Taking a walk through the city is the best way to see all the sites. Strolling through the city centre of Santa Cruz, visitors will come across the traditional street of Calle de La Noria, with its wide array of restaurants and bars, the shopping areas all around Calle del Castillo, and pretty gardens decorating the squares and parks. But one of the things that most takes tourists by surprise is the amount of sculptures by international artists adorning the avenues of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. There is a walking route to explore them all starting at Rambla de Santa Cruz, a boulevard that crosses the city and is full of thriving Indian laurels. At the point where it crosses Avenida Reyes Católicos you will see “Móvil”, a spectacular work of art by Francisco Sobrino, standing near to the bronze statue of “Femme Bouteille” by Joan Miró. Walking on along the boulevard you will come to the “Guerrero Goslar” by Henry Moore, “Ejecutores y ejecutados” by Xavier Corberó, “Nivel” by Joaquín Rubio, and more. Near to this last figure is the García Sanabria Park, which also houses a series of works from the 1st International Street Sculpture Exhibition. After a slight detour through the park, visitors can return to the boulevard to see the striking work of Jaumé Plensa called “Islas” which shows a series of artists’ names hanging from trees, and “Lady Tenerife” by Martín Chirino.
There is a walking route to explore them all starting at Rambla de Santa Cruz, a boulevard that crosses the city and is full of thriving Indian laurels. At the point where it crosses Avenida Reyes Católicos you will see “Móvil”, a spectacular work of art by Francisco Sobrino, standing near to the bronze statue of “Femme Bouteille” by Joan Miró. Walking on along the boulevard you will come to the “Guerrero Goslar” by Henry Moore, “Ejecutores y ejecutados” by Xavier Corberó, “Nivel” by Joaquín Rubio, and more. Near to this last figure is the García Sanabria Park, which also houses a series of works from the 1st International Street Sculpture Exhibition.
After a slight detour through the park, visitors can return to the boulevard to see the striking work of Jaumé Plensa called “Islas” which shows a series of artists’ names hanging from trees, and “Lady Tenerife” by Martín Chirino. Other sites in the city include:
Auditorium of Tenerife Adán Martín
The Tenerife Auditorium Adán Martín, the work of the architect Santiago Calatrava, is a building with a strong sculptural impact. Located in an unparalleled landscape, it offers the visitor the opportunity to enjoy a great work of architecture together with others of nature, such as the sea and mountain range that forms the old massif of Anaga.
Schematically, the building is composed of successive platforms from which stands the large curved volume of the Symphonic Hall, all wrapped by the impressive flying wing, which, suspended about 50 meters high, provides a feeling of movement and flexibility, as if An animated being.
In addition to the suggestive spaces and architectural structures, the Tenerife Auditorium Adán Martín offers a varied program, which can be consulted directly through its official website, composed of different cycles such as Tenerife Dance, Atlantic Jazz, Músicas del Mundo, Entre Amigos or Great Interpreters, and is also complemented by the season of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, the Opera and the Canarian Music Festival.
For the development of this complete program, there is a varied offer of spaces and rooms, such as the Symphony, with a capacity of 1,658 seats, and the Chamber Room, with 428 seats, with dependencies of smaller capacities and multipurpose features, such as Rehearsal, meeting, dance or exhibitions, among others.
The striking white color that gives it its concrete and trencadis white finish is of great visual appeal. The same is true of the interior, which displays diaphanous spaces of modern and attractive curved shapes, which are impressed by the enormous richness of their silhouettes and their structural complexity.
This is the oldest theatre in the Canary Islands, which opened in 1851 and was named in memory of the writer, poet and dramatist Ángel Guimerá, who died in 1923. Located near to the Adán Martín auditorium, this is the heart of the capital’s performing arts scene. It was designed in 1849 by Manuel de Oraá in a Classicist and Romantic style, though the inside was fully refurbished in 1911. The theatre is located where an old Dominican monastery used to stand, which was demolished after the expropriation of religious property by Mendizábal during the reign of Queen Isabella II. For a long time, this led it to be known as the Isabell II Theatre and that name was written on the façade of the building.
