THE HISTORY OF TEIDE.
In Las Cañadas is the best record of the history of man in Tenerife, due to the great wealth of archaeological sites.
The Teide and Las Cañadas not only had a spiritual significance for the Guanches, but this area was also a fundamental resource for survival at certain times of the year. In summer, a concentration of cattle and shepherds from all over the island would gather in these high mountain pastures.
The Guanches called Teide “Echeyde”, which meant “abode of Guayota, the Evil One”. According to tradition, Guayota kidnapped the sun god Magec and took him with him to the interior of Teide. Then, darkness took over the island and the Guanches asked Achamán, their supreme celestial being, for help. The god managed to defeat the Evil One, bring the Sun out of captivity and plug Echeyde’s mouth. It is said that the stopper Achamán put is the so-called Pan de Azúcar, the last cone that crowns the Teide.
It seems that the Guanche legend coincides in time with what was the last great eruption on the same peak of Teide.
According to Fernando de Colón in his book “History of the Admiral”, when the caravels passed near Tenerife, on August 24, 1492, in their stopover in La Gomera on their way to America, they saw great flares coming out of the highest mountain of all the islands.
In 1798, the last great eruption took place within the limits of the National Park and formed the so-called “Narices del Teide” (Teide’s nostrils). During three months, 12 million cubic meters of lava came out of a crack oriented in a northwest-southwest direction on the slopes of Pico Viejo, also known as Montaña Chahorra.
Even today, the impressive volcano, apparently dormant, continues to command respect from all those who reach it.
Its majestic mass is the soul of the National Park, and the center of this land dominated by an absolute climatic tyranny. Teide is not considered extinct, since it is still possible that its entrails may burst again, although geologists consider the probability of this happening to be very remote.
On the other hand, it is necessary to highlight the names of some men without whose work the exquisite flora of this area would not be known. The first naturalist who studied the flora of the Park was the German Alexander von Humboldt, who spent the winter of 1799 to 1800 in the Canary Islands. The first valid description of the Teide Violet was made by Feuillée in 1724. During the 50’s of the 20th century it was the Swedish Sventenius who focused on the vegetation of the National Park.
In 1954 the creation of the Teide National Park was declared by decree, with the purpose of protecting a landscape of impressive beauty that, together with the special geological particularities and the peculiarities of the flora and fauna that it supports, make it worthy of this declaration. In 1981 the Teide National Park was reclassified (Law of March 25). In 1989 the Council of Europe awarded the National Park the European Diploma in its highest category. This award for management and conservation has been renewed in 1994, 1999 and 2004.
On July 2, 2007, the Teide National Park was included in the World Heritage List as a Natural Property, following the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention held in Christchurch, New Zealand.