Religious Tourism Destinations in Tenerife

Wed, March 5th, 2014 - By Linda

Where comes to mind if you hear the words religious tourism? Rome? The Holy Land? Lourdes? The temples of Thailand? Wherever it is, I’ll bet that it isn’t the Canary Islands, but Tenerife has a surprising number of reasons to make it your destination, if this niche market is your tourist style.

 

Dia de la Cruz, Granadilla

 

The city of La Laguna boasts a newly-renovated cathedral, a historic church, la Iglesia de la Concepción, and several interesting convents/hermitages. The best time to visit La Laguna for the purposes of this post, though, is Easter, when processions on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday take place. The most dramatic are the Good Friday parades, when penitents in traditional hooded robes walk through the streets.

Saint Hermano Pedro was born in the village of Vilaflor, and there are references to him all over the south of the island. Before he crossed the Atlantic to his destiny and sainthood in Guatemala, Hermano Pedro tended the family goats, walking down to the warmer coast in winter. You can follow his trail, and see the cave (now a shrine) in which he lived close to El Médano. There is a pilgrimage in April if you include walking in your interests.

Fiestas and Romerias – every village has one, and all revolve around blessings received from whichever saint is patron of the town. There is always a parade from the church, the faithful carrying the saint to bless land, animals or ocean, depending the locality and its traditions. Sometimes  animals are  bathed in the sea, as in Puerto de la Cruz and Adeje, before they receive their blessing.

 

Basilica, Candelaria

 

The Virgin of Candelaria is one of the few “black Madonnas” of Spain.  When the Conquistadors arrived they found the natives already worshipping a statue of the Virgin Mary, and the story of what happened afterwards is enshrined in local history. Both the cave in which the statue originally resided, and the graceful basilica, where she now lives, are religious destinations for Canarians. In August, on her feast day, pilgrims arrive from all over Tenerife, having walked overnight along twisting roads, and over mountains, to reach Candelaria in time to pay their respects when she emerges from the basilica.

 

Church of San Fernando, Santiago del Teide

 

Village Churches on the island hold a surprising wealth of history, and beautiful art work. Many of these date back to the Conquest, and speak to the history of the island as well as its religion. My personal favourite is the church in Santiago del Teide, on my first visit the richness of its statues and icons almost took away my breath. The web sites of most town halls contain details of churches of especial interest.

 

Dia de la Cruz, Granadilla

 

Día de la Cruz in May is a celebration of the Holy Cross. Since the full name of both the island and the province is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, there are celebrations in several places throughout the island, especially in towns that include “Cruz” in their title, like capital, Santa Cruz. The centrepieces of these celebrations are beautiful floral crosses, which appear at various places throughout the towns, as well as around churches. In the south of the Tenerife the most famous can be found in Granadilla de Abona.

Perhaps Tenerife isn’t the obvious choice when you’re looking for a holiday that includes religious or historical sightseeing, but it will probably surprise you.

Posted : Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 1:32 pm
Category : about tenerife
Subscribe : RSS 2.0



2 Responses to “Religious Tourism Destinations in Tenerife”

  1. Not forgettiing the carpets of Corpus Cristi. There’s also the Easter street theatre of the Via Crusis in Adeje and the many re-enactments of the entire Nativity story under the guise of Los Reyes parades on January 5th.

  2. Belinda says:

    Love this article!Thanks

Leave a Reply