The former capital of Fuerteventura, Betancuria has a historic centre overlooked by its church-cathedral. . Founded in the early 15th century by the Frenchman Juan de Bethencourt, Betancuria was the capital of the island of Fuerteventura until 1834. This meant that from its foundation the city became a political, administrative and religious centre. The church-cathedral of Santa María de Betancuria is the most important building in the city. Originally built in the Norman-Gothic style, the temple was remodelled in the 17th century and preserves some features from the original structure, such as the belltower and some sections of the columns. Inside, it is worth mentioning the choir, the baptistry, the baroque reredos and a fine Mudejar coffered ceiling. Other buildings of interest are the hermitage of San Diego and the convent church, which forms part of what was the first Franciscan convent in the Canaries. It is also worth visiting the Museum of Religious Art and the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, both containing interesting collections of great historic value. Outstanding among the major festivals is the Pilgrimage of Peña, in honour of Nuestra Señora de la Peña, patron of the island. It is held on the third Saturday in September and is a wonderful display of the island's folklore and traditions.
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