Wonderful Tenerife - Part 5 - The historic city of La Laguna

This was my last day in Tenerife. Next day, I was to board a return flight at about 6 in the morning. Hence, I had decided not to tire myself out, to limit myself to local sightseeing in and around the hostel and to do a bit of shopping. Incidentally, one of the lads staying in the hostel too had similar plans. So we decided that we would venture out together and take a look around the city of La Laguna. Being the only historic city of Tenerife, the city has its own significance. It is the second largest city in Tenerife. Located at a higher altitude and on the north of the island meant that the climate in the city was cool. However, sudden overcast skies and torrential rain were the norm. Having lived in Germany for a while, I was used to it. But as luck would have it, the day dawned bright, clear and sunny.

The city center of La Laguna
From the city tourism information center we selected a guided walking tour to the tourist attractions across the city. The guide provided us with a lot of interesting information about the place.
Since time immemorial, the Canary Islands were inhabited by a group of people called the Guanche. The region at the base of Anaga hills was called Aguere. The place had a lake that was considered to be holy by the locals. In the 15th century after the Spanish inquisition, a city called La Laguna (the lake) was built around the lake. Eventually, it became the capital city of the Canary Islands. During the conquest of the north and south Americas, the Canary Islands were an important port of call for Spanish seafarers. As a result, the Spanish population grew in number and the locals mixed up completely into the Spanish populace. Even today there are traces of the aboriginal traditions, cuisine, and language in the Canarian culture. Hence, even though a resident of the Canary Island is geo-politically Spanish, he still underlines his own unique cultural identity.

The main church in La Laguna

Using the layout of city of La Laguna as a reference, many cities were built in central and south America such as Old Havana in Cuba, Lima in Peru, San Juan in Puerto Rico etc. contributing to the importance of this city. In 1999, the city center of La Laguna was declared a World Heritage Site. The city center is the site of some of its most important churches, the main museum, small shops and restaurants. After shopping around for a while, we had our lunch and returned to the hostel.

The time for the return trip was fast approaching. Although the island is small there are a number of things to see. As I did not have a means of personal conveyance, it was not possible for me to visit all the places that I would have liked to see. However, I decided that the next time I am on the islands, I would ensure that I have a driving license that is valid in Europe and the necessary driving experience. Promising myself this, I boarded the bus back to the airport.

La Laguna and Anaga hills
For more pictures click here

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