By order of King Phillip II, work began on the construction of the castle of San Cristóbal in 1575 to protect the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, taking four years to complete. Its mission was to be the main fortress of the northern coast of Tenerife. The importance of the castle for the history of Santa Cruz lies in the fact that it defended the city from various pirate attacks and from the famous British admiral, Horatio Nelson, who apparently lost an arm from a shot from the most famous cannon of the castle: the Tigre. Plus, one of the main streets of the city bears the name of “Castillo” (Castle in English), as the fortress once stood at one end. In 1928, the building was in ruins and was therefore demolished and replaced by a square, now known as Plaza de España. When the square was remodelled, some ruins of the castle were discovered and a Visitors’ Centre was opened.
9 November, 2015