Puerto de la Cruz

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Puerto de la Cruz municipality
coat of arms Map of the Canary Islands
Coat of arms of Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz (Canary Islands)
Finland road sign 311 (1994-2020) .svg
Basic data
Autonomous Community : Canary Islands
Province : Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Coordinates 28 ° 25 ′  N , 16 ° 33 ′  W Coordinates: 28 ° 25 ′  N , 16 ° 33 ′  W
Height : msnm
Area : 8.73 km²
Residents : 30,468 (Jan. 1, 2019)
Population density : 3,490.03 inhabitants / km²
Postal code : 38400
Municipality number  ( INE ): 38028
Mayor : Marcos Brito ( CC )
Address of the municipal administration: C / Santo Domingo, s / n
38400 Puerto de la Cruz
Website : www.puertodelacruz.es
Location of the municipality
TF PuertodelaCruz.png
View over the city from Taoro Park

Puerto de la Cruz (short Puerto Cruz ), the eighth largest municipality in Tenerife , is the tourist center of the north coast of the island. Together with the neighboring municipality of La Orotava to the east , the western Los Realejos and other places, the city forms an agglomeration of around 140,000 inhabitants. Puerto de la Cruz is located southwest of the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife and is connected to it by the TF-5 northern motorway .

The municipality has an area of ​​8.84 km² and is located at an average height of 9 meters above sea level in the Valle de la Orotava .

Climate and vegetation

The warm and humid climate prevailing here in contrast to the dry, rain-poor south coast , mainly determined by the humid north-east trade winds that meet here , ensures a particularly varied vegetation . Puerto de la Cruz is surrounded by extensive banana plantations and vineyards (wine-growing areas Tacoronte-Acentejo and Valle de la Orotava ) and other agricultural areas, e.g. B. for the cultivation of the Canarian potatoes , which are processed into the famous papas arrugadas .

Average rainfall per year 371.9 mm
Average temperature per year 19.0 ° C
Average temperature in the coldest month (January) 16.0 ° C
Average temperature in the warmest month (September) 22.4 ° C
Average maximum temperatures 23.2 ° C
Average minimum temperatures 14.8 ° C
Relative humidity 70%


View of the old town from the Muelle Pesquero pier . On the left edge of the picture the Casa de la Real Aduana , on the right the green palm trees in the Plaza del Charco . Everything is dominated by the Teide mountain range.
The Bateria de Santa Barbara protected the fishing port.
Martiánez Christmas Promenade 2012

Even before 1502, the lower end of the San Felipe Gorge in the west of today's city was used as a landing place for everyday goods for the village of La Orotava . This gorge is located in the inner part of today's Playa Jardín. The ships that brought the supplies for the Orotava Valley lay in the roadstead in front of the landing site . The cargo was rowed to the beach in boats and then transported to La Orotava by cart or mule. The first agricultural export products, especially sugar, took the opposite route.

Since there were no roads or bridges on the island at that time, the supply was over land, e.g. B. from Santa Cruz or La Laguna , not possible. The city of La Orotava, like La Laguna, was deliberately built a little inland for strategic reasons in order to be protected from attacks by the Portuguese or North African pirates.

The Italian builder Leonardo Torriani visited the Canary Islands between 1584 and 1593 on behalf of Philip II . He should make proposals for fortifications. In his proposals, he considered a castle (" Castillo ") at the mouth of the Barranco San Felipe to be necessary. The foundation walls of Castillo San Felipe did not begin until 1604. The completion of the fortifications and the powder magazine located a little further inland, connected by an underground passage, was delayed until 1655. However, the landing site had not been used since a flood in 1590. (See Castillo San Felipe as a sight)

In the early years, three other landing sites were used: At Puerto Nuevo , a small semicircular pier was built between 1641 and 1650. The fishing port ( Muelle Pesquero ) is located here today . Another landing place was on the beach of San Telmo below today's promenade ( ) and another in the area of ​​the lower Barranco Martiánez ( ). These landing sites were also protected by fortifications in the 18th century: Puerto Nuevo by the Batería Santa Barbara , San Telmo by the Batería San Telmo and Martiánez by the Batería San Carlos .

In the first few years in the area of ​​the "old town", today's district of La Ranilla (= The Little Frog ; between Plaza del Charco and Castillo de San Felipe ), there were some rowers' quarters and some fishermen's huts. At the point where the Chapel of San Telmo rises, there was a previous building. The establishment of a village was not initially planned. It was not until 1603, a hundred years after the Spanish settlement activities began in the Orotava Valley, that the Cabildo in La Laguna commissioned the La Orotava-based regidor Antonio Franchi Luzardo y Ponte de Castillo to mark plots for a church, public roads and building plots. This was the area southeast of Puerto Nuevo, which is now bordered by Plaza del Charco and Calle San Agustín . Antonio Franchi had a house built for himself near the Batería Santa Barbara. The customs administration was located in this house until 1833 ( Casa de la Real Aduana , see sights ). A rich and influential retail elite settled in the newly developed area. These merchants were primarily British, who dominated the wine trade to England. But the Portuguese and French also came to Puerto de la Orotava and ran their businesses from here. Some of these merchants assimilated and translated or Hispanicized his names. So White became Blanco and Callaghan became Cólogan .

