History, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain

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The first native settlers to the Canary Islands were a race called the 'Guanches'. Their origin is still quite controversial, as they were made up of a group of different clans led by different chiefs. No-one knows for sure.

La Palma was originally named Benahoare by the Guanches. The only remainders we have left to tell us about this mysterious race are their cave dwellings, enigmatic petroglyphs and paved stone paths through the mountains.

Once the Spanish arrived on the island, the indigenous population slowly disappeared. They were either sold into slavery, assimilated into the Spanish population or were just killed.

The Spanish first arrived on the Canary Islands in 1404, and on La Palma in 1405. After years of resistance and several bloody battles they finally overthrew the locals in 1493.

La Palma was conquered by Alonso Fernandez. He defeated the last king of the island; the legendary 'Tanausu', who ruled the Caldera de Taburiente area.

He was ambushed after after agreeing to a truce arranged by one of his own relatives; Fernández de Lugo - a Guanche who had converted to Christianity.

Over the next few centuries, La Palma increased rapidly in wealth. It became a trading post between the old and new world. It went on to receive immigrants from Castile, Portugal, Majorca, Flanders, and Catalonia.

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