Puerto de la Cruz lies within the territory that formerly, at the time when aboriginals inhabited the islands, was called Menceyato of Taoro. Whereupon, by enjoying a pleasant walk in the streets, you’ll be spotting what was long ago this territory still dominated by the Menceyes.
Which were the existing Menceyatos?
The island of Tenerife was divided into nine menceyatos: Adeje, Abona, Güimar, Anaga, Tegueste, Tacoronte, Daute, Icod and Taoro. Menceyato of Taoro being the most influential of the island.
Characteristics of the Menceyato de Taoro
Which areas covered the Menceyato de Taoro?
The surface of this menceyato was an area of 120 square kilometers that would cover what we know today as La Victoria de Acentejo, San Juan de la Rambla, La Orotava, Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Úrsula and Los Realejos.
Characteristics of the inhabitants
With regard to the number of inhabitants that populated this Menceyato, it was estimated that they were approximately 2,500 Aborigines. They inhabited the natural caves, so common in the rugged terrain and so characteristic of this area of the island, and their life expectancy was 29 years. The Aboriginals, depending on the season, had to move to other areas of the island so that livestock could have the food sustenance necessary.
Capital of the Menceyato de Taoro
It is believed that the most important point of the menceyato, and thus the capital, was the area now known as Realejo Alto.
History of the Menceyato de Taoro
The first moment of history in which we have certainty of Menceyato of Taoro is the late fourteenth century, a period in which died the last one Mencey of Tenerife, an event after which the island was broken up in the nine Menceyatos mentioned above.
After European settlement on the islands of La Gomera and Gran Canaria, there was carried out an assault on the shores of Taoro by the slave trader Lope de Salazar in 1493.
A year later, the conqueror Alonso Fernández de Lugo reached the coast of Tenerife. It was Taoro who led the war troups that stood along with the rest of the Menceyes against the conquerors.
Although initially the scale of the battle decided towards the side of the Guanches in 1495, the losses in the so-called Battle of La Laguna and the second battle of Acentejo decimated quite the aspirations of aboriginals, which also suffered an epidemic that finished definitively their forces.
Peace of Los Realejos
In 1496 the Castilian settlement culminates in the lands of Tenerife after an agreement was reached between the two sides, known as Peace of Los Realejos. La Paz of Los Realejos was the result of the acceptance of peace by Bencomo, Mencey of Taoro, on July 25, 1496, accompanied by Acaymo of Tacoronte and Beneharo of Anaga. The aboriginals accept in this agreement with Alonso Fernandez de Lugo, being Christianized.
The Peace of Los Realejos terminates the conquest of the Canary archipelago, and they became part ever since of the kingdom of Spain.
Who were these Menceyes?
The title “Mencey” was the title of the Guanches (the Canarian aborigines) for the one person that had the highest authority in this ancient society.
Such was the importance of Menceyes over the Guanches, that they possessed civil, religious and military power, and the Mencey owned the entire territory and resources located on it.
After the death of a Mencey it was his brother who replaced him, and if no more brothers remained alive, the power went beyond the next generation, starting with the son of the first brother.
Visit the Menceyato de Taoro
The Menceyato of Taoro is part of history and many things have changed since then in this area of the island. Today, not only has exponentially multiplied the number of inhabitants, but also millions of tourists come here each year, this time not with colonizer desire, but with the intention to enjoy the majestic nature that may be a jewel that still exists and continues to be maintained since the time of the Guanches.
If you want to enjoy an experience in Puerto de la Cruz, full of history, exquisite nature, friendly people and delicious food, you just have to contact us and we will make your stay also be a nice story to tell your loved ones.