La Matanza

La Matanza, Tenerife - site of a great battle

La Matanza means 'the slaughter' in Spanish and its name derives from a fierce battle fought there in 1494, in which the invading Spanish suffered a bloody defeat at the hands of the native Guanches, their last great defeat before the island finally fell to the conquistadores.

These days the town is better known for its collection of rustic bodegas, tapas bars and weekend farmers market, where the locally grown bananas and other fruit and vegetables are of the highest quality.

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The town is typically Canarian, quiet and unhurried and with some magnificent views of the Atlantic coastline.

La Matanza is part of the Tacoronte-Acentejo wine region, which is widely regarded to produce some of the best wines on the island, reds with a rich, fruity and heady quality.

The countryside that makes up the rest of the La Matanza municipality is ideal for hiking, with parts of it rising to over 1,000 metres, while the coastline is dotted with rocky coves and isolated beaches.

The much bigger resort of Puerto de la Cruz is just a short bus or taxi ride away and the island capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is also easily accessible.

Churches in La Matanza de Acentejo

San Antonio Abad
The hermitage in the nearby village of the same name dates back to the time of the Spanish conquest.

The parish church is much more recent, erected to replace the previous building, which was destroyed by fire in June 1936.

The Civil War prevented its immediate replacement but work started on the three-nave new church as soon as hostilities ended.

Sculptures by Mariano Benlliure were chosen for the interior of the church because the old religious works had perished in the fire.

Eating out in La Matanza de Acentejo

Casa Juan Ahumadero
A cosy and friendly atmosphere characterises this typical Canarian fish restaurant, with as many as 12 different types of fish on the menu at any given time.
Tuesday to Saturday, 12.30-3.30pm and 6.30-10.30pm, Calle Acentejo 77

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