Tenerife has a very long and rich history that adds up to its mysterious beauty. Many museums and monuments tell a story of about the island’s amazing past.
Like the rest of the seven islands comprising the Canary Islands, Tenerife is considered a Pluton son. The island’s oldest mountain ranges have risen from the Atlantic Ocean and the volcanic evolution which gave birth to it took 12 million years to finish.
The last stage of volcanic activity in Tenerife took place 500 years ago. Pico Viejo, which was the old peak, erupted first followed by Pico del Teide sometime later. In 1909, the last volcanic eruption in Tenerife, particularly in the village of Santiago del Teide took place.
Of the Canary Islands, Tenerife was the last one to be conquered by the Spanish empire when it surrendered in December 1495. Many of the guanches – the island’s natives – became slaves, some died from diseases. Because of Tenerife’s favorable location, it was used by Spanish as final stopover for its ships sailing to the New World and America. This very location of the island also became the reason why many other countries, including the British, wanted to have it under their control. Over the years, it became target of several assaults.
As centuries passed, Tenerife’s visitors became less hostile. When Alexander von Humboldt, a naturalist, climbed Mt. Teide and studied its fascinating environment, the beautiful top attractions of the island began to be noticed. Tourists then started flocking it, and now has become a major winter tourist destination.
This condensed version of the island’s history is enough to show the colourful past of the Canarian island. Many of its architectural structures and streets still have remnants of this interesting past.