... Pyramids and Much More Surprises

 

Whatever the origin of Piramides de Guimar, at Tenerife Travel Secrets we believe that the cultural heritage of the island must be cared for and protected, whether it be simply a pile of rocks (because they are quite unusual), or anything else. Without a doubt, we believe that the construction of the pyramids was not by chance, whatever the objective.

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Their existence was first known by the public in the late 90s and someone sent the information to Thor Heyerdahl (a famous Norwegian pyramid historian) and after studying them he convinced his friend Fred Olsen to buy the land and do some excavations, with a group of archaeologists from the University of La Laguna, in the ceremonial square which separates pyramids 2 and 3.

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Wolfredo Wildpret de la Torre, a Professor Emeritus at the University of La Laguna has helped in the development of the gardens which surround the pyramids.

 

Prices and Tickets of Pyramids de Guimar

Adults pay 18€ for full tour ticket with all the exhibitions and resident adults pay €14.75. Children and other specific tickets are cheaper. Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar is open from 9:30 am to 6pm. and is 64,000m2, so if you decide to do all of the tours and exhibitions which are offered there you should allow about three or four hours so as not to miss a single detail.

Theories about the Creation of the Guimar Pyramids

In the main entrance you will find the history of the family of Fred Olsen (the owners of the Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar) in the Canary Islands and some murals with the arrival of the Spanish in the Canary Islands and then in America. Before entering the museum, there is a papyrus or large reed plant, which will be an important and essential element in the theme which develops in the Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar. 

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Thor Heyerdahl crossed the ocean from Morocco to Barbados in a boat made of reed or papyrus (he covered more than 6,000 km in 57 days) to demonstrate that it was possible to make this journey in a boat made of such material.

The theories which are considered and presented through the different posters which can be found around the Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar are the following:

Theory 1. There are various examples of tiered pyramids in the world and Thor Heyerdahl (founder of the park) saw many similarities between the construction of the Güímar Pyramids and others. He believed that ancient civilizations from the European/African side of the Atlantic were able to make out Tenerife on their way to South America.

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Thor Heyerdahl believed that Christopher Columbus was not the first one to arrive in South America. He personally made two journeys with two different vessels (Ra and Ra II) to demonstrate that this journey could be done. When he made the journey in 1970 on Ra II, he could make out the Teide in the distance.

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Theory 2. When the University of La Laguna did the first archaeological studies, no vegetal remains were found from before the 19th Century. For that reason, they thought that the Güimar Pyramids are piles of large rocks made by the farmers at the time when they were clearing the adjacent pieces of land to be able to cultivate the areas which remained free of stones.

Theory 3. Another study was done by the Instituto Astrofísico de Canarias thinks to be a micro calendar to indicate the solstices (the start of the summer and the winter). If a person positions themselves in the center of the north section of the Güimar Pyramids on 21st June, they can observe a double sunset, or if they position themselves in the center of pyramid 2 and create an imaginary line towards the horizon on 21st December, the sun rises exactly in the middle of it. 

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Theory 4. Under pyramid number 1 is Cueva Chacona (a volcanic tube some 8 meters long) where Guanche remains were found, but it is impossible to know whether the pyramid was or wasn’t from the time of the Guanches (from 980 to 1020).

 

Theory 5. Antonio Díaz Flores, owner of the land in the XIX century, made a huge fortune in South America and became a Freemason (in 1874, 3 years before passing away). The pyramids are not mentioned in his writings from when he bought the land. However, when he died, and the papers were drawn up to divide his estate between his heirs, the pyramids were mentioned, and for that reason it is thought that he was the one who built them. The Freemasons also worshipped the sun, so they are guided by the solstices.

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Piramides de Guimar, Their Structure

The first pyramids which you will come across in the park are pyramids 5 and 6. From the viewing point (leaving the museum) you can see a very long pyramid (numbers 3 and 4 were joined together in the second phase of construction). To the right you can see number 2 (from where you can see the winter solstice) and number 1 is the smallest one which is found behind number 2.

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The Güimar Pyramids were about to disappear, as the Council’s urban planning had imagined the construction of a road which passed straight through the land. The condition on which the land was then bought was that the Council reclassify it as protected (the opposite of what usually happens… )

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They are like other tiered pyramids in that:

·         All this type of pyramid has these steps which lead to the highest part;

·         The stones with which the pyramids were made are different from those which are found in the surrounding land, as they are volcanic rock and less rounded;

·         All the stones have been put in the walls with the smooth side facing outwards, so that the walls are completely straight;

·         The corner stones have been carved to have straight angles;

 

·         In pyramid number 4 an excavation was made and inside you don’t find large stacked stones (as you might expect in a pile of rocks) but rather very small stones and sand.

Guimar Pyramids Museum and Cultural Dissemination Area About the Life of Thor Heyerdahl

In the museum you can find reproductions of different gods from Peru, Mexico, etc., frescos which are found in South American pyramids, children’s memory games, reproductions of boats, differences between tiered pyramids and tiered structures, their relationship with the vessels which were found in those areas, photographs of pyramids, etc.

 

In the auditorium you will find the biography and life adventures of Thor Heyerdahl (1914 to 2002). For the last 10 years of his life, he lived in the Güimar Valley investigating the pyramids, although he continued doing different studies and investigations all over the world.

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There is a reproduction of the boat Ra II, which is just a meter smaller than the original boat, which the Aymara (Lake Titikaka people) built from reed (or papyrus) in just a month and a half using very rudimentary tools. It also has the flags of the different nationalities of the crew members on that voyage.

Routes Within the Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar and Permanent Exhibitions

The Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar can be visited in different ways with several routes like the cultural and traditional; botanical with native Canary Island flora (tuneras, dragon trees, etc.) and a pine tree area for picnics…; volcanic route with an explanation of the Malpaís de Güimar; exportations route; Rapa Nui Polinesia Exhibition, extreme survival where they talk about primitive navigation and Easter Island; Jardín venenoso or poison garden with many stories and historical events linked with poison – super interesting and ‘illustrative’ 🙂

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The inspiration for creating this garden was one located in Northumberland (England) – The Alnwick Poison Garden. It is the only garden with poisonous plants in Spain.

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Piramides de Guimar for Children

At the park there is a children’s play area and a conservatory near the cafeteria where children can continue to learn as they play. On the other hand, a variety of different activities are focus on children as bilingual summer camps, treasure hunts, workshops teaching about recycling, etc.

We took our 3½ year old and, although the visit was somewhat long for him (it seemed too short for us 😊), there was always some interesting detail which captured his attention. In any case we believe that from 6 or 7 years old a child could really make the most of the visit.

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Getting to Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar

You should drive through the town of Guimar and you can park for free in the car park at the main entrance to the Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar.

Etnographic Park Piramides de Guimar - Calle Chacona s/n Güímar, 38500 - Tenerife

 

https://www.piramidesdeguimar.es/en/

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Final Comments from the Authors about the Ethnographic Park of Piramides de Guimar

The visit to the Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar was a surprise. We had heard all sorts of comments about what we would find there, but the way the different theories surrounding these tiered pyramids are presented really delighted us. Whatever the origin and the function for which they were created and constructed, it is laudable that an individual company has put so much into conserving and taking care of this rare heritage site in the Canary Islands.

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On the other hand, it is interesting how the different options within the park to do with Canary Island culture and tradition have developed, so that the visitor leaves the park knowing a bit more about the origins and ‘raison d’être’ of Canary Islanders in general. It is a visit we would vehemently recommend for all those who want to learn a bit more about the Canary Islands and form their own idea of the origin of the Güimar Pyramids.

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