Sanatorio de Abona

Abandoned leper village | Abades Tenerife

Leprosy once was considered a major disease on Tenerife. A leprosy station was first built in the north of the island, where most of the local population lived. The bodies were thrown in the sea outside Santa Cruz until a crematorium was built. In 1943 a whole leprosy village was built on the hill above Abades, including an hospital, a crematorium, many bungalows, an administration’s building facing the sea, and the big concrete church, in typical Franco’s style with a huge cross on the top, that everyone can spot from the motorway. The project was never finished as leprosy was almost eradicated from the Canary Islands as advancements in medical treatments became available at the same time. The leprosy station became a military training facility but the whole place was sold to an Italian in 2002. The church is a ruin but still in good state.