Sitio Litre Mansion

Sitio Litre

The historic Tenerife mansion known as "Sitio Litre" was erected in the 1730s by Mr. John Paisley a Scottish merchant who used to trade in Canary wine.  In 1774, John Little, nephew of the former, inherited the estate.

As so often happened in the Canary Islands, an English word, in this case a surname, was Canarized transforming the "Little" in to "Litre" and so remained for posterity, as the “Litre Site”.

This remarkable Tenerife historic mansion is located in what once were the outskirts of Puerto de la Orotava. This became the port for wine exports from Northern Tenerife after the eruption of the volcano Arenas Negras in 1706 caused the destruction of the former main gateway port at Garachico. You can find it is placed halfway between the centre of Puerto de la Cruz and the quarter of La Paz.

The Estate is also known for its splendid garden, which today is considered the oldest of the island.

In addition to the garden, the flat and palatial roof topped by a wooden balustrade is one of the most outstanding aspects of the house, enhanced by its charming gazebo, which like an observation tower, served to spot the arrival of the vessels in the distance.

It was customary at that time that he, who first sighted the vessel, had the privilege of trading with it. Similarly, as was usual in the XIX century that these viewpoints became smoking rooms where men sat for long conversations.

With traditional woodworking, green and white awnings and cream walls, this beautiful mansion has been presiding throughout time over many historic moments occurring in the Orotava Valley, as when a farewell party was held at June 23, 1799 honoring, Alexander von Humboldt, after his ascent of Mount Teide, before he continued his journey that led him to the territories of the Spanish Americas.

The mansion which was purchased by Charles Smith in 1856 remained in that family until 1996, when it was sold to businessman John Lucas.

Outside the garden, which we will describe in more detail in another article, perhaps one of the most notable elements of this magnificent Tenerife mansion is the side balcony, already painted by the famous British naturalist Marianne North in 1875, during her stay on the island.