San Cristóbal de La Laguna

San Cristobal de la Laguna is the historical town par excellence of the Canary islands. It was founded in 1497 on the shores of a lake which finally dried up during the last century. For centuries it was the most important town of Tenerife being an administrative, political and military centre. La Laguna was also the cultural centre of the Canary islands as the first educational institutions were set up there which would later become the University of San Fernando, at one time the only one on the islands.

The city began to lose its leadership when the port of Garachico was destroyed by the volcano so causing the fast development of Santa Cruz which would finally take away its status as the capital at the beginning of the nineteenth century. However la Laguna kept both its status as a religious capital being the seat of the bishopric as well as its cultural dominance as the university town.

San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife

San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife

The detailed town layout, bearing witness to its famous past, houses an endless number of buildings of great beauty and grandeur. Many mansions of the 17th and 18th centuries with their fine facades stand along the historic streets of San Agustin de la Carrera (bishop Rey Redondo), Herradores and Nava Grimon. Of these the Casa de Lercaro (History Museum) the Casa del Corregidor (Town Hall) or the palaces of Salazar and the Nava are of considerable interest.

As the city has been of such importance as a religious centre there are a lot of church buildings of great artistic value such as the Cathedral, the church of la Concepcion, the church of Cristo de la Laguna, the hermitage of San Miguel or the convent of Santa Catalina.