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Thursday, June 24, 2021

St John the Baptist Chapel, Puerto de la Cruz

Church Iglesia de San Franciso with adjoining chapel Ermita de San Juan Bautista, 
Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife Maesi64, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, 24 June being the Día de San Juan, the feast day for San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist) - and in absence of the usual Midsummer parties - we bring you some images of the Ermita de San Juan Bautista (Chapel of St John the Baptist), in Puerto de la Cruz. 

The Iglesia de San Francisco (Church of San Francisco) and the annexed chapel or hermitage of San Juan Bautista currently form a single building. The chapel, located on the street to which it gives its name, Calle San Juan, is together with that of San Amaro, in La Paz (1591), the two oldest religious buildings that exist in the municipality. It was built between 1599 and 1608 by the builder Juan de Tejera

Next to it is the church of San Francisco, which is the only thing that remains of the old Franciscan convent, built from 1609 on a small hermitage with the same dedication. 

Of its varied religious and artistic heritage, the images of San Juan Bautista, from the 17th century attributed to Andrés de Ocampo, and of Cristo de la Misericordia (Christ of the Mercy), the only known work of Tenerife artist Domingo Pérez Donis, from the first half of the 17th century stand out.

Iglesia de San Franciso from the Plaza de Víctor Pérez

In front of the church is the tiny but beautiful Plaza de Víctor Pérez. It is the smallest and most secluded of the squares in the urban centre of Puerto de la Cruz, built in 1904 in honor of the doctor who distinguished himself among the main promoters of the Hotel Taoro, and a pioneer of tourism in this city. In the centre it has a fountain with a ñamera (Colocasia esculenta) or Taro, a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms. 

In the Canary Islands this plant is known as ñamera and we can see it there adorning many squares. It looks quite similar to Alocasia macrorhiza (Giant Taro), both are known by the name of "elephant ear". One of its differences is that the latter has the leaves pointing upwards, while those of the colocasia are inclined towards the ground. 

Ermita de San Juan Bautista, Puerto de la Cruz Diego DelsoCC BY-SA 3.0

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