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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Alameda del Duque de Santa Elena

Alameda del Duque de Santa Elena

The Alameda del Duque de Santa Elena was a walk in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Today it is practically an integral part of the Plaza de España. The surroundings were restored following the project by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron in 2006. The work included the reconstruction of a replica of the Alameda portico. The original had been installed in 1787 on the initiative of the Marquis de Branciforte, Commander General of the island at that time. The work was carried out by a military engineer, Amat de Tortosa.

The Alameda was a small public garden that imitated those of the big cities, a place to walk, adorned with some figures and decorative objects. The construction of the Plaza del Príncipe in the following century made it obsolete, so it was on the verge of disappearing on several occasions. The official name was losing favour among the residents of the capital, becoming known for many years as Alameda del Muelle (Mall of the Pier) or Alameda de la Marina (Mall of the Marina) and even as Los Paragüitas (The Umbrellas), when umbrellas were installed there to prevent the sun from disturbing the citizens who came to walk. 

The walk was described around 1881 with a length of eighty varas (rods - old English measure of distance equal to 16.5 feet (5.029 metres)) and with three walks to wander. The vegetation was mostly bananas from Lebanon and some tamarinds. There was a white Carrara marble fountain from a Genoese workshop. The walk ended in front of a statue, also made of white marble, which represented an allegory of time. The proximity of the sea made the vegetation of the die, a situation that ended thanks to the expansion of the port area.

A cheeky view of the portico
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