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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

La Rambla de Santa Cruz

Rambla de Santa Cruz Koppchen, CC BY 3.0

La Rambla was ordered to be built by Captain General Gerónimo de Benavente y Quiñones, to show off his brand new horse carriage, the first to arrive in Tenerife.

The Rambla de Santa Cruz had its origin in the section between the Camino de los Campos (Jose Naveiras street) and Santa Rita street (Viera y Clavijo) when, in 1661, it was ordered to be built by Captain General Gerónimo de Benavente and Quiñones, in order for him to be able to show off his brand new horse carriage, the first to arrive in Tenerife, which is why it was known as Paseo de los Coches (literally Ride of Cars).

Captain General Jaime Ortega expanded it in 1854, resulting in a beautiful three-lane avenue, in which 336 trees were planted in its central part. The City Council, in gratitude, then named it Paseo de Ortega.

Plaza de la Paz Santa Cruz de Tenerife Mataparda, CC BY 3.0

In 1917 the section called Rambla XI de Febrero was inaugurated, which ran from the Mandillo bridge Plaza de Toros (Santa Cruz Bullring) to the Cuatro Caminos Plaza de la Paz. Starting from the Plaza de la Paz, a name that commemorates the end of the Great War, the Rambla continued south, along the so-called Camino de la Costa, where the current avenues of La Asunción (1924) and Reyes Católicos would be formed (1932).

On June 23, 1924, the section that ran from Viera y Clavijo Street to the Plaza de Toros, the City Council agreed to name it Marcos PerazaMayor of Santa Cruz in 1912– and Rambla de Isabel II, from Viera y Clavijo to Almeyda.

It would be on October 5, 1936 when the route that runs from the Plaza de la Paz to Calle Doctor Naveiras, was called Rambla del General Franco.

In April 1940, the section that runs from Calle Doctor Naveiras to Calle San Isidro was added and, the following year, it would continue to link it with the San Andrés highway, now Avenida Francisco La Roche. The Rambla de Santa Cruz, as it has been named since 2008 (in accordance with the Ley de la Memoria Histórica (Historical Memory Law), is the city's diagonal road for two kilometers. It has four lanes for traffic, two in each direction, and a central pedestrian promenade, lined with Indian laurels, Lebanese bananas, flamboyants (Framboyán de Madagascar Delonix regia) and palm trees, as well as flower beds adorned with seasonal flowers.

Strolling through it we can enjoy the sculptures that were on display after the 1973 International Exhibition of Outdoor Sculpture in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, as well as the palaces in the district of Los Hoteles, luxurious hotels, etc.

The place chosen by the families to stroll on Sundays and holidays and as a place of social gatherings of retirees Koppchen, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Each section of La Rambla has its own characteristics, such as the space that goes from the Plaza de la Paz to the Plaza de Toros, as it has always been the place chosen by the families to stroll on Sundays and holidays and as a place of social gatherings of retirees.

Emblematic places such as the path that runs parallel to the Parque García Sanabria (García Sanabria park), from José Naveiras street to Numancia street, where eighteen huge clay pots were placed to be used as pots for climbing plants and the popular slang has called Rambla de las Tinajas (Tinajas = Jars).

A place for couples in love to walk Koppchen, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Others, due to their calm and peaceful nature, have been a place for couples in love to walk, as well as for rest and relaxation.

La Rambla also has its meeting point, located at the intersection with Viera y Clavijo street. This place is known as La Estatua (The Statue), because it was the first public representation of a person who settled in the streets of this city, and for many years it would be the only one. The Statue pays tribute to the heroic Infantry Captain Diego Fernández Ortega, a native of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, who died on January 5, 1915, in the war in Africa. His heroic behaviour was so admired by his comrades in arms that to immortalize his figure they opened a subscription and erected this monument, giving it to his hometown on July 25, 1915. Made by the sculptor Enrique Cuartero y Huerta, on its pedestal there are inscriptions with the feats that led to successive promotions and decorations because, at the time of his death, at 26 years of age, he was in possession of seven medals, including the First Class Cross of Military Merit with a red badge and the First Class Cross of the Order of María Cristina, awarded posthumously. 

Goslar Warrior - Henry Moore with La Estatua (The Statue)

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