La Orotava's mysterious masonic gardens of Tenerife in the Canary Islands

La Orotava

La Orotava has a certain ring to it. It is an evocative place name and perhaps this is very fitting because of the history of the town.

Not only that, but because of its unique old buildings and ornate Canary Islands architecture that tell a tale in themselves, it is a place that asks many questions of its visitors. La Orotava is a Tenerife town in the north of the island that speaks to us. But what are its secrets?

Masonic garden photos

Beehive
Beehive
Closeup
Closeup
View of gardens
View of gardens
Stylised Omega symbol on the metalwork. The Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and signifies "the end."
Stylised Omega symbol on the metalwork. The Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and signifies "the end."
Door
Door
Mausoleum
Mausoleum
Dragon
Dragon
Gate
Gate

Masonic gardens poll

Would you be interested in visiting the masonic gardens of La Orotava?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I already have done.
See results without voting

In Tenerife's La Orotava is a beautiful masonic garden

In the town of La Orotava in the north of Tenerife in the Canary Islands there is a mysterious and very beautiful masonic garden containing the Mausoleum of the Marqués (Marquis) de la Quinta Roja, Diego de Ponte y Castillo. With the mountains and forests above and the coastline below the gardens offer commanding views over the La Orotava valley and the town itself. This town and garden should be on any list of what to see in Tenerife. La Orotava by bus is an easy way to get there with regular services from Puerto de la Cruz on the coast below.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The gardens offer seven different levels and made me think of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. As you walk up the pathways through the well-kept lawns and floral displays, winding your way upwards past rose beds and fountains, the focus of the entire place is the magnificent mausoleum that towers above everything and is made from gleaming white Lyon marble. It was built by the French architect Adolph Coquet in 1882.

Pineal Gland

Details carved into the marble show vines and what appears to be either a pinecone or a pineapple. The pinecone can be thought to be a symbol of the pineal gland thought to be the bodily location of spiritual enlightenment. Perhaps the use of this symbol was to show that the Marquis had reached such knowledge? The pinecone is also said to be a symbol of rebirth and here may be symbolising the next life of the Marquis?

Freemasons

There is a strong Freemasonic presence on the island of Tenerife and the Marqués de la Quinta Roja was a member of the Taoro Masonic Lodge. After he died at a comparitively early age, it is said that his mother had the mausoleum built but that his widow did not approve of having his remains housed there and it was not used for its original purpose. However, you still cannot help but wonder what is housed behind a mysterious padlocked wooden door that is in the front of the edifice.

Alpha and Omega

Behind the elaborately carved metalwork in the section above this and which bears an Omega symbol signifying "the end" - as used in the Bible where Jesus is described as "the Apha and the Omega" - it is possible to see what is in an inner sanctum, and it is a carving of a beehive, a very important hieroglyphic symbol or emblem in Freemasonry.

The Early Masonic Catechisms printed in 1724 tells us:

"A bee has in all Ages and Nations been the Grand Hierogliphick of Masonry, because it excells all other living Creatures in the Contrivance and Commodiousness of its Habitation or combe; … nay Masonry or Building seems to be of the very Essence or Nature of the Bee, for her Building not the ordinary Way of all other living Creatures, is the Generative Cause which produces the Young ones. (you know I suppose that Bees are of Neither Sex.)

For this Reason the Kings of France both Pagans and Christians, always Eminent Free-Masons, carried three Bees for their Arms."

And it is also said that the original name for a Freemasonic lodge was a hive. The hive is a model of a community all working together to a common purpose and under the dominion of the Queen Bee.

At a lower level of the gardens is an elaborately carved ornate metal gate that stands between two pillars. It leads nowhere though. Behind it is a wall and a carved stone bench or seat. It is like an exhibit, but what does it say? What does it symbolise? Is it saying that stepping between one world and another reveals little in the way of difference on both sides of the doorway? Is it suggesting that the Marquis, had a wonderful garden in this life and would have another in his next one?

Dragon Tree

Walking around these gardens, and in La Orotava in general, the mind is sure to wander and to ask questions. La Orotava has many old historic buildings and examples of Colonial-style Canarian architecture and dragons are often incorporated in designs. The coat-of-arms of La Orotava shows a Dragon Tree and four golden apples said to represent those of the mythical Garden of the Hesperides. A dragon stands guard on each side and above it all is the crown of Castille.

Puerto de la Cruz

Dragons are often found in the architecture and coats-of-arms in Tenerife and the La Orotava's neighbour Puerto de la Cruz, on the coast below, has this reptile in its coat-of-arms.

La Orotava, with its many surviving historic buildings and its steep cobble-stoned streets, lanes and ornate architecture is in many ways like stepping back into the past.

