Lively university town of La Laguna (full name - San Cristóbal de La Laguna, San Cristobal de la Laguna) was the first major settlement of Tenerife and its capital for more than two hundred years. The well-preserved historic center is a prime example of Canarian architecture, and the city remains a cultural, religious and educational center of Tenerife. Situated significantly higher than that of Santa Cruz, and therefore has a much more cool and rainy climate, the city got its name from the once lying near the lagoon, which was dry in 1837 due to increased logging. City of La Laguna (San Cristobal de La Laguna) in Tenerife scale can be compared with St. Petersburg. Do not be taken literally, but have much in common. The former capital and second largest city of the island, remarkably preserved architectural attractions, cultural inhabitants, museums, strict layout of streets, the special spirit and a cool climate. It is the oldest city in Tenerife. Conquistador Alonso de Lugo put the capital into the depths of the island: it was safer for the coast of pirates terrorizing. The capital of the present - Santa Cruz - at the time settled for a modest role of the port of La Laguna. In La Laguna settled aristocracy and the higher clergy, which could not but affect the architectural appearance of the city: these luxury villas in Tenerife nowhere else built. Well, except that in Garachico, who is now only compares ... Surprisingly, the historic center of La Laguna survives to this day in the same way, how it was created hundreds of years ago. Not some houses miraculously survived, as in other towns of the island, and entire neighborhoods. All the "old town" is declared a World Heritage Site and is protected by UNESCO. Despite the fact that La Laguna literally overflowing vivid examples of folk architecture, all its monuments can be viewed in just a few hours. It is worth to see the Iglesia de la Concepción (XV-XIX centuries.) - First church in Tenerife, has incorporated over the years of the construction elements of virtually all known architectural styles, the Museum of History of Tenerife on Calla de San Agustin (one of the oldest and most picturesque streets of the city ), the Plaza de Adelantado with a monument to José de Anchieta (the native of La Laguna became famous for his missionary work in South America), a lively market and convent Convento Santa Catalina (1611), the Cathedral of Santa Iglesia Catedral (1913) to the grave Alonso de Lugo (Spanish conquistador, considered the leader of the local conquest), and the Museum of science and space in the southern outskirts of the city. Although Old Town is considered to be the main point of attraction of La Laguna, it lies to the south of the University District is the most picturesque area of the city. This grid of old streets, completely built-up bars, cafes and bookstores, from 1701, is considered the center of social and educational life of the city. The very same campus, transferred to the motorway area in 1950, has no special beauty and is rarely visited by tourists. Coat of arms of La Laguna is almost the same as the coat of arms of Tenerife he established and has not changed since then, when the city was the capital of the island. The shield shows the erupting volcano Teide on the ocean waves, the Archangel Michael, the castle and the lion. All this symbolizes the island's accession to the crown of Castile and the conversion to Christianity under the patronage of St. Michael. A walk through the historic center of La Laguna will begin with a cozy Plaza del Adelantado (Plaza del Adelantado) with a fountain in the middle. Since there is a town hall, it is the main city square. The most gloomy building on the square - Palacio de Nava (Palacio de Nava) - soon to be the exclusive property of the state Paradores network. And in the ever-memorable days of it going to prominent intellectuals for intelligent conversations. Among its religious buildings especially impressive Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (t. E. Our Lady of the healer, it is called the Cathedral of La Laguna), Santo Domingo Church (dedicated to St. Dominic) and the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (Immaculate Conception the Blessed Virgin). In the last you will see exquisite carved wooden ceiling in Mudéjar style and exceptional wooden pulpit of the XVIII century in baroque style. You can also visit the church of Santo Cristo (Holy Christ) and the chapel of San Miguel (dedicated to St. Michael). To the left of the palace is Santa Catalina convent (Convento de Santa Catalina). Behind its walls carefully preserved imperishable body of nuns known as La Servite (La Siervita or Sor Maria de Jesus). Even during his lifetime, it was glorified by miracles of healing. And after his death in 1731 with her body ... nothing happens. Every year on February 15, thousands of believers and curious lined up in a long line along the walls of the monastery, to see with their own eyes a glass sarcophagus. And the right of the Palacio de Nava is another palace, but later built (beginning of XIX century.). It used to play for money in gambling. While rustling cards are no longer heard, behind the well established name of Casino La Laguna. La Laguna is also the cultural and religious center, because here are the San Fernando University and Bishop's Palace. In addition, the whole city is full of outstanding architectural monuments, palaces and traditional houses XVII and XVIII centuries. Almost every house in the center of La Laguna has its own name, and you can remember that one of his stories. Among other noteworthy on its way you will encounter a large Cathedral - the main temple of Tenerife. It buried the conquistador Alonso de Lugo - a man who has won the island. He did not give rest to the glory of Columbus, but he decided to celebrate his name is not the discovery of new lands and the subjugation of the long-known. Not the first time the truth (in 1494 during a failed assault Guanche aptly cast stone Commander knocked out most of his teeth), but two years later still happen. The mansion of the XVI century Casa Lercaro (Casa Lercaro) is now in the Museum of History and Anthropology. And before that it belonged to a respected merchant family in the city of Lercaro, Italian origin. Catalina, the daughter of the head of family, wanted to marry one of the very rich and noble, but the nasty old man. On the wedding day she jumped into the well, equipped in the yard. She was buried in one of the rooms: the church believed that suicide is not a place in the cemetery. Family after the event moved to La Orotava, a ghost Catalina since then wanders through the halls of the museum. But the museum itself is dedicated to "Spanish" period in the history of Tenerife, ie, the last five centuries. Within the municipal district of La Laguna also includes the city of Tejina and Valle Guerra, who along with Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo is located among the rich farmland. Tourists from the south without a car, we recommend that you get to Santa Cruz on the bus and the tram (the stop is near the bus station), the terminus of Avenida de la Trinidad is located close to the old town. Then go ahead, three hundred meters in the direction of the tram - and we are in the heart of the historic city. Adelantado Square - to the right, the cathedral - on the left. Well, the problem with the car travelers is to ensure to find free parking near the Adelantado Square. A visit to La Laguna provides automobile route №2. Museum of the History of Tenerife: Tuesday - Saturday from 9:00 to 20:00 Sunday, Monday from 10:00 to 17:00 Entrance - € 5 www.museosdetenerife.org www.aytolalaguna.com Around La Laguna On both sides of the towering ridges Lagoon Montañas de Anaga (Masisi de Anaga) - one of the most spectacular mountainous regions of the island. Geologically it is the oldest part of Tenerife, so low (1600 m) mountains are cut by dozens of deep valleys that cut overgrown laurel ridges like a knife blade. Tiny terraces, created by the hands of ancient Guanche, give these mountains a special charm, and many old farms, was almost ruined by the end of the XX century, turned into a comfortable pension and ecoresort. The tiny village Chamorha is now a recognized center for hiking, where in all directions scatter dozens of scenic routes, reaching the rocks Roque Bermiho, the lighthouse Faro de Anaga, terraced valleys Cabeza del Teho, three hundred meters big rocks near Las Palmas and Punta El Hidalgo, a pine-covered mountains of La Esperanza, in thickets famous for dragon tree village El Drakilo, as well as natural caves Chinamada.