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Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife or simply Santa Cruz is a city on the Canary island of Tenerife. Santa Cruz forms together with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the shared capital of the Canary Islands. The city has a population of 22,2270 inhabitants.

Santa Cruz was founded by Alonso Fernandez de Lugo. He placed a large wooden cross on the beach in the bay where the city is situated; this act gave the place its name.

The Auditorio de Tenerife is the symbol of the city and one of the main attractions of Tenerife and the islands. The auditorium was built in 2003 and is the work of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It represents a simulation of a sailing ship. The auditorium includes a large concert hall and place for opera performances.

The Park Garcia Sanabria is located in the heart of the city. The park is the largest park in the islands and combines gardens, lawns and groves with fountains and sculptures. The park was established in 1926.

The Tenerife Espacio de las Artes houses the Museum Oscar Dominguez, the Alejandro Cioranescu Library and the Centre for Photography. There are also a large hall, a restaurant, a shop and a public square.

The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción is the oldest church of Santa Cruz and has a beautiful tower, a tiled roof and Mudéjar ceiling work. The present church dates from the 17th-18th century and sits on the site of an earlier church built in 1498. In the heart of the silver altar is the Santa Cruz de la Conquista (Conquest of the Cross), which gave the town its name.

In the shadow of the Auditorium is the Castillo de San Juan. This fort was built in the 17th century and was used to protect the city and as a stopover for the slave trade to America.

In the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre located in the Palacio Insular Guanche mummies can be found. There are many archaeological finds exhibited. The museum is considered the best of the Canary Islands.


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