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La Victoria and La Matanza are in Tenerife North and mean The Victory and The Massacre
The towns of La Victoria and La Matanza are neighbours
There are many interesting towns in the north of Tenerife that are worth seeking out as you travel around the island.
After Santa Úrsula, if you are driving or in a bus or car, the main road brings you to the neighbouring towns of Tenerife North known as La Victoria and La Matanza. They are so close together you need the signpost to tell you when you go from one to the other.
The TF5 motorway and the coastline run below and looking downwards you can see the sea in the distance.
La Victoria means "The Victory" in Spanish and La Matanza translates as "The Massacre," and both names of the towns refer to past battles in the Spanish Conquest of the Guanches.
Photos of La Victoria and La Matanza in Tenerife's NorthClick thumbnail to view full-size
History was made in La Victoria and La Matanza
La Victoria has a road sign with the words “Ruta del Vino” and a map showing that that this region is full of vineyards and where a lot of wine-making goes on.
La Victoria de Acentejo is the full name of the town, and it has a traditional Spanish-style square right next to the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Victoria.
The church was seriously damaged by fire back in 1581 but was subsequently restored and enlarged.
A strong Mudéjar influence can be seen in architecture if you know about such matters, and it is said to be some of the finest in the Canary Islands. The town hall for La Victoria is by the church and it has steps leading up to yet another square.
La Victoria has all that you would expect of a busy modern town with plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, garages, banks, and other local businesses.
La Victoria has regular bus services running to and through it with the TITSA service number 101, from Puerto de la Cruz to Santa Cruz, as well as the 062, from La Orotava to La Laguna, both stopping at the town.
La Victoria de Acentejo refers to a victory by the Spanish forces against the Guanches on 25 December 1495. This had followed by a year and a half, “The Massacre” (La Matanza) that had occurred in El Barranco de Acentejo on 31 May 1494, and was a reversal of success in battle by the Spaniards.
On that occasion, the Guanche warriors had successfully trapped the soldiers led by Alonso Fernández de Lugo and the massacre that then ensued was remembered in the name La Matanza which the nearby town to La Victoria was given.
The coat of arms for La Matanza depicts two sticks above a crossbow, symbolising the victory of the Guanches against the Spanish. Three bunches of grapes are an illustration of the main crop grown in the area.
The main road going through La Matanza is much the same to look at as it is in La Victoria. La Victoria and La Matanza have become busy towns today but they both played an important part in the island of Tenerife’s history.
© 2010 Steve Andrews