Any inquisitive traveler will immediately understand that the district of San Francisco is more than just a little maze of backstreets in the city of Telde. San Francisco drops clear hints of its history right at the feet of visitors. Signs pop up telling you all about the past, and the legacy provided by chroniclers and inhabitants of the area, all carefully preserved to the present day.
The crosses that are placed all along this circular route have a reason for being there. The monteras, or mounting steps, and the names of the streets are all symbols which hark back to the origins of San Francisco. It was a neighbourhood of craftsmen, an old Jewish quarter inhabited by those who worked for the bourgeoisie from the nearby district of San Juan, and where the Christians settled.
The only original entrance to San Francisco is located on Carlos E. Navarro street. From this point, the route seems to take us into a journey through time. It takes us around the backstreets named by poet Julián Torón. Present-day notes together with ancient ones will transport travelers to a point where the past and present meet.
We come to the Cruces del Vía Crucis, so called in honour of the Franciscans who settled there in 1610. They stand in their original spot, following the route they took. At this hub of respect, contribution, restoration and integration, a whole new symbol has been added to the crosses. Each of them is different, no two are the same; “Each one carries his unique cross… don’t ask for someone else’s, it could be worse”.
A little further on on our round route, we come to the house of Julián Torón, one of the city’s leading figures, and member of the Escuela Lírica de Telde, who was a dynamic force behind much of the culture of the time. We also come to an amazing laurel tree from the Indies which is over 70 years old, right at the point where the five main streets meet up, streets in which you can lose yourself, then easily find yourself again.
Along the way we will surely come across one of the five monteras, still located in their original position. They are just three steps that don’t seem to make sense, but they used to. They were there to save ladies from physically touching servants when they were mounting a horse.
In the Plaza de los Romeros everything opens out. We cross over the doorstep of years gone by and suddenly hit reality. This is an open space where we have unrestricted views, a place to see and to be seen. If we look out over the viewpoint, as well as the settlements of Tara and Cendro to our left, we will also come to the Bridge of the Seven Eyes to our right, built in 1868 by Juan de León y Castillo.
Why not let yourself be seen in San Francisco!