Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción

Top choice church 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) ceiling work. The present church was built in the 17th and 18th centuries, but the original building went up in 1498, just after the island was conquered. At the heart of the shimmering silver altar is the Santa Cruz de la Conquista (Holy Cross of the Conquest), which dates from 1494 and 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.