Nuestra Señora de Africa (Our Lady of Africa Market in English) also known as Recova in the commercial heart of Santa Cruz, opened its doors on 4 January 1944 because the old market, Recova Vieja located near the Guimerá Theatre, was no longer big enough.
The architect was Enrique Marrero Regalado, who was also responsible for the Basilica in Candelaria and he acquired the project by winning a competition. The market took just 6 months to complete and cost half million pesetas. (Today that would be something less than €3000). It is named in memory of the wife of General Serrador, Commander in Chief of the Canary Islands’.
There are numerous beautiful buildings in the city and none more so than the colonial style market. There is nothing really reminiscent of Africa, no snakes or camels. Its arch leads to large courtyards resembling a Spanish plaza or Spanish mission complete with colourful Moorish mosaic tiles and a distinctive pink clock tower.
Spread over two floors, it is much more than a market. A brilliant myriad of colours and shapes. Nowhere else will you find fresher, more exotic and tastier fruit and vegetables. The finest meats, freshest fish, plants, sweets, dairy produce, coffee shops, restaurants a bakery and plenty of herbs and spices all making the market an oasis that enchants your senses with its colours, perfumes, smells and the sound of happy chatting locals.
On Sunday mornings, the market is, if possible, even more lively. The streets around throng with hundreds of stalls at the colourful “El Rastro” (flea market).
You will find the African Market located near the bridge over the Barranco Santos next to La Noria and opposite the T.E.A museum. It is a part of the history of the city. An unspoilt place with lots of character, that draws tourists and locals like a magnet to the hubbub of its stalls and is snapshot in time of daily life in the city.
A good place to shop for souvenirs is the Blue Rambla outside the main gates with about 30 kiosks.