Santa Cruz de Tenerife (commonly abbreviated as Santa Cruz) is a major city, capital of the island of Tenerife, Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and capital (jointly with Las Palmas) of the Canary Islands. Santa Cruz has a population of 206,593 (2013) within its administrative limits. The urban zone of Santa Cruz extends beyond the city limits with a population of 507,306 and 538,000 within urban area. It is the second largest city in the Canary Islands and the main city on the island of Tenerife, with nearly half of the island's population living in or around it.
Santa Cruz is located in the northeast quadrant of Tenerife, 210 kilometres off the northwestern coast of Africa within the Atlantic Ocean. The distance to the nearest point of mainland Spain is 1,300 kilometres. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927, Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands, until 1927 when a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present. The port is of great importance and is the communications hub between Europe, Africa and Americas, with cruise ships arriving from many nations. The city is the focus for domestic and inter-island communications in the Canary Islands.
The main landmarks of the city include the Auditorio de Tenerife (Auditorium of Tenerife), the Santa Cruz Towers (Torres de Santa Cruz) and the Iglesia de la Concepción. Santa Cruz de Tenerife hosts the first headquarters of the Center UNESCO in the Canary Islands. In recent years the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has seen the construction of a significant number of modern structures and the city's skyline is the sixth in height across the country, behind Madrid, Benidorm, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao. In 2012, the British newspaper 'The Guardian' included Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the list of the five best places in the world to live. The 82% of the municipal territory of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is considered a natural area, this is due in large part to the presence of the Anaga Rural Park.
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