brothers under the command of the aborigines, being defeated and resulting in the death of Guillén himself.
  • 1461

    Conquest attempt on Gran Canaria

    In 1461 Diego Herrera came to take possession of Gran Canaria, but the island rose again.
  • 1464

    Conquest attempt on Tenerife

    In 1464 the symbolic takeover of the island of Tenerife by Diego García de Herrera takes place and he signs a peace treaty with the menceyes.
  • Period: 1478 to 1496

    The royal conquest

    The royal conquest is the conquest carried out by the Crown of Castile, during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, in the islands that offered great resistance and were more difficult to conquer, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma.
  • 1483

    Conquest of Gran Canaria

    Conquest of Gran Canaria
    On June 14, 1478, an expedition commanded by Juan Rejón disembarked. A few days later they had the first confrontation in which the islanders were defeated. This victory gave the Castilians control of the northeast corner of the island.
    There was a Castilian victory in the battle of Arucas in which the aboriginal leader, Doramas, fell. In 1482 Hernán Peraza intervened and captured Tenesor Semidán, who became an ally for the conquistadors. Finally, on April 29, 1483, the conquest ended.
  • 1493

    Conquest of La Palma

    Conquest of La Palma
    Alonso Fernández de Lugo obtained from the Catholic kings the rights of conquest over the islands of La Palma and Tenerife.
    The conquest of La Palma was easy. They disembarked on September 29, 1492 in Tazacorte. The conqueror made agreements and pacts with the aborigines from La Palma. Resistance was minimal, except in Tigalate, where Chief Tanausú became strong, taking advantage of the orographic conditions of the area. The conquest ends on May 3, 1493.
  • 1495

    Conquest of Tenerife

    Conquest of Tenerife
    In April 1494, Alonso Fernández landed on the coast of Santa Cruz de Tenerife with a troop of Spaniards and Canaries.
    The first armed encounter was the first battle of Acentejo that took place in the Acentejo ravine.
    In 1495, after a long period of guerrilla warfare and looting, the Castilians invaded again. The Guanches waited for them in a ravine near where the first battle of Acentejo took place. The Castilian victory ended with the conquest of Tenerife and the conquest of the Canary Islands.
  • 1553


    François Le Clerc attacked and sacked Santa Cruz de La Palma and San Sebastián de La Gomera in 1553.
  • Attack on Betancuria

    After an attack led by Xabán Arraez in 1593, Betancuria was destroyed and a part of the Majorera population was captured and enslaved.
  • Van der Doez

    During the years of the war of the Crown of Castile against the Dutch, the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was attacked in 1599 led by Admiral Van der Doez. The attack was completed with the conquest of the city and the withdrawal of its population towards the interior of the island. In Tarifa, the insular militias managed to stop the Dutch advance towards the interior of the island and forced the invaders to withdraw towards Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where they withdrew after destroying it
  • Population

    At the end of the 16th century, the islands had the following population level:
    Tenerife >20,000 inhabitants
    Gran Canaria >8,000 inhabitants
    La Palma 5,580 inhabitants
    La Gomera 1,265 inhabitants
    El Hierro 1,250 inhabitants
    Lanzarote <1,000 inhabitants
    Fuerteventura 1,900 inhabitants
  • Period: to

    The 17th century

    The 17th century was a period of population growth. It went from 41,000 inhabitants in 1605 to 105,000 in 1688. Tenerife had just over 50,000 inhabitants and Gran Canaria, with 22,000 inhabitants. Of the smaller islands, La Palma was the only one with more than 14,000 inhabitants. The rest of the islands experienced significant growth, reaching figures of around four thousand inhabitants for each of them.
  • Period: to

    The 18th century

    During the 18th century demographic growth continued. Globally, the population of the archipelago went from 105,075 at the end of the 17th century, to 194,516 in the year 1802. The distribution of the population is unequal; more than two thirds were concentrated in Tenerife and Gran Canaria, while El Hierro did not increase the population throughout the period.
  • The Royal Regulation of 1718

    The Royal Regulation of 1718 liberalized trade relations between the Canary Islands and America, which imposed the condition of sending five Canarian families of five members to that continent for every one hundred tons of merchandise exported.
  • Gran Tarajal

    In 1740 English corsairs landed in the town of Gran Tarajal to enter the interior and sack the town of Tuineje. However, the natives get a victory over the invaders.
  • Horacio Nelson

    Horacio Nelson attacked Santa Cruz de Tenerife on July 25, 1797, within the conflict that England was waging against France and Spain. Nelson attacked with a large fleet and abundant troops that managed to land in the city. The insular militias, responsible for the defense of the island, were able to resist and prevent the conquest of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Nelson was injured, as a result of which he lost his right arm.
  • The flu epidemic

    The flu epidemic of 1918 affected the islands very little, which were the province with the fewest deaths in all of Spain.
  • Rivalry

    The rivalry between the cities Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for the capital status of the islands led to the division of the archipelago into two provinces in 1927.
  • Francisco Franco

    In 1936, Francisco Franco was stationed in the Canary Islands, as General Commander, from where he started the military uprising on July 17.
  • Postwar

    During the postwar period, the Canary Islands suffered a period of crisis where hunger and misery were frequent, which produced a wave of migration to Venezuela.
  • Economy

    Around the 70s, a change began to take place in the Canarian economy with the rise in tourism. As of these moments, livestock and agriculture enter a setback.
  • Autonomy

    After the death of Franco and the establishment of a democratic regime of Parliamentary Monarchy, the creation of a statute of autonomy for the archipelago was proposed, a statute that was approved in 1982.
  • First regional elections

    In 1983 the first regional elections were held, which were won by the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE).
  • Parliament of the Canary Islands

    On May 30 of that year, the first session of the Parliament of the Canary Islands is held (date that gives honor to Canary Islands Day).