History of the Abades Leper Colony in Arico

The Abona sanatorium, in Abades (Arico) in the south of the island of Tenerife, consists of more than 40 buildings and was designed in 1943 by José Enrique Regalado Moreno as a sanatorium for lepers. But due to scientific advances in curing the disease, the project was abandoned before it was completed, so it was never used for that purpose.

To access this interesting place, you must do so on foot, since road access is closed. Although this is private property, many people venture onto the shadowy dirt road between the buildings, some in ruins and others half built.

Some locals comment that sometimes strange noises are heard inside the church and its surroundings, which makes the place more mysterious and interesting for adventurers. The place is impressive for its size and for the large number of barracks, including a large concrete church with a style that takes us back to past times.

History of the Abades Sanatorium

After the Spanish Civil War, one of the most serious health problems in Tenerife society at the time was leprosy, a disease that in Tenerife alone accounted for a total of 197 patients. At that time it was believed that the solution to this problem was the isolation of those affected in places that had favorable climatic conditions and that were far from the main population centers to avoid contagion.

In 1943 a population for leprosy patients was projected in the territory of Punta de Abona, with administrative buildings facing the sea, a hospital, a crematorium, lodging buildings and a monumental concrete church, it was the post-war era and the The government considered the construction of the leper colony in the Abades area to be of prime necessity.

This construction was designed by the architect José Enrique Marrero Regalado (Granadilla de Abona in 1897 – 1956) and author of several architectural works on the island such as the Cabildo building, the Market of Our Lady of Africa, the Casa Cuna, the Víctor Cinema and the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria.

The project was abandoned when the arrival of new medicines allowed the effective treatment of this disease and later converted into land for military practices. This area was demilitarized and later sold to an Italian owner in 2002 to create a tourist complex.
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