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Gabriel de Belcastel & Puerto de la Cruz Worthy of a Garden of Eden, visting Frenchman concluded 

The life of Frenchman, Gabriel de Belcastel (1821-1890) tells us a lot about Puerto de la Cruz and its popularity in times go by for people seeking a cure for health problems or recuperation.

Gabriel de Belcastel visited Tenerife in 1859, coming to the island for this very reason, but for his daughter, not himself. He was keen to find a place where she could recover her health and we find various information about this through his biography in the works of Nicolás González Lemus Clima and medine: the origins of tourism in the Canaries.

This work tells of the magic of the region of La Orotava and its climate, with an introduction and translation by Cristina G. de Uriarte and Clara Curel published in Ediciones Idea in 2004 in their collection Escala en Tenerife.

From this story, we learn that Belcastel came to the opinion that the valley of La Orotava had a very special and indescribable charm. He felt it was a place for wonderful spiritual meditation and one which captured your heart.

In fact, so taken was he with the area that he said it would be a perfect alternative location for the Garden of Eden.

He remained in Puerto de la Cruz for six months.

Whilst there, Belcastel collected a range of data relating to the temperature, analyzing the variations that developed overnight and variations during the same day, the humidity and the atmosphere and highlighting the beneficial con ditions which Puerto offered during most of the year.

He presented a series of features about Puerto de la Cruz and its benefits, coming to the conclusion that positive results could be achieved in the valley for those suffering from conditions of the lung.

He concluded that of all the known climates so far known, the best was in the valley of La Orotava on the island of Tenerife.

The work of Belcastel reached many people, fulfilling his dream of finding a place which could help and even cure his daughter.

His legacy was the simple idea that if his information could help to save a life or lit “a spark of life in a mother’s heart”, he would be happy with his work.