Santa Cruz de Tenerife, commonly abbreviated as Santa Cruz, is a city and capital of the Canary Islands, the capital of Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and of the island of Tenerife. Santa Cruz has a population of 206,593 within its administrative limits. within urban area. It is the second largest city in the Canary Islands and the main city on the island of Tenerife, with nearly half the island population living in or around it.
Santa Cruz is located in northeast quadrant of Tenerife, about off the northwestern coast of Africa within the Atlantic Ocean. The distance to the nearest point of mainland Spain is about. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands, until 1927 when a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present. The port is of great importance and is the communications hub between Europe, Africa and Americas, with cruise ships arriving from many nations. The city is the focus for domestic and inter-island communications in the Canary Islands.
The city is home to the Parliament of the Canary Islands, the Canarian Ministry of the Presidency, one half of the Ministries and Boards of the Canarian Government,, the Tenerife Provincial Courts and two courts of the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands. There are several faculties of the La Laguna University in Santa Cruz, including the Fine Arts School and the Naval Sciences Faculty. Its harbour is one of Spains busiest; it comprises three sectors. It is important for commercial and passenger traffic, as well as for being a major stopover for cruisers en route from Europe to the Caribbean. The city also has one of the worlds largest carnivals. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife now aspires to become a World Heritage Site, and is the most important of Spain and the second largest in the world.
The main landmarks of the city include the Auditorio de Tenerife, the Santa Cruz Towers and the Iglesia de la Concepción. Santa Cruz de Tenerife hosts the first headquarters of the Center UNESCO in the Canary Islands. In recent years the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has seen the construction of a significant number of modern structures and the citys skyline is the sixth in height across the country, only behind Madrid, Benidorm, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao.
In 2012, the British newspaper The Guardian included Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the list of the five best places in the world to live.
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