Where is La Orotava?

© 2009 Steve Andrews

More by this Author


Comments 35 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Very Interesting I would love to visit! Thanks


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for reading and posting, GW!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I really learned something today. I once saw a documentary where the design of Washington DC also supposedly had some masonic influence. Thumbs up for a detailed hub/pictures. :D


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

You are welcome, Countrywomen! Yes, the layout of Washington is well known in conspiracy circles for being all based around occult symbols and design. Freemasonry is not as secretive as many people think though because not only do they leave their stamp of workmanship where all can see it but details of much of their beliefs and the symbols they use are all published in books and on websites. You do not have to be a mason to learn a lot of Freemasonry's language.

One thing that has occurred to my mind recently though, which I think could be very important, is that Washington DC, a seat of power, is from the same root as Washitaw, who are the black people who claim and can show much evidence supporting this, to be the original inhabitants of America and to be the ancient mound and pyramid builders there. See my hub on the subject:

http://hubpages.com/education/The-Washitaw-were-th...

 


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Thanks for the quick response and now I will visit that hub too. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Good Hub, man. I will have to try and visit The Canary Islands one of these days. Thanks!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I am glad you liked it, James! Thank you!


lxxy profile image

lxxy 7 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

Beautiful pictures, you do your homework. =)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, lxxy! I have done some more research on Spanish sites and found out what I suspected - that the symbol on the metalwork is an Omega signifying he had come to the end. Apparently, which I missed spotting, way the grounds are actually laid out form geometric symbols as well. I saw something about a priest had refused to accept the Marquis' body being buried in a Catholic graveyard (presumably because he was a Freemason) and that was why his mother had the place built.


lxxy profile image

lxxy 7 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

Crazy interesting stuff. Its amazing what a group of humans can acomplish and leave in the wake of their time on earth; so much mystery and clues. ;)


lxxy profile image

lxxy 7 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

At some point I want to talk about my travels through time. (For example, etherally, I visited the Titanic. Opulent, beautiful ship!) And perhaps I'll take you with me on a couple trips, if you like, we can do a Hubring or some such other. You and I share a lot of the same views and interests, after all. ;)

To the High Desert, or to the Kingdom of Nye... ;)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Uncool as it may be lol I totally enjoyed the Titanic movie and have seen it several times so I'd definitely be interested in your visit there!


fortunerep profile image

fortunerep 7 years ago from North Carolina

The gardens are beautiful and the sculpture unique, good hub

dori


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Dori!


Amanda Berry 7 years ago

Good Hub :)

I don't know whether the term Washitaw has anything to do with the name Washington, but I would assume both Washington DC and Washington State were named after George Washington. George Washington was of course of Welsh descent although the familly name probably came from one of the towns called Washington in the UK there are at least two one in Sussex and one in Tyne&Wear.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks, Amanda! Good point, although the Washitaw material I have looked at says otherwise that Washington is derived from the same word. They also claim that Wichita or Wichitah is the same as Washitaw. One thing I am certain of is that there were black people in the Americas at the same time as and probably before the Native Americans and definitely before the whites.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Here's a link using Washington along with Washitaw:

http://www.geocities.com/maatguidesme2u/daughters_...


Faery King 7 years ago

nice....


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Faery King!


Amanda Berry 7 years ago

"Here's a link using Washington along with Washitaw:http://www.geocities.com/maatguidesme2u/daughters_"

Interesting, totally wrong though. Obviously with something that inaccurate, poorly researched and possibly even deliberately misleading in the first line it casts doubt on the whole thing. Well they don't actually know for certain where the name Washington comes from, it could be Anglo-Saxon or Gaelic in origin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_Tyne_and_... But it certainly predates the existence of the US and is of British origin. So Unless the Washitaw are a lost tribe of Black Anglo Saxon/Celtic Indians that information is just plain wrong.

Saying that I think a lot of official history can be inaccurate and devicive as well, but it's relatavely easy to prove the term Washington is of European origin because there are written records going back over thousands of years which pre-date the establishment of the US.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for that, Amanda! I see what you mean about Washington but that does not disprove that the Washitaw were original black Americans. What do you make of the Olmecs being blacks and the blacks in Patagonia? Makes sense to my mind that if there were black people in South and Central America before the whites, and possibly before the Native Americans and/or contemporary with them, that there could have been black people in the North as well, which is what the Washitaw are claiming. In fact they are saying they were always there and didn't move there or get brought there.


