Witness to the history of Santa Cruz throughout the 20th and 21st centuries and declared a Site of Cultural Interest (BIC), the Masonic Temple of Tenerife It stands like a ruined building with a past, not only majestic, but unique in its category.
Located on Calle San Lucas in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, it was inaugurated in 1904 and its construction took a total of 23 years, since the work lasted from 1900 to 1923, based on the project plans of the architect Manuel de Cámara and Cross for the use of Lodge Añaza 270, which had its own free school inside the building.
Actually, the Lodge Añaza 270 was the result of several changes of auspices, from that of the Great Iberian East to that of the Spanish Great East although in 1931, being part of the Grand Lodge of the Canary Islandsa division of the Lodge Añaza 270 expels the members of the other faction (Añaza 1) as they are smaller in number.
General Franco’s coup d’état is a severe blow to Freemasonry, which sees its members being persecuted and its buildings, in the best of cases, occupied. When not looted and destroyed.
Arrival of the Franco
In September 1936, Francisco Franco signs the first decree against Freemasonry in Spain. The Masonic Temple of Tenerife passed into the hands of the Spanish Falange to later become the warehouse of the Military Pharmacy. Within that use by the military, it would also be an optician and a place where soldiers could spend the night.
The barracks were located in the upper area of the building, while the Hall of Reflections, when occupied by the Falange, could be visited. Of course, upon payment of an entry.
Fortunately, the Tenerife Masonic Temple remained standing, making it unique in Spain, since other lodge buildings were demolished. In democracy it came to house a military court, until it was completely closed in 1990.
The Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council acquired the building from the State in 2001 for a price of 470,000 euros, thus beginning a stage of delays in all the rehabilitation projects that have left the building in total abandonment, although it conserves vestiges of its past grandeur.
Hidden gems and treasures
The strong symbolism of the Masonic temple of Tenerife makes it a unique building. Egyptian-inspired, four effigies made by the sculptor Guzmán Compañ Zamorano stand out on a three-part façade, with enormous columns covered with a large triangular pediment. The All-Seeing Eye, which represents the Great Architect of the Universe, appears on that pediment with a striking eye from which rays come out. Also noteworthy is its access door, made of wood, with geometric motifs.
After a vestibule, the Hall of Meetings, of which the mosaics on the floor, the columns and a space above the hall are preserved, is presented in a Masonic temple in Tenerife whose true jewel is the Chamber of Reflections, which is located in the basement and that it is made in a natural volcanic tube. Upstairs there are several rooms, while the Banquet Room is on the second floor.
The latitude of the Masonic Temple of Tenerife, 28º north, coincides with that of the Monastery of Santa Catalina on Mount Sinai, in Egypt, where Moses would have received the Tables of the Law according to believers.
Unfortunately, the history of the Masonic Temple of Tenerife is the history of innumerable rehabilitation projects, as well as projects that sought to return to Santa Cruz one of its greatest jewels, unknown even to many of its inhabitants.
A agreement between the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Government of Spain will make it easier for the Masonic Temple of Tenerife to be recovered for the public.
Román Rodríguez conveyed to the representative of his party (Nueva Canarias) in the Congress of Deputies the advisability of presenting an amendment for an amount of three million that was included in the General State Budgets for 2022, approved in the processing of the accounts of the government.
The works projected by the architect María Nieves Febles in the Masonic Temple of Tenerife will focus on the symbolic and material recovery of the Masonic lodge, taking into account its BIC category, in addition to adapting and making the new uses compatible with the heritage character of the building. , contemplating, in addition, the recovery of the spatial and iconographic configuration of the spaces of greatest symbolism, such as the Meeting Room and the Agape Room.
The drafting team contemplates incorporating current construction techniques, in spaces of new creation or of symbolic interest, whose resolution is more advantageous for the final resolution, for which it is added that the spaces will be resolved allowing the public use of the building, according to the regulations in force, accessibility (elevator), fire regulations, structural adaptation to new or future uses and incorporating the necessary facilities, “without distorting the original image, nor being aggressive in terms of its expression, remaining as camouflaged as possible,” he maintains. the architect.