Agatha Christie Route – Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife)

During the II International Agatha Christie Festival of Puerto de la Cruz in June 2009, the following route was organised, to visit the places that Agatha Christie frequented during her visit in 1927. See my previous post Following Agatha’s Steps: Canary Islands, February 1927.

You can click on each place’s name for additional information:

The Anglican Church: All Saints Anglican Church is in the Taoro Park and is yet another reminder of the considerable English community which established itself in this area of town in the XIXth Century. The church is built in English neo-Gothic style. The foundation stone was laid on 7th May 1890 by the widow of Mr Charles Spencer. The first design was by the English architect Mr Franey, but it was Walter F. Woods who completed it.

The English Library: The English library in Parque Taoro was started in 1903. Already at the beginning of the 20th century the library was prominent with more than 6,000 volumes.  It was considered by some English authors as: the most important library outside of British territory.

Taoro Park: These gardens were originally owned by the Hotel Gran Taoro, previously known as ‘the mount of misery’ or malpaís. Nowadays they are used as a leisure area for the public.

Hotel Taoro: The first luxury hotel built in Spain, designed by French architect Adolph Coquet and opened in 1890.  It was a popular place to stay for important personages such as Agatha Christie.

Risco Bello Aquatic Gardens: the gardens contain a great collection of exotic plants.  It was designed by its owner, Mr. René, in an act of devotion for the recovery of his sick wife.

Sitio Litre Garden: The oldest private gardens in Tenerife that contains the largest collection of orchids on the island. The mansion dates from 1730 and many well-known personalities have stayed there, including Alexander von Humboldt, William R. Wilde, André-Pierre Ledrú, Sir Richard Burton, Marianne North and Agatha Christie. It is currently open to the public and has the oldest dragon tree in Puerto de la Cruz.

Plaza Viera y Clavijo: This formed part of the impressive gardens of the old, symbolic Hotel Martiánez in the town that was geared up to receive sick and mostly British tourists. Puerto de la Cruz was converted at that time into the first tourist centre furthest south of the island.

Cliffs, mountainside and caves at Martiánez: the 45 metre high Martiánez cliffs are formed with a succession of geological strata made up of different volcanic material; an important historical point of hereditary, ecological, etnographic and archeoligcal values, where abundant artefacts from the Guanche era have been found.

The Martiánez Beach: The only Puerto de la Cruz beach suitable for bathing, the area was completed with the Thermal Palace (1912-1936).

The Martiánez Coast Swimming Pool Complex:  The real tourist emblem of Puerto de la Cruz is the Municipal Complex ‘Costa de Martiánez’, a modern and comfortable collection of large artificial seawater pools designed with an uniquely integrated architectural style by the Lanzarote artist, Caesar Manrique.

Paseo y Ermita de San Telmo:  The San Telmo walkway on the sea front is a picturesque commercial and pedestrian route.  It gives access to a cove of the same name, with natural seawater pools, and is one of the most popular swimming areas among the residents.  At the end of the walk is the San Telmo hermitage, founded around 1780 by the Maritime Guild and dedicated to the Dominican father San Pedro Telmo, patron saint of mariners.

Hotel Monopol: Constructed in 1742, belonged the family Betancourt-Molina where the prestigious and universally known engineer Augustine de Betancourt-Molina, father of the modern engineering, was born.  Later it was known as “House of Dance and Theatre” for its theatre productions among the British Community.

Hotel Marquesa: Ancestral home of the family Valois-Cologan that dates from the 18th century (1712) was a museum where all the household goods and furniture of the Irish family were housed. It became the first hotel in Puerto de la Cruz and among some of its clients were famous scientists, like Alexander von Humboldt and musician Charles Camile Saint-Saëns.

The route ends at the Plaza de laIglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia: A 17th century church that houses some of the most venerated images in Puerto. el Señor del Gran Poder de Dios and la Virgen del Carmen, among others treasures.  Every July Puerto holds its most important festivities in honour of these two images.

See also:1927. Agatha Christie an enigmatic visit to Tenerife?.

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