CASTILLO DE SAN CRISTÓBAL

Santa Cruz de Tenerife
- Arquitectura Militar. Fortificaciones -




Before the castle, a tower was located and later a fortress, which was replaced by the Castle of San Crist bal, of which, at the moment its foundations remain, discovered after remodeling excavations of the current Plaza de Espa a.

The Castle was registered in the Land Registry on November 6, 1900 to folio 207, of volume 340, book 101 of the City Council, farm 6620, registration 1, from which the following data can be obtained: total area of 3,087.89 m of which was built with a 2,444.89 m plant and two 642.58 m; It bordered on the North with the body of Guardia del Principal, on the South with the Rambla del General Guti rrez and Playa, on the East with the beach and on the West with the Plaza Real (today the Plaza de la Candelaria).
His bit of greatest glory was when Admiral Nelson and his fleet tried to conquer the island, being frustrated by the fierce defense made, losing an arm by a cannonball that left this Castle.

The Castle was already completely destroyed by 1930.



Castillo de San Cristóbal

On the 1500 was a tower, built in the conquest, which defends the port of the Indians, but not from the sea attacks. Later it was replaced by a fortress in 1556, also called the 'C old subway '. And in the year 1575 the construction of the Castle of San Crist Bal begins, which received such a name in honor of the patron saint of La Laguna, being a small or strong around the Hermitage of the Consolation, which was demolished together with the previous fortress, to take advantage of the construction materials.

It formed a regular fortification adapted to the terrain, situation and defense; be in the form of a walled square of 53 by 50 meters. The front facing the square has two walls of 8.3 m. high, with their loopholes for fusiler a; in front of this wall there was another, from small to tall, that was trimmed with you were. The thymus sea front, beaten by the sea to its half, was mounted on protruding rocks and, despite the years, its whistle was in perfect condition on the date of its demolition.
On January 20, 1577 this castle began its glorious history but it was not until November 30, 1578 when the works of the Castle are finished.

In 1588, Mr. Leonardo Torriani proposes to give more space to the main square, advancing the building along the tongue of land that separated the cove from the beach of Santa Cruz. He advised the construction of a wide moat flooded by the waters that held the castle incommunicado with the town, and also proposed variations in the ha ...



Castillo de San Cristóbal

MUNICIPALITY Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Anaga District AREA

ADDRESS Dique Street, 27 - Trinquete Street


The Castle was built using the materials obtained from the demolition of the previous fortress and the stones and wood from demolishing the so-called Old Bridge ', the old fortified tower, were also used. The whistle was of volcanic rock stone at the base, not reaching half the height, and the rest of the masonry.
These elements rested almost without any foundation on the basal type lavas that predominated in this area of the coast.
The volcanic rock possesses characteristic v treasures, spongy and the presence of voids, makes it possess properties that make it a thermal, static and fire resistant insulator clearly superior and that is not obtained with other natural building materials . The use of volcanic stone blocks in construction allows for their favorable technical and technical characteristics, to improve the overall profitability of the work and its exterior appearance.


Construction system

The stone blocks if possible moistened or sprayed with water to remove the fine particles present in the pores, were placed with mortar made with binders, sand and water. In relation to the wood used, the Canary Island pine where the tea comes from was normally used on the island of Tenerife. It was used for the realization of windows, doors, railings, stairs, etc.
The plaster on the facades that did not face the sea, were made with lime mortar, material widely used in the islands for the lining of buildings.



Castillo de San Cristóbal

The demolition of the Castle occurred in 1930, and to reach it, there was a fight of something more than a quarter of a century, since 1883.
The protagonists were the Military Government of Santa Cruz, its Mayors, and even King Alfonso XIII, in addition to businessmen interested in the works. The military government was in favor of preserving the Castle, while the mayors fought to take the place to demolish the Castle, even King Alfonso XIII on a visit to Tenerife stood in favor of the Mayor of Santa Cruz.
The Castle of San Crist bal was the seat of the Military Government of the Plaza de Santa Cruz, but throughout the nineteenth century it has been carried out in it a work, the new body of guard, built by the City Hall, on the project of V. Alonso de Armi or in 1872.
After 1883, it was when he began to think seriously about his demolition. A blueprint, presented in the press by Juan Maffiotte, proposes to form an esplanade in its place, in which the Capitan a del Puerto will be built on one side and, on the opposite side, a local for the National School, with a square Landscaped between the two.



Castillo de San Cristóbal

The Interpretation Center 'Castillo de San Crist bal ' is located under the Plaza de Espa a, its visiting hours are Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is managed by the Autonomous Organization of Museums and Centers of the Island Council of Tenerife. The idea of creating this place, arises after the excavations for the remodeling of the square in June 2006, when the archaeological remains are discovered. Since then it was decided to value the remains, protect them and open them to the public.
It is accessed by stairs that lead down to a reception, where a janitor with a smiling face keeps. It is free entry. It summarizes on its walls, in Spanish and English, stories of the Canary Islands, and its defensive systems, or castles, in addition to hanging two large stone plates with inscriptions of the Castle. In one room is the impressive Tigre Canyon, which the stories tell, pulled Nelson's arm.
Then at the end, from two different corridors, you can see the remains of the castle, its foundations, and some terribly rusty canals and I run two, which rest on what they are to the old bed of rocks. At one end of these ruins is a screen that reproduces a documentary film about the castle.
With all this, the visit is very short, a few minutes, which does not give time or to get bored. Then we go back out where the smiling concierge, and the same entrance stairs.
There is no doubt the importance of this place, which, in addition to reminding the English that they did not always win by ...



Castillo de San Cristóbal

- GARC A ARGUELLES, A. (1982). History of Artiller a in Tenerife. Ed. Graphics of Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

- PINTO Y DE LA ROSA, JM (1996). Notes for the history of the ancient fortifications of the Canary Islands. Ed. Regional Military Museum of the Canary Islands, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

- CIORANESCU, A. (1979). u2018History of Santa Cruz de Tenerife u2019, vol. III (1803-1977). Ed. CE Savings Banks. Santa Cruz of Tenerife.

Editorial and research team: Architecture Unit of the CICOP Foundation.
Miguel ngel Fern ndez Matr n.
Jos Luis D will read Mart nez.
Armiche lvarez P rez.
Sendy Hern ndez lvarez.

Photograph: Jos M. Bossini Ruiz.


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Planimetria 1773
Planta 1773
Planimetria 1867
Planimetria 1867