La Laguna, Tenerife, is a unique and fascinating city that is often overlooked by visitors to the island. It was once the capital of Tenerife, and it still holds an important place in the history and culture of the region. The city has a rich heritage, and its old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
La Laguna was founded in the late fifteenth century and has since developed into a vibrant and dynamic city. It is situated in the Aguere Valley, surrounded by beautiful mountains and lush greenery. The city has a population of around 150,000 people and is known for its friendly locals, laid-back lifestyle, and beautiful architecture.
One of the things that make La Laguna unique is its history. The city was once the center of the Canarian sugar trade, and it played an important role in the development of the region. The city has also been home to many notable figures, including the famous philosopher and theologian, Viera y Clavijo.
Despite its historical significance, La Laguna is not a museum piece. It is a lively and vibrant city that is always changing and evolving. Visitors to the city will find a wide range of attractions and activities, from historic monuments to modern shopping centers, and everything in between.
Geography and climate
La Laguna is located in the northern part of Tenerife and covers an area of 102.43 km². The city is situated in the Aguere Valley, surrounded by the Anaga Mountains to the east and the Teno Mountains to the west. The valley is known for its fertile soil and mild climate, making it an ideal location for agriculture.
The climate in La Laguna is subtropical, with warm temperatures throughout the year. The warmest month is August, with an average temperature of 21.5°C (70.7°F), while the coolest month is January, with an average temperature of 13°C (55°F). On warmer days the temperature can reach upwards to 26°C with extreme peaks up to 41°C (106 °F).
The city receives a moderate amount of rainfall throughout the year, with the wettest months being November and December. Despite the rainfall, La Laguna enjoys around 300 days of sunshine each year, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities and sightseeing.
Due to its location in the northern part of the island, La Laguna is often cooler and more humid than the southern part of Tenerife. This is due to the trade winds that blow from the northeast, bringing cooler air and moisture to the region. As a result, the vegetation in and around La Laguna is lush and green, providing a beautiful contrast to the arid landscapes found elsewhere on the island.
In addition to its beautiful scenery, La Laguna is also home to a number of natural parks and reserves, including the Anaga Rural Park and the Corona Forestal Natural Park. These parks offer visitors the opportunity to explore the unique flora and fauna of Tenerife and enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and birdwatching.
Culture and Lifestyle
La Laguna has a rich cultural heritage that reflects the city’s long and fascinating history. The city is home to a diverse population, including people of Spanish, African, and South American descent. This diversity has created a unique and vibrant cultural scene that is reflected in the city’s music, food, and festivals, and is the perfect getaway when you want to get away from the beaches in Tenerife and enjoy some city pulse.
One of the most important cultural events in La Laguna is the annual Corpus Christi procession. This religious festival takes place in June and involves the creation of large, intricate carpets made from colored sand, flowers, and other natural materials. The carpets are laid out in the streets of the old town, and the procession follows a route through the city, passing over the carpets as they go. The festival attracts thousands of visitors each year and is a testament to the city’s strong Catholic heritage.
La Laguna is also known for its music scene, which encompasses a wide range of styles, including classical, traditional, and contemporary music. The city is home to the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, which performs regularly at the Auditorio de Tenerife, a stunning modern concert hall located in the neighboring city of Santa Cruz.
Food is another important aspect of the culture and lifestyle of La Laguna. The city is home to a wide range of restaurants and cafes, offering everything from traditional Canarian cuisine to international dishes. One of the most popular local dishes is “papas arrugadas,” a type of boiled potato served with a spicy sauce called “mojo.”
Despite its rich cultural heritage, La Laguna is also a modern and cosmopolitan city, with a vibrant nightlife and a thriving arts scene. The city is home to a number of galleries and museums, including the Museum of Science and the Cosmos and the Museum of Fine Arts. These institutions showcase the work of local and international artists and scientists, and offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of the region.
Overall, the culture and lifestyle of La Laguna are a reflection of the city’s unique history and diverse population. Visitors to the city will find a welcoming and friendly community, a vibrant cultural scene, and a wide range of activities and attractions to explore.
Historical Monuments and Landmarks
La Laguna is a city with a rich history, and there are many historical monuments and landmarks that are worth exploring. The city’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is home to a number of beautiful and well-preserved buildings that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.
One of the most impressive buildings in the city is the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna. This stunning cathedral was built in the 16th century and features a beautiful mix of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture. It is one of the most important religious buildings in the Canary Islands and is a must-visit for anyone interested in history and architecture.
