While checking my inbox I noticed a comment asking, “Do you know the ghost town of Abades in Tenerife?” Of course they were not really referring to ghosts (or perhaps they were) but I took it to mean the strange, abandoned buildings overlooking Abadas – and Tenerife, like most places, has its fair share and many are sadly in danger of being forgotten.
The one most people know is referred to above. It was originally designed as a leper colony towards the end of the Spanish Civil War. With the progression of medicine, it was never used for the sick and slowly deteriorated until the 1960s when it was used by the military for a short while. It is only as you get close you realise it is made up of over 40 buildings including a hospital, a school and houses as well as a church. This is the most visible but unsurprising as Catholicism was hugely important in the Franco regime and probably the reason why the cross on the church it is so large.
Casa Fuset / Casa Franco
High on a ridge in the Anaga Mountains surrounded by thick laurel forest is another abandoned building, this time a house. Its official name is Casa Fuset but I suppose because of the relationship between the owner Don Benito, whose daughter married General Franco’s friend and administrator Lorenzo Martinez Fuset it is known as Casa Franco. The house was built in the early 1940s and it is believed Franco stayed there on several occasions. It was in good condition until the 1980’s when it started to decline and now it is only a matter of time until it is forgotten forever.
Hacienda La Gorvorana
Located in Los Realejos La Gorvorana, was once a proud landmark in north Tenerife. Built by Francisco Gorvolán who accompanied Fernandez Lugo in the conquest of Tenerife, it is now abandoned and in an advanced state of ruin. This once beautiful 17th Century property has been vandalized and robbed by trespassers who have destroyed everything in this historic building
El Semaforo de Igueste
On an outcrop of land, overlooking the sea at Igueste is the derelict El Semaforo (semaphore station). It was built in the late 1880s for Lloyds of London and was run by the Spanish Government until it closed in 1971. Its purpose was to signal the activity of ships in the area by a system of flags displayed from the tall mast. The employees also reported the weather conditions at sea. In 1979, the building was abandoned and as it is completely open, it rapidly declined. It is such a lovely building in its stunning location, it would be a tragedy to lose it, but no doubt, that is what is going to happen.
The Old Pumping Station Gordejuela
There is an abandoned industrial plant near Los Realejos called Gordejuela. The five floors of stunning architecture are part of our industrial heritage as this is the first pumping station in Tenerife and was built by a British company, Hamilton’s in 1903. Today, all that remains on the top of the cliff is a ruin and a winding staircase. Sadly this once beautiful building is slowly being demolished by the battering of the wind and weather.