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Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927, Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands.In 1927 the Crown ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present.Castillian forces under the Adelantado ("military governor") de Lugo suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Guanches in the First Battle of Acentejo on , but defeated them at the Second Battle of Acentejo on 25 December 1494.The Guanches were eventually overcome by superior technology and the arms of the invaders, and surrendered to the Crown of Castile in 1496.

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In 1492 the governor of Gran Canaria Francisco Maldonado organized a raid that ended in disaster for the Spaniards when they were defeated by Anaga's warriors.

Juba II and Ancient Romans referred to the island of Tenerife as Nivaria, derived from the Latin word nix (nsg.; gsg. nives), meaning snow, referring to the snow-covered peak of the Teide volcano.

Later maps dating to the 14th and 15th century, by mapmakers such as Bontier and Le Verrier, refer to the island as Isla del Infierno, literally meaning "Island of Hell," referring to the volcanic activity and eruptions of Mount Teide.

The menceyes within them formed what would be similar to municipalities today.

Tenerife was the last island of Canaries to be conquered and the one that took the longest time to submit to the Castilian troops.

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