SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 4 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Plenary Session of the Council of the Historical Heritage of the Canary Islands, the highest advisory and consultative body in matters of historical heritage, has unanimously approved the BIC declaration file for the ‘Cultural Landscape of the Virgen de los Reyes, Ermita de la Virgen de los Reyes, Cuevas del Caracol and Camino de la Virgen’, with category of Cultural Landscape.
This is the first BIC declaration in this category since the approval of the 2019 Canary Islands Cultural Heritage Law.
The declaration, whose final approval will be made by Decree in the Governing Council as a Cultural Landscape, defines the place where tangible and intangible heritage assets converge, representative of historical-cultural evolution, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of factors natural and human and, where appropriate, with landscape and environmental values, to become a support for the identity of a community.
The ‘Cultural Landscape of the Virgen de Los Reyes’ more than meets these characteristics as it is made up of real estate linked to each other for different reasons, as well as a rich intangible heritage in the collective ideology of El Hierro through the festivities around to the cult of the Virgen de Los Reyes, patron saint of the island, the regional government points out in a note.
Thus, he points out that mo is a single natural landscape that unfolds along the spine that runs through the island from west to east, varying depending on the greater or lesser human footprint embodied in the environment, “above all it is a cultural landscape , where traditions permeate every corner of the geography it encompasses, which could even extend to the entire island”.
It is made up of a set made up of immovable elements such as the Sanctuary of the Virgen de Los Reyes, the Montaña y Alar del Caracol and Montaña de la Virgen, and the Camino de la Virgen, interrelated with each other by a whole series of socioeconomic aspects.
But, in addition, continues the Executive, there is a confluence of these material heritage assets with others of an immaterial nature, which turn out to be representative of the historical-cultural evolution of the whole it encompasses, as a result of the action and interaction of natural and human factors. , with landscape and environmental values, and with the display of rites and customs around it that end up configuring it in one of the supports of El Hierro’s identity.
The ‘Cultural Landscape of the Virgen de Los Reyes’ originates in the communal Dehesa, to the west of the island of El Hierro. It is in this territorial context where many of the real estate that make it up are located and where a rich cultural tradition unfolds around the protagonist that gives this Asset of Cultural Interest its name.
Under the generic name of ‘La Dehesa’, a large area located to the west of the island is known that historically and traditionally has functioned as a community pasture, for the preferential rearing of sheep, a use that probably dates back to the stage of the first settlement island human.
From the archaeological point of view, the territory of ‘La Dehesa’ presents great potential, the result of the antiquity of human presence in the place in the first colonization carried out on the island by the Bimbape or Bimbache community, in dates close to at the change of era.
The territory is framed in a wide area that occupies various altitude levels from the shore to 1,260 meters above sea level in the Binto Fountain, with an area estimated in the 1950s of the 20th century at about 5,000 hectares.
Currently there are 47 caves in the area of Montaña Las Cuevas, Montaña El Caracol and Montaña de la Virgen alone, which would reach a total of 66 if you add the 6 in Lomo Bermejo and 13 with a scattered location.
‘La Dehesa’, today, continues to exercise its pastoral role, enhanced by the event that places the origin of the legend in this place about the acquisition by the shepherds, in 1546, of a Marian image that will end up becoming the patron saint of the island, as well as a symbol of peace and social cohesion.
It is precisely in the history of this image of the Virgen de los Reyes that the physical and immaterial elements that give rise to the Cultural Landscape of the Virgen de Los Reyes converge.
The anthropized landscape of ‘La Dehesa’ and the geological richness of the environment are complemented and completed by the forest mass that has colonized it since the origin of the island, both the fayal-brezal forest, a living fossil of the Tertiary forest that once colonized the planet, to the masses of Canarian pine, whose adaptation to a volcanic environment has made it unique for survival in the event of forest fires.
In these forests it is possible to appreciate numerous botanical elements, animals and insects that are endemic to the island or the Canary archipelago.