Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Casino de Tenerife celebrates 180 years

Real Casino de Tenerife in the Plaza de la Candelaria, Santa Cruz. Koppchen / CC BY

It was in January 1840 when a group of 52 residents of Santa Cruz, lovers of social gathering and of reading, decided to create a society, where they could celebrate meetings and collect the publications both local - few - as well as from the Peninsula and the rest of Europe that arrived on the ships that were destined for the port or made a stopover there. They called the society: the Reading and Recreation Cabinet. It is the oldest cultural institution in the Canaries and one of the longest-lived in Spain.

Their first meeting place, from 1840 to 1850, was a room in a house at number 4 on the corner of the Calle Candelaria. A fire in 1850 forced the society to move to the adjoining house, at number 2, and finally, in 1860, they moved again to settle in Villalba House, at number 11 in the same square, which occupied a large part of the site that was used to build the magnificent building of the current Real Casino de Tenerife

The casino denomination was adopted by the Reading Cabinet from 1849, although at that time it was called Casino de Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The current building was inaugurated on May 4, 1935, given the name of Casino de Tenerife, having incorporated members from elsewhere on the island, the title of Royal having been recently granted.


On July 6, 1935, in the British town of Torquay, the birthplace of Agatha Christie, and for the first time in history, a Spanish woman was elected Miss Europe, an honor that went to Alicia Navarro Cambronero from Tenerife, who had been 'Miss Casino Tenerife', 'Miss Tenerife', 'Miss Canarias', 'Miss Spain' and finally 'Miss Europe'.