When it was founded in 1494, the city of Santa Cruz was just a quaint fishing village. Who would have thought centuries later this peaceful spot would rise to become the Island's vibrant capital city? Now, the city is constantly buzzing. Huge cruise ships dock at the port, and the state-of-the art Adán Martín Tenerife Auditorium is the symbol of modernity that now represents the city. Yet in spite of this, Santa Cruz has not lost its traditional charm.
Its historic quarter is a triangle drawn between the street of Calle La Noria, the adjacent squares of Plaza de España and Plaza de Candelaria, and Plaza de Weyler. Its emblematic buildings are surrounded by a great variety of shops selling the very latest in fashion, electronic gadgets, photographic equipment and much more, plus an assortment of restaurants and taverns.
The La Concepción church is one of Santa Cruz's architectural treasures. It was erected in 1500 and rebuilt 150 years later after it was destroyed in a fire. Not far from there is a whole host of other sites that are not to be missed on a tour of the city, including the San Francisco church, Plaza del Príncipe de Asturias, the Nuestra Señora de África marketplace and the García Sanabria park.
The soon-to-be refurbished Masonic Temple will also become a must on the tour, together with Palacio de la Carta and Castillo Negro (the Black Castle) on the coast. Travelling down from Plaza de España you can visit the ruins of the castle of San Cristóbal, which explains the name of the street that sets off from that point: Calle del Castillo (Castle Street).