HISTORICAL TOWN OF LA OROTAVA

It was founded by the Castilians between 1502 and 1506, on the territory of the old “menceyato” (kingdom) of Taoro. Sugar, also know as white gold, as well as the wines of Malvasía were the two main sources of income that allowed this town to compete in wealth and nobility with the capital.

Just entering the historical centre, we come across the old convent of San Agustín and the Church of XVII and XVIII centuries. Constructed in a baroque-canarian style, they show the result of the union of the architectonic influences coming from Europe, with the style Mudejar and the Canarian style. Passing the square of San Agustín we find the Liceo Taoro (first residence of the local Nobility and soon turned into social club/liceo of Taoro), which follows a Victorian colonial style.

 

la orotavaWe should not forget to visit the Victory Gardens neither the Gardens of the VIII Marquis de la Quinta Roya (gardens that keep Masonry related history). In this last one was buried during a period of time the Mason and Marquis Don Diego de Ponte y del Castillo. Following the street of La Carrera we will ascend until arriving at the square of the town hall, square where the locals received the first Spanish king that stepped into the Canaries (Alfonso XIII).

 

During the festivities of the Corpus Christi, this square becomes a great carpet with coloured sands from mount Teide. We continue ascending and we will be able to see great houses owned by some of the wealthiest families of the Canary Islands, which follow the architectonic guidelines of the time (stone facades, rows of balconies, the use of different levels from roofing tile as well as the use of heraldic shields in the thresholds of the doors). The best examples are found in the House of the Fonseca, nowadays owned by the Machado family, known as the house of the Balconies (Casa de los Balcones), the House of Franchy or the house of Ponte-Fonte or Casa Lercaro.

Another one of great works of this town is without a doubt the Church of La Concepción de La Orotava, constructed over the remains of a hermitage of the XV century.

Amongst its main festivities, we should not forget Easter. However, the greatest expression of love of this town comes out in the Corpus Christi, where people of all the ages cover the streets with carpets done with flower petals. As a finishing touch to this celebration, we must emphasize the famous “Baile de Magos”, local festivity, where the villagers as well as visitors get dressed in typical folkloric clothes and enjoy this beautiful villa.

 

With its buildings, convents and houses, its paving stones and squares, in La Orotava we will be able to forget in which century we live, and transfer us to the beginnings of the XVIII century. Steep paved streets, wooden crosses to scare away evil, tradition… a luxury that we hope to conserve for many centuries to come.