Another notable landmark in La Laguna is the Plaza del Adelantado. This historic square is surrounded by beautiful colonial-era buildings and is home to a number of cafes and restaurants. It is a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the city.
Other notable historical monuments in La Laguna include the Iglesia de la Concepción, a beautiful church that was built in the 16th century and features a stunning Baroque facade; the Palacio de Nava, a beautiful mansion that now houses the University of La Laguna; and the Casa de los Capitanes Generales, a beautiful colonial-era building that now serves as the headquarters of the Canary Islands government.
In addition to these landmarks, there are also a number of museums and cultural institutions in La Laguna that are worth exploring. The Museum of History and Anthropology is a great place to learn more about the city’s history and culture, while the Casa Lercaro Museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore a beautifully restored colonial-era mansion.
Education and Arts
La Laguna is a city that is known for its rich cultural heritage and its commitment to education and the arts. The city is home to one of the oldest universities in Spain, the University of La Laguna, which was founded in 1927. This prestigious institution has a long and proud history of academic excellence, and it is renowned for its research in fields such as astrophysics, biotechnology, and renewable energy.
In addition to its academic achievements, the University of La Laguna is also home to a vibrant arts community. The university’s Fine Arts department is one of the most prestigious in Spain, and it has produced many acclaimed artists over the years. The city is also home to a number of art galleries and museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, which features an impressive collection of Spanish and Canarian art.
La Laguna is also known for its vibrant music scene, and the city is home to a number of music schools and conservatories. The Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias is one of the most prestigious music schools in Spain, and it has produced many talented musicians over the years.
In addition to its academic and artistic institutions, La Laguna is also home to a number of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the Festival Internacional de Música de Canarias, which takes place in January and February and features concerts by some of the world’s most renowned classical musicians.
Things to do in La Laguna
If you’re planning a visit to La Laguna, you’re in for a treat. This charming city is bursting with history and culture, and there are plenty of must-see attractions that you simply can’t miss. Here are 7 things you absolutely have to do when you’re in La Laguna:
- Visit the Cathedral of La Laguna: This beautiful neoclassical cathedral is an icon of the city and a must-see for anyone interested in religious architecture. The façade is truly stunning and inside you’ll find a wealth of historical artifacts and artwork.
- Explore the Old City: The Old City of La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and for good reason. The streets are lined with beautiful colonial-style buildings, complete with wooden balconies and stunning courtyards. Take a stroll through the city and soak in the history and charm of this unique place.
- Check out the Real Santuario del Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna: This important temple houses the venerated image of Christ and is a popular place of worship for locals and visitors alike. The intricate details and beautiful artwork inside are not to be missed.
- Discover the University of La Laguna: The first university founded in the Canary Islands, this historic institution is a must-see for anyone interested in higher education. The stunning architecture and beautiful surroundings make it a great place to spend an afternoon.
- Step back in time at Casa Anchieta: The birthplace of Saint José de Anchieta, this historic home is a fascinating glimpse into the past. The rich history and beautiful architecture make it a must-see for anyone interested in the culture of the Canary Islands.
- Marvel at the Nava Palace: This stunning example of Canarian architecture is a true gem. The Baroque, Neoclassical, and Mannerist elements combine to create a unique and beautiful building that is sure to take your breath away.
- Soak in the atmosphere of Plaza del Adelantado: This vibrant square is the heart of the city and a great place to people-watch and take in the sights and sounds of La Laguna. Surrounded by interesting buildings like the town hall and the Santa Catalina de Siena convent, this is a great place to start or end your day in the city.
Of course, these are just a few of the many amazing things to do in La Laguna. From the Museum of the History of Tenerife to the Iglesia de la Concepción and beyond, there is no shortage of fascinating sights and attractions to explore.
In conclusion, La Laguna, Tenerife is a city full of history, culture, and natural beauty. Its colonial-style buildings, cobblestone streets, and rich architectural heritage make it a unique destination for tourists looking for a taste of the Canary Islands’ history and lifestyle.
From the neoclassical Cathedral of La Laguna to the Museum of the History of Tenerife, visitors can explore the city’s rich cultural and historical legacy. The city’s proximity to nature also offers visitors the chance to explore the stunning landscapes of the island, including the Anaga Rural Park and the Teide National Park.
The mild climate and warm people make La Laguna an ideal place for visitors to relax, explore and experience a blend of tradition and modernity. Whether it’s strolling through the picturesque old city, attending a performance at the Teatro Leal, or enjoying the local cuisine, La Laguna offers something for everyone.
A visit to this charming city is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who has the opportunity to experience it.