History

Alonso Fernández de Lugo landed on Tenerife in 1494 to embark on the conquest of the final and most resistant island in the archipelago. La Laguna, which is a few kilometres inland, initially blossomed as the island’s capital. Santa Cruz de Santiago (as Santa Cruz de Tenerife was then known) remained a backwater until its port began to flourish in the 18th and 19th centuries. Only in 1803 was Santa Cruz ‘liberated’ from the municipal control of La Laguna by Spanish royal decree; in 1859 it was declared a city.