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Stopover presentation: Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Fifth stopover of the cruise: Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Tenerife is the largest island in the Canary Islands but also the highest, with Teide being the highest point in Spain at 3,715 meters above sea level. Its capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, has established itself as an important cultural and economic center. The city hosts various festivals, including the famous carnival, one of the largest in the world.

Le Chateau de San Cristobal
Le Chateau de San Cristobal

A bit of history...

Tenerife, including the area where Santa Cruz is located, was initially inhabited by the Guanches, the indigenous people of the Canary Islands. The Guanches lived on the island for centuries before the arrival of European explorers.

Tenerife was conquered by the Spanish crown at the end of the 15th century. The island's Guanche chief, Bencomo, resisted Spanish forces led by Alonso Fernández de Lugo at the Battle of Aguere in 1494. The island eventually came under Spanish control in the years following that conflict.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife was officially founded in 1494, following the Spanish conquest. The city's strategic location as a port and its natural harbor contributed to its development as a commercial and maritime center.

Like many coastal settlements in the Canary Islands, Santa Cruz de Tenerife faced frequent pirate attacks during the 16th and 17th centuries. In response, the city was fortified and defensive structures such as the Castillo de San Juan and the Castillo de San Andrés were built.

From the 17th to the 18th centuries, Santa Cruz de Tenerife became a crucial port for transatlantic trade, contributing to its economic prosperity. The city's growth was fueled by trade, particularly in goods with the Americas.

Horatio Nelson
Horatio Nelson

In 1707, during the War of the Spanish Succession, John Jennings attempted to take the city but failed. In 1723, Santa Cruz de Tenerife became the residence of the Captain General of the Canaries in From July 22 to 25, 1797, it was the object of a new conquest attempt by the English navy commanded by Horatio Nelson who lost his right arm. The El Tigre cannon that fired the cannonball that tore off his arm is still on display at the Almeyda Fort.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Santa Cruz de Tenerife underwent modernization, with the development of infrastructure, public buildings and cultural institutions. The city's role as a major port continued to shape its identity.

My selection of sites to visit

Teide National Park: Home to Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain, this national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the volcanic landscapes, take a cable car to the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the island.

Parc national deTeide
Parc national du Teide

Plaza de España: Santa Cruz de Tenerife's main square, Plaza de España, is a central hub surrounded by modern and historic buildings. It has a large artificial lake, sculptures and is a popular spot with locals and visitors.

San Cristóbal Castle: This fortress dates back to the 17th century and was built to protect the city from pirate attacks. It was the first main fortification on the island of Tenerife and the main castle for the defense of the bay of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Currently, only a few walls remain of the original building located in the Plaza d’Espagne. Its construction, begun in 1575, was completed on January 20, 1577.

Today it houses the Military Museum, which provides an overview of Tenerife's military history.

Nuestra Señora de África Market (Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África): This bustling market is a great place to experience local culture and sample fresh produce, meats and seafood. The market building itself is a gem architectural.

Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes de Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Museum of Fine Arts): the museum made up of fourteen rooms includes, in addition to its own collection, a deposit of works from the Prado Museum in Madrid. It houses an art collection ranging from 16th-century Flemish painting to 20th-century painting, an exhibition of sculpture and minor arts. His most notable works are the Triptych of Nava y Grimón by the Flemish painter Pieter Coecke van Aelst, The Expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple and The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem by the Canarian painter Juan de Miranda (es), the baroque Immaculata by Gaspar de Quevedo (es), the Saint Andrew and Saint Joseph by José de Ribera, the Portrait of Fernando Viscaí by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida.

glesia de nuestra Senora
Iglesia de nuestra Senora

Iglesia de la Concepción: built in the 16th century, this church is one of the oldest in Tenerife. This church was built on the first chapel built by the Spanish conquistadors in 1500, after they landed on the shores of what is now the town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is the tallest religious building in the capital. It houses religious works of art and is an important religious site in the city.

Palmetum de Santa Cruz de Tenerife: botanical garden dedicated to palm trees, Palmetum presents an extensive collection of palm species from around the world. It offers breathtaking views of the city and the sea.

La Laguna: The historic center of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its well-preserved architecture from the 15th to 17th centuries. La Laguna Cathedral and Plaza del Adelantado are notable sites.

Candelaria: This coastal town is home to the Basilica of the Royal Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Candelaria, an important religious site in the Canary Islands. The statue of the Virgin of Candelaria is much revered and the square in front of the basilica houses the statues of the nine Guanche kings.

Some celebrities who have left their mark on Tenerife

Téobaldo Power: born in 1848 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, child prodigy, he went to Paris to study piano with Antoine-François Marmontel and harmony with Elwart, studies which he completed at only 18 years old. Then his dazzling career took him to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Cuba, Madrid, Lisbon, Madeira, Malaga. Between these trips and due to his delicate health, he spent a season in his native island of Tenerife, specifically in the town of Las Mercedes, where he composed the Cantos Canarios, in which he drew inspiration from the popular tunes of the Canary Islands . He died at just 36 years old, in Madrid, suffering from tuberculosis.

Alberto Vasquez Figueroa
Alberto Vasquez Figueroa

Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa: born November 11, 1936, is a Spanish writer, inventor and industrialist1. His novels have sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. He is the creator of a desalination company, A.V.F.S.L, using a technique using pressure, invented by himself.

Óscar Domínguez: he was born on the island of Tenerife in 1902. In 1927, to supervise the affairs of his father, a wealthy agricultural merchant, he came to Paris for the first time. He discovers the nightlife, spending the family money. His first surrealist paintings date from 1932. In 1934, he joined the Parisian group into which he introduced, according to André Breton, “the ardent and fragrant whistle of the Canary Islands. » Nicknamed “the dragon rider of the Canaries” by André Breton, “the badly polished bear with the head of a gigantic hidalgo” by the photographer Brassaï, more simply “Putchie” by his mistress the Viscountess de Noailles, Domínguez, an extreme, mythical character , can be violent. Narrated by Irène Hamoir, his fight with the painter Esteban Francés in 1938 has remained famous in the history of surrealism: held by Louis Scutenaire, Domínguez throws a bottle in the face of Esteban Francés, surrounded by Victor Brauner: it is the latter who is affected, which causes him to lose his left eye. He killed himself by cutting his veins open on December 31, 1957 in his workshop on rue Campagne-Première in Montparnasse.

Culinary foray...

Papas con Mojo y Salchichas (Potatoes with Mojo and Sausage): This dish features boiled potatoes served with mojo sauce and local sausage. It's a simple but tasty and satisfying meal.

Churros de Pescado: These are small, fried bites of fish, often coated in a light batter. Churros de pescado are a popular tapa or snack, enjoyed with a squeeze of lemon.

Churros de pescado
Churros de pescado

Frangollo: This traditional dessert is a type of porridge made with gofio, milk, sugar, raisins and sometimes almonds or other nuts. It has a sweet, comforting flavor and is often enjoyed on festive occasions.

Almogrote: originally from La Gomera but also popular in La Palma, almogrote is a spread made from hard cheese, garlic, olive oil and peppers. It is usually served with bread and is a popular appetizer.

Pata Asada: refers to roasted pork leg, a dish often prepared during special occasions or celebrations. The meat is seasoned and slowly roasted for a flavorful and tender result.

In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the 19th century in France...


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