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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

San Cristóbal Castle Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Cañón Tigre on display in the San Cristóbal Castle Interpretation Centre

Underneath the Plaza de España in Santa Cruz and marked by the black lines that can be seen in the lake from above, are the ruins of the Castillo de San Cristóbal (Castle of San Cristóbal). Portions of the castle ruins were uncovered during the refurbishment of the plaza carried out by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron in 2006 and these ruins are now open to the public via The San Cristóbal Castle Interpretation CentreReading that the centre was to be closed during carnival, we made this our first port of call.

Entrance is FREE, so it's well worth it to have a look if you're in the city and for those of a nervous disposition, I'll just mention that the steps are quite normal and the well-lit underground exhibit is not at all dark and dingy as I was expecting.

You don't need to be in the city long before you realise that 25 July is a very important date!

The whole centre is nicely done with information on various historical attacks on the city - not just the English ones, although that always figures strongly in any history of the city and here is no exception - with good English translations under the information panels.

Restos del Castillo de San Cristóbal - Enrique Castrillo Núñez [CC BY-SA 2.5 es], via Wikimedia Commons

The shopping street, Calle del Castillo, is named after this fortification that was constructed under the administration of the first Governor of Tenerife, Juan Álvarez de Fonseca, with work begun in 1575. The natural expansion process of the city, together with new military tactics, plunged the building into conditions of degradation that ended with the demolition of the fort in 1928. The Plaza de España was built in it's place.

Castillo de San Cristóbal Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the early 20th Century Via
More images of CASTILLO MILITAR DE SAN CRISTOBAL (SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE)

The Cañón Tigre - decisive in the defeat of the English admiral Horatio Nelson in his attempt to invade Tenerife in 1797 - that is currently on display in the interpretation centre (already moved from the Museo Histórico Militar de Canarias), is destined to be moved again to the future Museum of History of the City in the Palacio de Carta.

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