The original capitol of Tenerife
La Orotava Travel Blog› entry 3 of 40 › view all entries
I put things away and decided on a plan. The rain had let up so, where should I go. I decided to go to La Orotava, which was close. I was tired and wanted an easy afternoon.
La Orotava was only about 15 minutes away for the Tom Tom kept giving me directions that were not possible (wrong way on a one way or turning on to a dirt road).
I reached the town and the directions from here were snaking through the “Cefalu” like streets…..you know that’s bad. I had specified town center as my places of interest weren’t listed. The path that I was being led down was worrying me. The view of the old buildings was great but it seemed to be lacking……a center. I finally found a parking area that wasn’t too far from where I had been driving.
By the parking area was an old gate looking thing with a crest in it center. It had flowers blooming at its base, the bird of paradise looking flower which is indigenous to the Canaries.
From here, I walked through the tiny streets enjoying the carving details of the doors and the many decorative balconies. The raised panel window shutter type things are just fantastic. What an interesting detail. The front door of the Casa Mesa drew my attention for a moment but more just kept coming with every step.
Iglesia Santo Domingo, hidden within the houses, was surrounded by colorful flowers and equally detailed stone and wood work. The house across the street (Casa Torre Hermosa) showed examples of many aspects of Canarian design.
I decided that I needed to get to a higher level in the city (built on a hillside) to hopefully see the church and other sights that I had come to see.
I started my ascent and within minutes I could see signs that I was going in the right direction. I could see a terrace were people were taking pictures from…..a good sign. There were gardens along the path that were highlighting may species of palm trees that were unique to these islands. Some of them are really freaky!!!
I found a set of stairs and figured that they might lead to where I wanted to go…..and they did. They ended at the terrace level. I had found the city’s center. The terrace view was spectacular and included the towers of the church that I was seeking. It also included a view of a little house with colorful flowers growing on its roof and of La Ortava and beyond to the Atlantic.
I studied the facades of San Augustin Church that were facing the park in the center. There was even an gazebo with Carnivale decorations still on it. Many familes, kids, and even a tour group were enjoying some leisure time on the park grounds.
Having my target in sight, I continued on and briefly stopped at the town hall, Once applied to the old convent disentailment Claris, called San Jose, he held since the year 1601,este rincón de La Orotava, se encargó, en 1868, su derriboThis corner of La Orotava, was commissioned in 1868, its demolition y la erección del actual edificio al ingeniero Pedro Maffiotte. and the erection of the existing building engineer Peter Maffiotte, for a photo op, then on to the main event….
It’s a bit like a beautiful cake all decorated with different flavors of frosting. There is obviously Baroque design and looks to also have some Portuguese styling but it has a unique flavor that is Canarian. It is quite a sight and is made even more special by the use of the basalt of Tiede as a building element.
The interior décor seems purposefully simple as to focus on the intricately carved altars. They are masterpieces of Baroque splendor. The red stained glass crosses within the dome cast a pink glow across it’s stucco.