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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Free route on the history of La Laguna

Casona Estévanez-Borges Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net)., CC BY-SA 4.0

Notwithstanding that you would need to understand Spanish to get the best out of this, but if you're in Tenerife, the Department of Historical Heritage of the City of La Laguna has prepared a free route to publicise the history of the municipality beyond the centre of town. The tour will be offered between April 19 and September 29 and prior registration will be required to attend. The councillor responsible for the area, Elvira Jorge, stressed that the purpose of this initiative is "to expand the dissemination of the wealth of heritage that exists outside the area declared World Heritage by Unesco."

With the name In memoriam: La ruta de los Menceyes (In memoriam: the Menceyes route) (Menceyes were Guanche - the aboriginal people of Tenerife before the conquest - Kings or Chiefs), this itinerary includes several assets of cultural interest, starting from the Plaza de Santo Domingo, passing through the avenues of Torriani and Los Menceyes, and ending in the neighbourhood of Gracia, at the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Gracia and the Estévanez Borges house. During approximately two hours, the participants will be able to discover what happened during the Battle of Aguere, in which the Guanches and Castilians fought to conserve and conquer Tenerife, and other heritage landmarks.

Casa Borges-Estévanez: The Borges Estévanez House was built between 1733 and 1735 by a member of the Meade family, an illustrious lineage of Irish descent, one of whose most prominent members was José Murphy y Meade. With his efforts this prominent Tenerife politician achieved for the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the title of capital of all the Canary Islands. He spent long periods in this country residence. 

Elvira Jorge highlighted that this new route is “an attractive resource, easily accessible and safe, to attract local, national and international tourism, through a heritage that until now had not been valued or disseminated. At the same time, it seeks to encourage commercial activity and boost the restaurant sector, activities that are highly affected by the current health crisis.

This project, co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Canarian Employment Service through the NOE-COVID program (New Employment Opportunities for unemployed people as a result of the coronavirus crisis), enables the hiring of two people as tourist guides to accompany these routes, organized according to the norms and safety recommendations against the pandemic. 

People interested in these routes should register by calling 922 60 30 00, extension 13172 (from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.), or by email tbarrom@lalaguna.es. Other than any changes indicated by the health authorities, the tours will take place from Monday to Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., except for Tuesdays, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. You just have to get yourself there, but the area has good public transport communication. 

Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Gracia (San Cristóbal de La Laguna)
Daniel García Asensio, CC BY-SA 3.0 ES, via Wikimedia Commons

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