Convento de San Buenaventura, Betancuria

Heading towards the town of Betancuria from the north, just before you get to the town and on the left side of the road you will see the Convento de San Buenaventura. Turning left into the car park, you can then walk down and across the dry riverbed to the ruins. Sadly only the walls remain standing, and it is now home to beautiful plants and birds nesting in the walls.

JT10174 Convento Betancuria

There is very little information about this place, and what little there is seems to differ.  However, I quote bits that I have gleaned from different reliable places.

Built in the early 15th centura by Franciscan Friars, it was the first convent to be built on Fuerteventura. The Franciscan order used it as a base when they came to preach to the local inhabitants of the island.  The original building was very basic and built with local materials, including palm wood.

It was about 1455 that Conquistador Diego Garcia de Herrera saw to an extension of the convent.  Diego became Lord of Fuerteventura by marrying Inés Peraza de las Casas, who was heir the the lordship of the Canary Islands. Diego died in 1485 and his remains were buried within the convent.

When ‘hordes of barbarians’ invaded in 1593, the convent was destroyed. It wasn’t until the seventeenth century that it was rebuilt in the shape of a Latin cross, and included a cloister and seating for 18 monks.

As you return to the car park, in front of you is an archway to the Ermita de San Diego. According to some historians, the hermitage was built on the site of a small cave, in which San Diego de Alcalá prayed in the mid 15th century. The building there today was main built in the latter half of the 17th century.

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