It was in Tazacorte where the Castilian conquerors landed in 1492 and built the first settlements in the Aridane Valley, as this was the location of the most fertile lands,
the Tazacorte River and La Caldera, the only watercourse, and a coastline that provided accessible communications with overseas. Sugarcane soon became the main crop of the Hacienda de Abajo, located in Tazacorte, which is the first, the oldest, the richest and the most productive sugar plantation in La Palma, as evidenced by Professor Jesús Pérez Morera. Ingeniously built in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century by Juan Fernández de Lugo, nephew of the nobleman and conqueror Alonso Fernández de Lugo, this plantation was bought in 1509 by the German company owned by the Welser family, financiers of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. It was then sold in 1513 to their partners Jacome de Monteverde and his uncle Johann Biess for 8,000 gold florins. Once the sole proprietor of the estate, with all its lands and waters from the sea to La Caldera de Taburiente, Jacome de Monteverde became the most important landowner in La Palma, thanks also to the sale of the coveted sugar crop in Antwerp, the international trading hub of the time. Due to this bustling trade activity, La Palma received a collection of Flemish sculptures and paintings in the sixteenth century, which today is still the most important in the Canary Islands.
The hacienda built by Monteverde (the last sole proprietor of the Hacienda de Abajo) and extended by his heirs was a residential and industrial complex with a central area featuring the houses of the noblemen. Their main entrance was to the east, while a huge terrace-viewpoint to the rear looked westward and commanded stunning views towards the sea, the cane fields and the sugar mill. Inside, it was decorated with truly sumptuous yet functional objects imported from Flanders and Andalusia, thanks to the trade relations symbolised by the old mill that was ultimately dismantled in 1840. Over the years, other buildings were added to house the members of prominent families who, by marriage or sale, had become part of the close-knit group of owners of the Hacienda de Abajo. These families included the House of Sotomayor Topete (lords of several regions in Flanders), whose members, thanks to their outstanding traits, noble origins, important marital alliances and opulent inheritances, played an extremely prominent role in La Palma life for several centuries. Their origin on this island dates back to the marriage of Ana de Monteverde (granddaughter of Jacome de Monteverde) to Juan de Sotomayor Topete (nobleman from Cáceres on mainland Spain), whose only son, Pedro de Sotomayor Topete y Monteverde (1595-1655), was the military governor of La Palma and one of the two richest knights on the island. It was Pedro José de Sotomayor Topete Massieu Vandale (1689-1750) who - during his marriage to Catalina Cecilia de Sotomayor Topete y Alzola - built the Casa Principal of Tazacorte, a property added to the marital bond that this lady founded in favour of her second-born son, Nicolás José de Sotomayor Topete Massieu Vandale (1737-1814), and which has continued in the hands of their descendants.