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Fuerteventura History - The 20th & 21st Centuries

Fuerteventura History - The 20th & 21st Centuries

Even in the twentieth century Fuerteventura was still considered a backwater, a place to exile dissenting poets to, such as Miguel de Unamuno , exiled here in 1924 for writing an article criticising King Alfonso XII. Unamuno (top right) took the island to his heart, describing it as “an oasis in the middle of civilisation’s desert” and has a statue erected in his honour on the Montana Quemada on the road to Tetir and his house in Puerto del Rosario is open to the public.

The South of the island had become depopulated by the first quarter of the 20th century and for reasons unknown, was presented by Franco (middle right) to a German engineer Gustav Winter (bottom right) in the 1930s. All sorts of unsubstantiated stories abound, ranging from secret German submarine bases to airstrips used to ferry Nazis fleeing to South America.
He did build a fortress-cum-mansion high up on the isolated cliff face of Cofete which even today remains accessible only by a rough track several miles long.

In 1965 the first tourist hotel was built in Jandia followed by the construction of the airport at El Matorral, heralding the beginning of Fuerteventura as a tourist destination.