Los Realejos region has two Historical Sites of important heritage value – Realejo Alto and Realejo Bajo. Two villages were unified into one town, which is now known as Los Realejos, in the north of Tenerife.
Realejo Alto forms an architectural complex of great cultural and heritage value of huge historical importance. Here the last events of the European conquest of Tenerife took place. The term “realejo” refers, in the military sense, to the “place where an army is camped”, as this is the corner of the island where the Castilian army established its centre of operations during the last stages of the conquest of Tenerife, around the year 1496.
The historical complex revolves around the Church of the Apostle Santiago, which was one of the first buildings in Realejo Alto, where Alonso Fernández de Lugo, conqueror of Tenerife, established his camp.
Some places of interest in Realejo Alto are:
- Church of the Apostle Santiago. One of the first Catholic churches to be built in Tenerife. It is declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument.
- Plaza Viera and Clavijo. One of the main squares of Realejo Alto. On it is raised the Church of the Apostle Santiago.
- Plaza de la Unión. A square with privileged views. From there you can see the Barranco de Godínez, where the last battles of the conquest of the island took place, in 1496.
- House of Viera and Clavijo. Hometown of the Canarian writer and intellectual Viera y Clavijo, one of the pillars of the Canarian cultural tradition, which he left reflected in his writings.
- Viera y Clavijo Library. One of the best examples of the architecture of Los Realejos, the work of the architect Juan Margarit Serradell.
Realejo Bajo has more to offer from an architectural perspective, having conserved almost 70% of its buildings.
This urban centre originates from the estate of Hacienda de los Príncipes, which was built by Alonso Fernández de Luga after the conquest of Tenerife. After the construction of the Hacienda, agricultural practices began to develop in the area which led to houses being built and eventually creating the town now known as Realejo Bajo.
The epicentre of the town centre is La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, which is the starting point of the labyrinth of narrow uneven streets that characterise the town, as well as a great display of traditional Canarian houses which span from the 17th to 20th Century.
The highlights of Realejo Bajo include:
- Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Concepción: A catholic church constructed shortly after Europeans landed on the Canary Islands, with records of a small chapel on the same site at the start of the 16th Century.
- Hacienda de los Príncipes: Los Realejos’ symbolic building which represents its cultural heritage, originating in the 16th Century.
- Capilla de la Cruz de Marquez: Catholic chapel built at the end of the 19th Century with a traditional façade.
- Capilla de la Cruz Verde: A stone facade in a classic style originating from the old Franciscan Convent of Santa Lucía, which was formerly in the area.
- Casa Parroquial: A 17th Century house noteworthy for its beautiful wooden balcony. It has two floors, like most of the houses from the era.
- Ermita de San Sebastián: Small catholic church built around the year 1735 by the area’s own residents.
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