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10 Reasons to Visit Tenerife
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Museums and Culture

The Museum of Man and Nature in Santa Cruz (Calle Fuente Morales s/n, Santa Cruz. Tel: 922 20 93 20) is a big affair, and a must visit on your tour of Guanche sites and history on the Canary Islands. Like the Museo Canario in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, this museum lays bare the archeological finds from pre-hispanic settlement sites on Tenerife and elsewhere in the Canaries. It also explores indepth the flaura and forna of the Canary Islands, with exhibits and information on numerous geologists, naturalists and archeologists who have come to Tenerife over the years. Checkout the weblink right for more details. Written guides in English are provided throughout the museum.

More superb museums in Santa Cruz include the Museo de Bellas Artes (Municipal Museum of Fine Arts) (Calle Jose Murphy 12, Santa Cruz. Tel: 922 24 43 58). Free Entrance! Of particular interest here is the depiction of the landing of Spanish conquerors on the beaches of Anazo, with a rather eccentric looking Alonso Fernandez de Lugo standing by his giant wooden cross. The painting is by Gumersindo Robayna Lazo and dates from 1494 and is typical of smug colonialist art - we see the same image elsewhere in depictions of movement west crushing Native Americans or indeed on the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock. In this painting a Guanche warrior crouches behind a cactus looking on to the pomp and circumstance of de Lugo's landing - crouched and submissive. Catholicism and military might have arrived. Not quite the true picture though - Guanche resistance on Tenerife particularly was relentless and fearsome.

Also in Santa Cruz is the Regional Military Museum, c/San Isidro, 1 (Castillo de Almeida), Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Tel: 922 843 500. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 2pm (free admission). In Puerto de la Cruz checkout the Museo Arqueologico (Archeological Museum) Calle Lomo 9, Puerto de la Cruz. Tel 922 53 58 16. There's a good exhibition on Guanche artefacts here. In La Oratava visit the Museo de Ceramica (ceramics museum) on Calle Leon (tel. 922 32 14 47. open 10am to 6pm Mon to Sat, 10am to 2pm on Sun). Also in La Oratava is the Museo de Artesania Iberoamericana (Iberoamerican Handicrafts Museum). on Calle Tomas Zerolo, Tel: 922 32 17. open from 9.30am to 6pm Mon to Fri, and 9.30am to 2pm on Sat. There's also a gofio mill just outside La Oratava. Checkout the historic Canarian architecture too in captivating La Laguna. The Tenerife museum is also here on Calle Via Lactea s/n. Tel: 922 31 52 65.

The Pyramids of Guimar, Calle Chacona, s/n, 38500 Guimar, Tenerife. Tel: 922 510. Open from 9.30am to 6pm. These prehistoric pyramids bear a strong resemblance to similar pyramids found in Mexico and Peru.

Museo de Historia de Tenerife, Casa Lercaro, c/San Agustin, 22, 38201 San Cristobal de La Laguna. Tel: 922 82 59 49/43. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 7pm, closed on Mondays. Located in cultural centre La Laguna in north Tenerife (the one time capital of the island), this museum gives an overview of social, cultural and economic development from the 15th century. It's particularly interesting for exploring the development of the Spanish colonialists post-conquest.

Museo de Antropologia de Tenerife, Carretera Tacoronte, Valle de Guerra, s/n, 38270 Valle de Guerra, San Cristobal de la Laguna. Tel: 922 54 63 00. Also in La Laguna, this museum is an 18th century Canarian mansion looks at popular culture, with a nod to rural and agricultural history too. On display are allotments, gardens, a wine press and a mill. Also in La Laguna check out the Museo de la Ciencia y El Cosmos, Calle Via Lactea, s/n, 38200 San Cristobal de la Laguna.Tenerife, Tel: 922 31 52 65. In partnership with the Canary islands Institute of Astrophysics, the Science and Cosmos Museum has numerous scientific exhibitions plus a planetarium on-site. (if you really want to see the stars - head over to La Palma for some of the best star gazing opportunities on the planet!) Gran Canaria Art Galleries: Casa Museo de Colón (Columbus Museum) - Colón, 1, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, 35001, Canary Islands, Spain Tel: +34 928 31 2373

Celebrating the life of one of the world's most famous explorers, Christopher Columbus, this large museum is also known for its exhibitions of art works. Featuring a grand Gothic-style exterior and impressive architecture, the museum features a range of historic ceramics, together with extensive memorabilia about Columbus and his many expeditions.

Gran Canaria art gallery open: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 19:00, Saturday - 09:00 to 15:00

Gran Canaria art gallery admission: free

La Baranda Wine Museum, Casa Museo Insular de la Vid y el Vino de Tenerife, Autopista Gra. Del Norte. Km 21, (El Sauzal exit), 38360 El Sauzal. Tel 922 572535 / 922 572542 (Restaurant) 922 563388. Well worth a visit is the La Baranda Wine Museum in El Sauzal, North Tenerife. As well as the Tenerife wine museum here, there's a tasting room and a program of cultural events including classical concerts and talks on wine.

The Tenerife Auditorium is the creation of architect Santiago Calatrava. This impressive piece of architecture has a huge sculptural impact and it is well known as a unique landmark. It offers its visitors the opportunity to admire the architecture as well as being able to enjoy the other natural attractions, such as the sea and mountain ranges that form part of the ancient Anaga Mountains

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