Amanda Berry 7 years ago

Well Yes there certainly plenty of evdence of black Indians in S. America and I don't see any reason why there couldn't have been black Indians in the North to. So no reason to disbelieve the Washtaw idea and claims on that level. I thought it was quite a nice idea :)But Given George Washington is such a well known figure in American colonial history I think one could assume the origin of the name Washington should be fairly widely known to most Americans. I think it would be difficult to see that mistake as an inaccuracy born out of ignorance. Obviously it appears more like an attempt to falsify and distort historical facts according to a political and even racist agenda. Which is the very thing they claim official history to be i.e some kind of white European conspiracy to disenfranchise the poor oppressed Washitaw from their rightful heritage. There may well be an element of truth in that. History can be interpreted in divisive ways to suit the ends of an imperialist power or groups, no argument there. But I don't think it does the Wasitaw case any good to present information as if it's historical fact when it can be demonstrated to be totally false, not just by an interpretation or an opinion of history but by provable bricks and mortar historical facts and living evidence which is in existence to this day in England's Green and pleasant land. Although obviously there's more evidence for Washington having been builded here than there is for Jerusalem lol Although there is Stonehenge :)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Good points as always, Amanda! I was simply presenting the info that I had found. What I knew of Washington was its masonic layout, which is a commonly discussed point in conspiracy research.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

nice place to visit.I am interesting about something that mysterious. fantastic garden.thanks for share


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

You are welcome! Thanks for posting, Prasetio30!


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Very interesting hub. It made me look up a little on the subject. Way to make me think. I like to do that from time to time.Bard, here is a link I found on the Washitaw. Hope you like it.

http://goarchie.com/aashid/washpeop.html


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for reading and posting and the link, Granny's House!


s ramsey 6 years ago

i over heard 3 men talking and they were masons and speaking of sex and architucture-- what did they mean? and does sex and what we build and act upon in life all have a sexual nature? they spoke of how old churches used the symbols of male and female to show how life really is-- thank you in advance for any information ramsey


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Well, yes, my understanding of this is that buildings are often showing male and female symbolism eg an obelisk, a pillar or a tower is phallic and a doorway or an oval shaped building is feminine representing the vagina, circles are female (eggs) and straight lines are masculine. A matriarchal culture usually had round huts and buildings but a patriarchal one uses straight roads and straight walls which are male. Then there are actual symbols and images of gods or goddesses incorporated into architecture. Many buildings combine the two. Sun symbols can be viewed as either male or female depending on your belief system - the sun has been regarded as a god and as a goddess originally so solar worship is worship of the Goddess. A symbol of a cross in a circle would be the Earth and the planet is regarded as female.


White first and Last  6 years ago

The name Washington in its spelling does not exist in any European language,cultural or society. It is ancient Saxon and the correct spelling is Hwaesingatun Scottish heritage passed down by the ancient Moors of Stonehenge how ever it became clear that in dealing with the ancient peoples of what is now called North America (Washitaws) which were Moors also. That in order for the British who were all quiet aware of the Moors in there own country thus the naming of the towns and Kemit-lot that many call Camelot, signs, symbols and crescents. In their acquiring of land here within the royal society existing here among the Moors of North America the name along with the river and Mountain along with not only tangible evidence but treaties that proclaim it(see Treaties of Westphalia, Versailles, Delware,Paris,concession to Russia,Marroco,Easton,Fort Stanwix and Camp Charlotte just to name a few. They Began to use this spelling of this word to hide, distort and manipulate the truth in order to mislead away from the true history of the royalty of North America its indigenous people whom gave England its own royalty. Benjamin Chew and the family of Chews whom were DE Cheux decedents directly related (see historical society of PA Papers) to the Rapunui (Asian Pacific Island) royalty also directly related to the Moors as evident through Easter Island in which the so called Washington's family Married into. George Washington was simply the first excepted Chief by the indigenous royalty already present in North American in order to obtain land. This will be hard to except for many whites like myself but if we are able to redeem our honor we must speak the truth for those of us who were apart of the conspiracy. IT IS TRUE. Study Secret Societies such as the Masons or join a Masonic Lodge are chose one of your choice it is foolish to argue something so obvious Hoping we all find our way to redemption now is the hour of Truth.


Ray Cassidy 5 years ago

it's quite funny to see Stanwix dragged into this debate. If we want to follow the etymological roots of that word to just a 150 years ago, it was being spelt as Stanwyxe in many documents. I have seen versions such as Stanwycke on older texts. However I suggest that would be pretty flimsy evidence for a rewrite of royal history ;-)


De'cor Amore profile image

De'cor Amore 5 years ago

Remarkable and well presented article.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you very much, De'cor Amore!


Donna Suthard 5 years ago

What a beautiful Masonic Garden.. What a lovely area to live in..Thank you for a wonderful hub!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Donna!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working