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Monday, October 25, 2021

Plaza del Adelantado, La Laguna

Fountain in the Plaza del Adelantado

The Plaza del Adelantado is a square in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, located in the centre of the old town. Around it are the Town Hall, the municipal courts, the old municipal market (now in the Plaza del Cristo) and the Hermitage of San Miguel Arcángel.

It is named after the first Adelantado (An Adelantado was a high Spanish dignitary who carried out duties by mandate of service, account and under royal designation), Alonso Fernández de Lugo, conqueror of the islands of La Palma and Tenerife, who, at the beginning of the 16th century, had his residence at one end of this square, specifically in a part of the site that today is occupied by the Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena.

It was created to be the town's main square, both due to its size and the importance of the buildings that surrounded it in the 16th century. The most important public events in the city were held there until the 20th century, including: festivals, market days, processions, bullfights and even the execution of sentences.

Its dimensions have been maintained over the centuries, but its appearance has varied over the years. The esplanade, originally made of earth, was paved for the first time in 1798. In 1843, the interior was redesigned, placing trees and benches.

The central marble fountain is the most characteristic element of this square and it is the oldest and most aesthetic of those existing in the old town. It was commissioned from Marseille (France), from where it was shipped, bound for La Laguna, on March 20, 1869 by the Ghirlanda Brothers Society aboard the ship "Marie Honoré". Its weight is estimated to be 30 tons. It is made from superimposed cups that support slender columns and there is no lack of architectural ornaments. The fountain was placed in the square in 1870. 


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