CHURCH OF SANTIAGO APOSTOL
Tel.: (+34) 922 340 261
Visiting Times: During church service. The church of Santiago Apóstol is in the upper part of Los Realejos. It was the first attempt at building a Christian church in Tenerife, on the site where Mencey (King) Bencomo de Taoro, Chief of the Guanche League, gave up the defence of his lands on the 25th of July, 1496.
Alonso Fernández de Lugo, leader of the Spanish troops, took an oath to found a church on this spot in gratitude to the Patron Saint of Spain. The current building is the result of the extensions added to the original church, built at the end of the 16th century.
The Mudejar ceiling is worth a mention, especially the presbytery ceiling. It is said that the leading Guanches of the island were baptised in its font. Figures include an excellent Nazarene by Martín de Andújar in the central niche of the main reredos; there is a beautiful Flemish figure of Santa Lucia in the Evangelist Chapel and figures of Pope San Pedro and Niño Jesús, by local artist Sebastián Fernández (18th century).
In the church square, there is a monument to José de Viera y Clavijo (1731 - 1813), historian and naturalist, one of the leading figures to come out of the Canary Islands in the age of Enlightenment.
CHURCH OF NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA CONCEPCION
Tel.: (+34) 922 340 353
Visiting Times. During church services.
The church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, in the lower part of Los Realejos, goes back to the beginning of the 16th century, although it was extended right through until the early 18th century.
It was badly damaged by fire in 1978, but has since been fully restored and now some of the figures that were saved from the flames can be seen, like a sculpture of the Virgen de Candelaria, by Martín Montañez; carvings of the Passion, by Luján Pérez; a Dolorosa by Fernando Estévez, Nuestra Señora del Rosario in a Baroque reredos, allegedly by Fernando Estévez: a San Miguel (16th century) and a Virgen de La Soledad, by anonymous artists.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmen
Built on classical lines, this church was designed by Tomás Machado in 1954 and opened for worship in 1965. It was erected on the site of the former convent of Augustinian nuns of St. Andrew and St. Monica. The figure of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is attributed to the Genoese sculptor Anton Maria Maragliano (circa 1726). The face of the virgin is exceedingly beautiful as is the sculpture of the holy child. The devotional image was soon accepted for worship by local people and is considered the patron saint of the Valle de la Orotava. In 2008, the shrine was declared a Property of Cultural Interest in the Monument category by the Canary Islands Government.
LOS PRINCIPES HACIENDA
Tel.: (+34) 922 340 600
The Hacienda de Los Principes is in Realejos Bajo. It was the former residence of Governor Antonio Fernández de Lugo, one of the Conquerors of the Island.