21°

"La Mareta" Square

La Mareta de la Villa has its origins in the island’s aboriginal past. Back then, it was a building used to store water from the scarce rainfall, so as to safeguard the settlement and the survival of the people. Each year, the Cabildo (local government) decided whether the water was to be used by the inhabitants or by the animals, and it also named a guard, or maretero, to make sure that the water was used wisely. The boundaries of the Mareta were extended and reinforced over the years.

This was not the only one of these structures, but it was the most highly prized one, both for its size and for its location in Teguise, the island’s principal settlement. Since the area was connected to the public water network, in the second half of the 20th century, the mareta fell into disuse and was subsequently sold off, and its infrastructure dismantled. All that remains today is its place name, although it was declared a National Heritage site in 1976, when it had already disappeared.

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