Plaza de la Iglesia [Church Plaza]
Church Plaza opens before the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia [Our Lady of the Peña de Francia –named after a mountain shrine in Mainland Spain]. Previously it was called Fountain Square. Traditionally it can boast of having the best tended gardens in town, filled with thousands of red Christmas Flowers in December. There are numerous outstanding dragon trees, Canary palms, laurels and other sizeable trees. The centrepiece is a fountain from 1900 adorned with a stone swan. At one side stands a monument to Agustín de Bethencourt y Molina (1758-1824), one of the most prominent figures in PCR history. A military engineer, he rose to the rank of General in the Russian Army in the epoque of Tsar Alexander I and became Director General of the Department of Communication Routes in Imperial Russia. In Russia he designed major buildings and public works. Before that he was the first Director of the School of Canals and Roads in Madrid. . Bethencourt y Molina was born just opposite his monument, in the house which accommodates the old Monopol Hotel, one of the first in the town.