Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción

Top choice in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

It's difficult to miss the striking bell tower of the city’s oldest church, which also has traditional Mudéjar (Islamic-style architecture) ceilings. The present church was built in the 17th and 18th centuries, but the original building went up in 1498, just after Tenerife was conquered. At the heart of the shimmering silver altar is the 1494 Santa Cruz de la Conquista (Holy Cross of the Conquest), which gives the city its name.

Check out the anteroom to the sacristy. The altarpiece in the chapel beside it was carved from cedar on the orders of Don Matías Carta, a prominent personage who died before it was completed. He lies buried here and the pallid portrait on the wall was done after his death (hence the closed eyes and crossed arms). There’s also a fine painting, La Adoración de los Pastores (The Adoration of the Shepherds) by Juan de Miranda.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Santa Cruz de Tenerife attractions

1. Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre

0.05 MILES

This brain-bending amalgam of natural science and archaeology is an excellent museum, despite a rather confusing layout. Set inside the former civil…

3. Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA)

0.11 MILES

The highlights of this dramatic contemporary building are the architecture, its three galleries and the stunning library downstairs. The galleries display…

4. Centro de Arte La Recova

0.13 MILES

Located in a former market, this gallery houses temporary exhibitions of contemporary Canarian and mainland-Spanish artists.

5. Teatro Guimerá

0.15 MILES

One of the city’s architectural highlights is the rectangular, 19th-century Teatro Guimerá. The sumptuous interior is reminiscent of Madrid’s Teatro Real,…

6. Castillo de San Cristóbal


Located beneath Plaza España are the still-standing fragments of the former castle that once rose up majestically here. The remains can be accessed by an…

7. Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África

0.21 MILES

Dating from 1944, this tantalising market is housed in an eye-catching building that combines a Latin American feel with Moorish-style arches and patios…

8. Plaza España

0.23 MILES

The majority of Santa Cruz’ sights and museums are within easy walking distance of the revamped waterfront Plaza España, with its huge circular wading…