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Last Sunday in Los Cristianos, there was an extraordinarily low tide which revealed large areas of the harbour shore which are normally submerged. A carpet of organic growth was evident on the volcanic bedrock and numerous rock pools, some abundant with marine life stranded by the low tidal recession.
On a busy area of the harbour front there are several old buildings built close to the waterfront, some are perched on stable rock but there is one building which has started subsiding into the harbour. One would not normally see the Los Cristianos harbour side of this building because it is fenced off on both sides but the recent low tide revealed a building with a secret.
Part of a Derelict Building
The foundations of this building have been compromised by wave erosion and large parts of the structure have fallen into the sea. Parts of the floor remain hanging precariously metres above the waves. It is probably fair to say this building should have been condemned for structural instability, yet most of it remains in suspension over the sea.
A closer inspection of this building revealed some concealed inhabitants who would be at great risk should a collapse of the building occur. There was a man from Mauretania standing in the remaining half of a kitchen, the floor has lost all support and defies gravity for the time being. There was a room behind this, presumably where he lives.
Derelict but Occupied
A third room was occupied by a man from Venezuela. The corner of this room had fallen into the sea leaving a wonderful sea view. The man says he has lived in this room for a year or so, he is unable to find sustained work and cannot afford the air fare home.
Another Occupied Room
There was also another room which it appears may once have been shop, an inhabitant may have been out at the time, there was a makeshift bed and evidence of habitation.
Another room had long since been deserted and was full of old furniture and foul smelling refuse.
The Deserted Room
The building itself appears to be quite old and it is probably illegal like many seafront buildings in Spain. It is probably not registered and therefore does not have a responsible owner.
Sadly, the fate of this building is probably already sealed. At the moment the building could probably still be salvaged with some under pinning and rebuilding and it is in a great location for commercial use. It would make a great museum which would probably pay for itself whilst preserving the cultural heritage of the area. If it is lost it will surely be lost for all time. Overall, the building is quite large and most of it appears to be stable except the parts which we photographed.
Whatever happens, the current inhabitants will need to find alternative housing, it must be hoped they will be able to do so before this Tenerife property finally collapses into the sea.
The irony is that this secret building is located only metres from the main Los Cristianos tourist drag. It is also sad that people who would otherwise be homeless have to take refuge in such a dangerous structure. How many other Tenerife Homeless people are there tucked away from Tenerife Tourism?