Tag Archives: Lanzarote

Tahiche and Teguise on Lanzarote in the Canaries

In the port city of Arrecife, on Lanzarote, Canary Islands, we visited three very different venues: Tari de Tahiche that houses the work of Cesar Manrique, Teguise, and the piracy fort that overlooks this small city.

Cesar Manrique is known world wide for his contemporary art manifested as paintings, sculpture, murals, and architecture integrated into and adapted to various natural environments. We were able to view a collection of his works housed in Tari de Tahiche. The site was actually his very impressive home that he remodeled into a museum prior to his death in 1992.

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Not only did Manrique build the two-story house on a lava flow from volcanic eruptions (that took place between 1730 and 1736); but also, he literally carved out the basement/lower level from five very large natural volcanic bubbles or lava caves. These bubbles are connected by means of small passageways (painted in black and white) that were bored into the lava flow. The cave in the center of the lower level includes a pool with a free-form stone bridge from one side to the other, a small dance floor, built-in cushioned benches and more, all decorated with abundant plant life.

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 The upper level contains large picture windows that provide panoramic views of volcanic lava. Also included are terraces, gardens, and many of Manrique’s work including paintings, wood pieces, and other materials.

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Actually, neither description nor photographs can do justice to the building and surrounding environment designed as a home to be lived in, not as a museum to be visited. It simply has to be experienced.

Next stop was the fortress of Santa Barbara that dates back to the middle 1400’s, when it was built as a defensive watchtower against pirate attacks that plagued Lanzarote during that time. Today, the fortification has been turned into the Piracy Museum that focuses on the “study of piracy in Teguise and international piracy in the Canary Islands.” The fort has a commanding view over the city of Teguise out to the Atlantic ocean.

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The city of Teguise also provided a feast for our eyes, with so many pieces to photograph that were reminiscent of cities long ago.

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