The urbanising and building boom experienced in Arucas in the second half of the 19th century and later was the result of the wealth obtained by the growth of cochineal. In 1868, during the September revolution, the St. Sebastian – St. Peter Chapel was destroyed, leaving a site where the Town Hall, the Market and the new civic square would later (between 1875 and 1882) be built. The last ten years of that century saw the realignment of Calle Real (High Street) (a project that coincided with Arucas being declared a city in 1894), replacing most of the smaller homes with larger mansions.
The road continued in what is now Calle Francisco Gourié, in the only known urban project of the 19th century. The large attractive buildings now to be seen along both streets were built in a short period of time, with the wealth obtained from sugar crane crops, an industry that lasted until 1910. This was when Arucas became practically as it is today, earning its classification as a Historic and Artistic Town Centre on December 10, 1976.
One of the most significant aspects of the municipality of Arucas is that, through the different testimonies left by man (tools, human remains, writing, monuments, etc.), we can learn about both the period prior to the Conquest of the Canary Islands and about the later period, with all the native culture from which we have inherited some of the basic factors identifying Canary Island society of today. Here we find one element of unquestionable value: the Arucas quarries. Its stone, classified as phonolite because of its ability to transmit sound for long distances, is an incomparable blue colour, for which it has always been highly valued. Since the local stone was of such singular beauty, many local people became stone workers, and earned the considerations of masters of their art.
The Historic Center of Arucas
The Arucas Historic Centre is elegantly dressed with the enviable tone of phonolite. Our town centre therefore carries the unmistakable seal of this blue stone.
Most of the arts and crafts which survive today in the municipality are based on old traditions. They include embroiderers, open weavers, carpenters/wood engravers, ceramic makers, basket makers, bee-hive builders, coal men, builders of musical instruments, makers of highly decorative Canary Island knives, guilders, book binders, melters, jewellers, model makers, doll makers, etc.