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Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Six unknown squares in the north of Tenerife

Plaza Juan Gonzalez de la Torre, Garachico

Tenerife is an island rich in squares; Even in the smallest and most hidden town we can find a square that speaks of its history and customs. Each one with its particularities, its architecture, its monuments, its style, some with its bars and shops around ...

Taking a tour of each and every one of them in a single article is —almost— mission impossible. Many of them are well known, such as the Plaza de España in Santa Cruz or the Plaza del Charco in Puerto de la Cruz. And then there are lesser-known squares, those that you discover by chance or are more hidden in less touristy places; these are our protagonists this time, little unknown [until now, that is] and charming squares in Tenerife.

Plaza Óscar Domínguez (Tacoronte)

West facade of the church of the former Augustinian convent in Tacoronte Koppchen / CC BY

Although the Tenerife artist, Óscar Domínguez, was born in La Laguna, when he was very young he moved to live in a beautiful house that is still preserved in Tacoronte. The town, in honor of its famous resident, built this square with surreralist overtones that bears his name, in 2006, to celebrate the centenary of the surrealist painter's birth. In it, a drago tree appears canned in a metal structure, while a key tries to restore it to freedom and, on one side of the square we also find a door in the shape of a tin can.

Plaza de la Libertad (Garachico)

Plaza de la Libertad, Garachico

The now Plaza de la Libertad, also previously called Plaza de Santa Ana, Plaza de la Constitución or Plaza del General Franco is the epicenter of Garachico.

Around this square are some of the most important buildings of the town de Garachico: the Town Hall, the Church of Santa Ana, the house of the Marqueses de la Quinta Roja (now Hotel La Quina Roja), the House of Culture (former Convent of San Francisco, the Museum of History and Natural Sciences and the Palacio de los Condes de la Gomera. Also in the square is a monument to Simón Bolivar (1783-1830), the South American liberator.

The square has a rectangular plan and in the center its characteristic bandstand. A bar that every day sets up a beautiful terrace in the middle of the square gives it even more life; and is usually the scene of fairs and cultural and leisure events.

[While in Garachico, don't miss the even lesser known Plaza Juan Gonzalez de la Torre.]

Plaza de la Pila (Icod de los Vinos)

Plaza de la Pila, Icod de los Vinos

Like the previous square, the Plaza de la Pila de Icod de los Vinos, is located in its historic center and has also had several names throughout its history: Plaza de Lorenzo Cáceres, Plaza de Calvo Sotelo ... However, it has been commonly known as the Plaza de la Pila, because of the ornamental fountain that stands in the center of the square and dating from the 18th century. It's an ideal corner to enjoy the typical Canarian architecture through the noble houses and palaces that surround it.

Lugares con encanto: 3 plazas desconocidas en el norte de Tenerife

Plaza de la Iglesia (Puerto de la Cruz)

Plaza de la Iglesia, Puerto de la Cruz

Less known than the aforementioned Plaza del Charco, is the Plaza de la Iglesia in Puerto de la Cruz. The gardens are beautiful and peaceful, despite being in a busy part of town. Here you will find the church of Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia, the Hotel Monopol (highly recommended) and adjacent Hotel Marquesa; the magnificent swan fountain and a statue of Agustín de Betancourt y Molina (1758 - 1824), father of modern engineering. The cafes on the south side of the square are some of the best you will find in the town.

Plaza de la Consolación (El Palmar)

A tranquil corner of the Plaza de la Consolación in El Palmar, Buenavista del Norte

Finally, yes, it would be impossible to cover every square in Tenerife, but I include the Plaza de la Consolación in El Palmar (Buenavista del Norte) as a representative of all of those that are hidden among the towns and villages of the island. Seek them out.

Want more? The Most Picturesque Plazas on Tenerife