An Architecture Geek’s Guide to Exploring Tenerife
When I go away on holiday, there’s nothing I like to do more than to check out the architecture of the destination I’m in. Doing so, I think, is a great way to get under the skin of the place you’re staying in. In fact, I’ve got no shame in saying that I’m a bit of an architecture geek, even though I’m not actually an architect. If you’re like me, you should think about taking a trip to Tenerife; it’s a fantastic place to explore!
Admittedly, wandering around Tenerife’s historic buildings may not be at the top of everybody’s list of things to do once their flight to the island has touched down, but it is definitely an activity I recommend, even it’s only for an afternoon. I know that many people come to the Spanish isle with the intention of lazing around in the sunshine, but I think it’d be a pity if you didn’t take the opportunity to find out more about the local culture.
With that in mind, here are some of the buildings that I think are particularly stunning.
Regional Canarian Government headquarters
OK, so the headquarters of the Canary Islands government may not sound like it has the same sense of history or romanticism surrounding it like some of Tenerife’s other buildings, but it is one place I certainly advise you check out.
Situated in the island’s capital city Santa Cruz, this beautiful complex was built in the 1990s and was designed by local architects Fernando Martin Menis, Felipe Artengo Rufino and Jose Maria Rodriguez-Pastrana.
For obvious reasons, members of the public aren’t free to wander through the entire building as they please but you can spend some time in the courtyard. Here, you’ll find a beautiful traditional Canarian wooden balcony that was once part of an ancient stately home on the island. I also suggest you spend a few minutes taking in the sight of the intricate exterior which has been constructed out of wood, stone, metal and numerous volcanic materials.
Casa de Lercaro
If you want to take a step into Tenerife’s architectural past, it’s worth visiting the Casa de Lercaro. Constructed in 1593, this building was initially occupied by Francisco Lercaro de Leon – who was the island’s lieutenant general at the time – and is widely considered to be a prime example of Canary Island civil architecture.
Unlike many other buildings in the archipelago, this part of the house features wooden carvings. Among the numerous eye-catching elements of this property are wooden panels and a stunning stone entrance portico, while the walls are influenced by Renaissance-era brickwork. Another part of Casa de Lercaro that I particularly advise you seek out is the interior patio on the upper floor.
Convent of Santa Catalina
Lastly, I’m going to look at the Convent of Santa Catalina. Completed in 1661, this beautiful building has housed a local group of cloistered nuns for centuries and continues to do so to this day. The architecture of this structure, it has to be said, is simply stunning. Among its features are Baroque-style altarpieces, while the statue of Santa Rosa de Lima is also well worth checking out.
Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to take a holiday to Tenerife and explore its terrific architecture. If I have, you’ll first need to book a flight. Click here and you can find out more about which routes operate to the island and from there you can start to plan which landmarks you want to see.