Puerto del RosarioPuerto del Rosario was known as Puerto Cabras (Goat's Port) up until 1956 when it was given it's rather more attractive new name.
Originally the site of a Watering Hole used by local Farmer for their goats, the town started as little more than a few Goat Herder's Cottages and some Sailor's Huts. In the early 19th Century a woman called Maria Estrada had opened a Tavern and the settlement had become a small village and port.
The port was used for the export of Goats and their meat (hence the original name) as well as the export of products such as barilla. This growing importance as a port eventually led to Puerto Cabras becoming the capital of the island in 1860.
Puerto del Rosario is not the prettiest of Capitals, although the local council has started, in recent years, to improve it's appearance. For this reason there is little to attract a tourist here, with the exception of it's shops. There aren't many historic buildings either, with the possible exception of the Casa Museo de Unamuno in Calle del Rosario (beside the Church). This is where the Basque Writer and Philosopher Miguel de Unamuno lived during his exile on the island.
The large Barracks at the southern end of the town is where the Spanish Foreign Legion were stationed after Spain pulled out of the Western Sahara in the 1970's. It is still used by the Spanish Army today.
The Red Cross centre in Puerto del Rosario gives equal billing to it's middle-eastern name of the Red Crescent – testament to the large numbers of illegal immigrants that pass through it's doors after risking their lives to make the sea crossing from north Africa in small boats (pateras).
Map of Puerto del Rosario