Plaza de Víctor Pérez

Plaza de Víctor Pérez

Plaza de Víctor Pérez

This is the smallest and quietest of the squares in the town centre. Opposite the Church of San Francisco [Saint Francis] and the Chapel to San Juan [Saint John], it was laid out to honour the doctor who was one of the main proponents of the Taoro Hotel, and a leading light in the history of tourism in the town. Its focal point is a fountain embellished by a yam plant.

Playa Jardín de Punta Brava. [Garden Beach at Punta Brava]

Playa Jardín de Punta Brava. [Garden Beach at Punta Brava]

Playa Jardín de Punta Brava. [Garden Beach at Punta Brava]

This marvellous strip of shoreline is the result of coastal reconditioning finished in 1993 running from the Castillo San Felipe as far as the suburb of Punta Brava. It is a series of black, volcanic sand beaches, surrounded by splendid garden and pedestrian walkways, designed by the artist Cesar Manrique. Along a 600-metre shore front, service and leisure facilities, enhanced by flourishing gardens, sea-water cascades, and artificial caves live up to the area’s name. The quality of the facilities and its well-kept natural beauty make the Playa Jardín a place of singular beauty designed for leisure and awarded the European Union’s Blue Flag. The construction of Playa Jardín cost the Ministry of Public Works nearly 2,000 million Pesetas. The works, supervised by the artist César Manrique and the engineers Amigó and Olcina, were executed by the companies Cubiertas y MZOV and Ferrovial. To cover the old pebble beach, 23,000 cubic metres of volcanic sand extracted from the sea-bed nearby were used. The construction of the semi-submerged breakwater which protects the beach from the heavy swell prevailing on the north coast required 4,226 concrete blocks of 20 tonnes each, equivalent to 35,207 cubic metres of concrete.

‘La Chercha’

‘La Chercha’

‘La Chercha’

This is the popular name given to the Protestant cemetery, “Chercha” being derived from the English “church”. Its construction dates from 1676 which gives some idea of the importance and long tradition of the foreign community in the Municipality. It was the first Protestant cemetery in the Canaries and one of the first in Spain. Indeed, its foundation predates that of the municipal cemetery of San Carlos.

Hotel Marquesa

Hotel Marquesa

Hotel Marquesa

This is one of the oldest hotels in town. The Canary mansion which houses it and which still retains large parts of its original structure was built in 1712 as the main home of the Valois-Cólogan family. The house provided lodging for the famous travellers and scientists with Alexander von Humboldt in 1799. In 1887 a company called Hotels and Sanatorium of the Orotava Valley leased the house and gave it the name of Hotel Marquesa [Marchioness Hotel] in reference to its owner, Laura de Cólogan Franchi, 4th Marchioness of La Candia. Nearby, other hotels, such as the Condesa and the Monopol opened immediately.

Lime Kilns at Las Cabezas

Lime Kilns at Las Cabezas

Lime Kilns at Las Cabezas

Now renovated and turned into a public park, this group of buildings dates from the end of the XVIIIth Century. It consists of three vaulted buildings for industrial use, which in their day served to produce plaster of Paris and lime, basic building materials. The kilns themselves are made of solid stone and brick. The whole plant included water tanks , the boiler house where the lime was taken after being fired, the coal shed and the store. The limestone was shipped in to the harbour at Puerto from the Island of Fuerteventura.

Chapel of San Amaro. [Saint Amarus]

Chapel of San Amaro. [Saint Amarus]

Chapel of San Amaro. [Saint Amarus]

The chapel of San Amaro, the oldest in the Municipality, was built in 1591 and its original function was to convert to Christian use the places which had a deep spiritual significance for the aborigines, such as the Llano del Bailadero [heathen dancing ground] and the burial ground on the Martiánez coast. The chapel was built by the local inhabitants, as at the time there was no consecrated shrine in the tiny hamlet at Caleta de la Orotava.. The fiestas of San Amaro were famous during the Ancien Régime (pre French Revolution). In 1713 the chapel was in danger of falling into ruin and the administrators ceded it to Valois, leaving him the perpetual use of the land belonging to it, on condition that he restore the chapel. From 1593 it was looked after by the Dominicans from the Convent of Saint Benedict in La Orotava.