With its alien aesthetic and angular white profiles, the architecture of Santiago Calatrava is unmistakable. And that's especially true for anyone who's visited the architect's hometown/playground of Valencia. Santa Cruz's auditorium, one of its most emblematic buildings, looks like the sibling of Valencia's Palau de les Arts -- definitely part of the same family.
As we look back at our time on Tenerife, I bet we're going to regret having spent so little time in the capital city, Santa Cruz. Every time we visited, the experience was better than we had expected. This city is small, but packed with worthwhile things to see -- not least of which is the park of García Sanabria.
Also known as La Recova, Nuestra Señora de África is the primary market hall of Santa Cruz. It was constructed in 1944 in a neo-colonial style, and today welcomes both tourists and locals to its interior patios, to buy all the trinkets, veggies, or meat they can carry.
Is there any group of people more neglected in the touristic sphere than palm tree fanatics? I mean, we all know a few, right? These "palm nuts" who just can't get enough of their favorite tree, and travel the world on "palm-spotting" adventures? Actually, I'm not sure this is an obsession which anyone has, but if so… they'll find their Disney World in the Palmetum, a botanic garden dedicated entirely to the world of palm trees.
With its unique collection of aboriginal mummies, archaeological finds, and focus on endemic flora and fauna, the Museo de Naturaleza y Arqueología is one of the premier museums on the Canary Islands. We made it one of our first stops in Santa Cruz.
Any exploration of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is likely to begin in the Plaza de España, an expansive open square near the ocean. At least, that's the first place we headed. We spent a wonderful Saturday morning hanging out in the plaza, and getting a feel for the capital city, which is in turns beautiful, garish, charming, and strange… and definitely has an atmosphere all its own.
Santa Cruz is the largest city on Tenerife, and joint-capital of the entire Canary Islands. The city lies in the northeastern quadrant of the island, at the base of the Anaga mountain range, and is the center of industry and tourism. We took an initial tour shortly after arriving.
The history of Tenerife is tied closely to that of the entire Canary Islands. This is the largest of the seven islands in the archipelago, and has assumed the cultural and political lead throughout the years. Let's take a quick look at the most important events in Tenerife's history.