Plaza 25 de julio
Better known as Plaza de los Patos (Duck Square), it is very near to the city hall and the García Sanabria Park. It owes its name, meaning 25 July, to the day when Admiral Nelson was defeated on the coast of Santa Cruz in 1797. It was built between 1913 and 1917 with an identical fountain to that known as Fuente de las Ranas in Parque de María Luisa in Seville. It is covered in Sevillian ceramic and each one of its benches features painted ceramic signs advertising the companies that sponsored its construction.
This is the largest square in the city and it was built in 1929 where the castle of San Cristóbal used to stand. It lies in-between Calle del Castillo and the port, by Alameda del Duque de Santa Elena. The square was revamped recently by the architects Herzog & de Meuron to include a pond and several pavilions. Opposite the square are the offices of Tenerife’s Regional Council.
Plaza de la Candelaria
Standing around this old square are such emblematic buildings as Palacio de Carta and the Casino of Santa Cruz. The square was laid in the second half of the 16th century, and in 1768 a marble monument of the Triumph of la Candelaria was raised to symbolise the appearance of the virgin of La Candelaria and the subsequent evangelisation of the Guanche people. The style is Neo-classical and it was sculpted in Genoa.
One of the main meeting points in the city is Plaza Weyler, which was built in 1893 as the fore-square outside the General Captaincy building. The fountain in the middle of the square is made of white Carrara marble and decorated with Neo-Renaissance elements. Its popularity is partly owed to the fact that it leads onto Calle del Castillo and the shopping area of Rambla Pulido.
The Castle of San Cistóbal
This was the first major fortress to be built on the island of Tenerife and its location protects the bay of Santa Cruz from attacks from the sea. Currently, only some parts of the original wall still stand and they can be seen through an underground gallery beneath Plaza de España. Calle del Castillo (Castle Street) gets its name from this fort, which began to be built in 1575 and had a square base, with large stone blocks at the foot of the walls and masonry at the top. It was knocked down in 1928 to extend the city towards the sea and build Plaza de España over it.
The Castle of San Juan Bautista
This castle is more popularly known as Castillo Negro (Black Castle) and was built in the mid 17th century. This round-shaped seaside fort stands proudly overlooking the modern site of the César Manrique Maritime Park and the Tenerife Auditorium. This is the Island’s best-preserved castle and is considered a piece of Spanish Historic Heritage.
The Church of San Francisco de Asís
This Catholic church is dedicated to ecumenical worship and was initially the church of a Franciscan monastery that has since disappeared. It has an important collection of religious sculptures, in terms of artistic, historical and devotional value. Among its finest pieces is an Ecuadorian figure of El Señor de las Tribulaciones made of corn paste. The figure has been keenly worshipped in the city since 1893, when it was taken out on a procession during an outbreak of cholera and the disease miraculously went away. The central Andalusian style altarpiece dates from the 18th century and houses figures of San Francisco de Asís, the Inmaculada Concepción and Sant Domingo. The temple is an example of Baroque architecture from the 17th and 18th century, with a Neo-Corinthian portico and three carved stone columns. Beside it is the Chapel of the Venerable Third Order.
The Mother Church of La Concepción
The parish mother church of Nuestra Señora de La Concepción is the main Catholic church in the city and it was built where a chapel used to stand that was erected by the conquerors of Santa Cruz. The tower was raised in 1786 and is one of the most easily recognisable landmarks in the old quarter. Because of the extension work carried out over the years, it is the only church with five naves on the entire archipelago and a fine example of Canarian Baroque architecture. Among its treasures is the wooden cross borne by the Adelantado Alfonso Fernández de Lugo when he first stepped onto Tenerife’s shores, the chapel of Familia Carta dating from 1740 and the figures of Nuestro Padre Jesús Cautivo and María Santísima de la Esperanza Macarena, both of which are the object of fervent worship in the city.
The tower of San Andrés
This fort used to protect the coast of San Andrés from pirate attacks. It was sadly destroyed by the force of the water gushing down the nearby ravine, but its ruins remain and have been declared part of Spain’s Historical Heritage and an Asset of Cultural Interest.