In the 17th century the place experienced a significant boom. The population rose from 180 inhabitants in 1604 to 2,826 in 1707. The same was true of the island's turnover in goods. While in 1601 only 2.1% of Tenerife's goods were handled in Puerto de La Orotava, in 1690 it was already 84.6%. That was before the volcanic eruption that destroyed the port of Garachico in 1706 .

The 17th century was also the time when the monastery was founded. The Franciscan Monastery (OFM) was founded in 1608. It burned down in 1967 except for the church. The Dominican monastery , which was located behind today's town hall, was also founded at the beginning of the 17th century and burned down in 1778. The Dominican Sisters' monastery , which was built between 1661 and 1684 opposite the main church, was also lost in a fire in 1925 .

The large proportion of Anglican English created a problem: their dead were not allowed to be buried in the general cemetery. Therefore, a cemetery was laid out near the Castillo San Felipe as early as the 17th century . This cemetery, which bears the name La Chercha (from churchyard), is surrounded by a wall and, at the instigation of the Catholic Church, was not allowed to be visibly marked with a cross until recently. This is the first non-Catholic cemetery in modern Spain. (See La Chercha under Sights).

The War of the Spanish Succession , 1701-1714 , resulted in a complete breakdown of trade with England. Some English merchants left Puerto de La Orotava. They were partly replaced by Catholic Irish who were not friendly to England.

When trade with England was possible again after the war, the English changed their taste from Canarian Malvasia to Portuguese Madeira and port wine . In addition, on the instructions of King Philip V , Santa Cruz, on the south side of the island, became the island's only export port for trade with America. The trading houses in the port of Puerto de La Orotava therefore had to ship their goods to Santa Cruz, where most trading houses opened a branch. Despite all the prohibitions, wine was always smuggled from Puerto de La Orotava and tobacco from America.

After the citizens of Puerto de La Orotava had elected their mayors themselves since the middle of the 17th century, more and more rights of the municipality of La Orotava were transferred to the citizens of the port over the years. In 1808 Puerto de la Cruz, as it was now called, became an independent city.

The port only played a small part in the economic boom in agricultural production due to increased banana exports in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

At the beginning of the 19th century the beginnings of tourism became apparent. After a few accommodation options, which can be described as renting rooms rather than hotels, the first real hotels opened at the end of the 19th century. These hotels were, such as B. the marquesa or the monopoly , often set up in former mansions. In 1893 the Taoro Grand Hotel was completed; a hotel with more than 100 rooms that offered the luxury that the European bourgeoisie was used to at the time. The tourists were primarily English people who came to Tenerife for the healing effects of the climate on lung diseases . Many English people settled permanently in the higher parts of the city without the intention of pursuing an acquisition. An English church was also built there in 1890, and a very extensive private lending library has existed there since 1903. However, tourism had little effect on the port as the large passenger ships docked in Santa Cruz.

In 1955, Puerto de la Cruz was declared a “place of tourist interest” by the Spanish government. 1963 began a phase of structural redesign of the city, which culminated with the 24-storey Hotel Belair ( ). The renovation of Lago Martiánez according to plans by the architect César Manrique in 1971 marked the beginning of a return to tradition and naturally designed landscape, as can also be seen in Playa Jardín , which was designed by the same artist, at the western end of the city.

On May 23, 2006, the government of the Canary Islands declared downtown Puerto de la Cruz and some buildings outside of it as a place of cultural importance. In addition, individual buildings, gardens and an archaeological site were placed under special protection.

Today tourism determines the economic and cultural life of the city.

Population development

year Residents Population density
1991 (March 1) 25,447 2.879 inhabitants / km²
1996 (May 1st) 24,542 2,776 inhabitants / km²
2001 (November 1st) 26,441 2,991 inhabitants / km²
2002 30,446 3,444 inhabitants / km²
2003 31,830 3,601 inhabitants / km²
2004 30,088 3,404 inhabitants / km²
2005 30,613 3,463 inhabitants / km²
2006 30,585 3.460 inhabitants / km²
2007 31,131 3,522 inhabitants / km²
2009 32,219 3,691 inhabitants / km²
2014 29,435 3,372 inhabitants / km²
2018 (January 1st) 30,483 3,492 inhabitants / km²


Personalities who have shaped the city

sons and daughters of the town


  • ISTAC (Statistical Department of the Regional Government of the Canary Islands)
  • Manuel Hernández González: Tenerife, Patrimonio Histórico y Cultural , Editorial Rueda SL, Madrid 2002 ISBN 84-7207-134-0
  • Nicolás González Lemus, Melecio Hernández Pérez, Isidoro Sánchez García: El Puerto de la Cruz, de ciudad portuaria a turística , Centro de Iniciativas y Turismo del Puerto de la Cruz, Puerto de la Cruz 2005 ISBN 84-609-7231-3
  • Boletín Oficial de Canarias
  • Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias: Jardin de Aclimatación La Orotava , o. O. o. J.
  • Owner's leaflet on the orchid garden of Sitio Liter (2012) in Spanish, English, French, Finnish and German

Web links

Commons : Puerto de la Cruz  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Cifras oficiales de población resultantes de la revisión del Padrón municipal a 1 de enero . Population statistics from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (population update).