1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Santa Cruz de Tenerife

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, or De Santiago, a seaport and the capital of Teneriffe and of the Canary Islands; in 28° 28' N. and 16° 15' W., on the east coast. Pop. (1900) 38,419. Santa Cruz is the residence of the governor-general of the Canaries, the civil lieutenant-governor of the Teneriffe district, and the military governor of the island. It occupies a small plain bounded by rugged volcanic rocks, and seamed by watercourses which are dry almost throughout the year. Scarcely any vegetation, except cactuses and euphorbias, is to be seen in the neighbourhood. Almost the entire town was rebuilt in the 19th century, when its population more than trebled. The houses are generally low, with flat roofs; those of the better class are large, with a courtyard in the middle, planted with shrubs in the Spanish fashion. There are many good public buildings, including a school of navigation, technical institute, library, natural history museum and hospital. An aqueduct 5 m. long brings pure water from the mountains of the interior. Dromedaries from the adjacent islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are used to convey merchandise and in agricultural operations. The town is defended by modern forts, but its ancient batteries have also been preserved. It was bombarded by the, British fleet under Blake in 1657, and by Nelson, who lost his arm during the attack, in 1797. Some British flags lost on that occasion hang in one of the churches. The anchorage is good, and a mole facilitates landing. Santa Cruz is an important coaling station and commercial centre. (See Canary Islands.)