History of Tenerife
Conquests, battles, traditions, migrations, volcanic eruptions... The history of Tenerife is riddled with highly significant and fascinating events and characters. It is vital to learn about the Island's historic legacy in order to understand its current life, its culture and its people.
The history of Tenerife is marked by a great many key dates that mark crucial moments for the Island's development. Especially relevant dates include the conquest by the Castilian Crown in 1496, the failed attempt by the British Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson to invade Santa Cruz in 1797, the emigration of Canarian people to America in the 18th century and the many volcanic eruptions on record that shook the Island.
The Island has housed a great many illustrious figures who stood out in their various fields, such as science, research, literature, sculpture and painting. Some of these noteworthy characters were Saint José de Anchieta y Llanera, the naturalist and anthropologist Sabino Berthelot, and one of the most outstanding Spanish scientists of the 19th century, Agustín de Bethencourt y Molina.
The Guanches were the Island's aboriginal dwellers who inhabited Tenerife before the conquest by the Castilian Crown in 1496. This native population, likely of Berber origin who dedicated much of their lives to farming and herding, left behind a variety of archaeological treasures, traditions, customs, words, tales of fascinating characters and legends.
Tenerife is the perfect place to let your imagination run wild. Great tales of impossible love stories, islands emerging and disappearing, hundred-headed dragons, civilisations under the sea and even UFOs are told on the Island, as though challenging you to draw the line between fact and fiction.