Betancuria originates from 1404, when Jean be Bethancourt declared its foundation, making the town the capital of Fuerteventura and establishing the first seats of power and administration on the island. The name of the area comes from Jean de Bethancourt. It is in the centre of the island on its western face, and unlike the rest, the town is inland. The reason that it was built on the western side of the island was to avoid the pirate attacks that Fuerteventura was victim to, which normally happened on the east coast. It was one of Fuerteventura’s richest regions until the 16th Century, when it started to lose its importance due to the development of other areas. It ceased to be the island’s capital from 1834.