The city in the north
San Cristóbal de La Laguna, or La Laguna as the city is normally called, is adjacent to the capital Santa Cruz. La Laguna is a UNESCO world heritage site, and Tenerife’s university city. Most visitors are familiar with La Laguna because of the shopping mall Alcampo and the sports shop Decathlon, situated near the capital, Santa Cruz, but La Laguna has much more to offer than shopping. This former capital of Tenerife has a variety of museums, including the museum of science and the cosmos, Museo de la Ciencia y El Cosmos, and a history museum, Museo de Historia.
Some of the buildings you see in La Laguna are dated back to the 15th century. It is a lovely Spanish city with colourful buildings and countless side streets to explore. The photo above shows the Ermita de San Miguel Arcángel chapel on Adelantado square, but San Miguel Arcángel is the patron saint of Tenerife.
Among places of interest in La Laguna is Plaza del Adelantado, Convento de Santa Clara de Asis monastery, Iglesia de la Concepción, and Palacio de Nava, a mansion from the early 18th century. It belonged to Marquis de Villanueva del Prado who was responsible for the establishment and development of the Botanical Gardens, Jardín Botánico, in Puerto de la Cruz. Construction of the Iglesia de la Concepción tower was completed in 1511, and it boasts of the island’s largest church bell. Next to the city hall, Ayuntamiento, you will find an information centre that offers a guided stroll around the old town.
The city’s history
In 1496, when the Spanish conquered the island, their leader Alonso de Lugo announced that La Laguna should be the capital of Tenerife. The city is named after a lake (laguna in Spanish) that is now long disappeared.
Today, La Laguna is the second largest city of Tenerife and third largest city of the Canary Islands, with a population of appr. 160,000. In addition there are around 30,000 students at the University of La Laguna.
From the Mirador de San Roque is an amazing view over the city. Outdoors enthusiasts should look up the Macizo de Anaga hiking trail.