Layout Plan for the Sheltered Port of La Luz and the Projected Works


This document is an original plan for the port of La Luz, situated in the Bay of Las Isletas in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). It was drawn up by the engineer Juan de León y Castillo (1834-1912), whose idea was to construct an outer dock measuring 1,240 meters long, starting from an anterior pier providing shelter on a north-south axis. A transverse dock some 600 meters in length running in an east-west direction would complete the port seawall and separate the port from the outer harbor. As constructed, the port starts from the isthmus of Guanarteme, near Saint Catalina Castle, with intermediate coastal piers. For the last five centuries, the bay of La Luz and the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria have served as bases for supplying ships on their way through the mid-Atlantic. In the late 19th century, the port became especially important as a coaling station for ships en route to the Americas, Africa, and Europe. Construction of the port of La Luz was completed in 1883−1903. The port is undoubtedly the best known of the projects undertaken by Juan de León y Castillo, who was responsible for planning, supervising, and implementing the project. Its fame rests on its scale, advanced use of hydraulics engineering, and its success in becoming an engine for growth and transformation of the insular economy. Today, La Luz is the fourth busiest port in Spain and the 100th in the world with regard to container traffic. More than a million passengers go through it each year, traveling between the islands and the Iberian Peninsula. The plan is in the collections of the León y Castillo House Museum, in Gran Canaria.

Last updated: June 13, 2016