Teguise in Lanzarote


Although Teguise ceased to be the capital of Lanzarote in 1852, Its seigniorial air and the beauty of its architecture remind us of its noble past at every moment.

Teguise’s main feature is its unequalled nobility, its old convents and its regal palaces, which make the town that gives its name to the entire municipal area a veritable museum of religious and civil architecture. It is one of the oldest historic localities of the Canary Islands which is easily distinguished by its narrow, cobbled streets, lined with building with wide windows, carved balconies and stone facades. The fact that many of the original buildings, monuments and works of art have disappeared due to the repeated attacks by pirates, (which took place during the sixteenth and eigteenth centuries) does not deprive the municipal capital of even the smallest part of its beauty.

Although it is almost impossible to enumerate the monuments which are worthy of being visited in this area, we mention: the Spinola Palace the Castle of Santa Barbara, situated on the Mountain of Guanapay, which was built in the sixteenth century and is enclaved in the volcano of the same name; the hermitage of San Rafael, the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Convent of the Franciscans of Miraflores where a fine carving, probably of Genoese origin, is preserved. The convent of Santo Domingo and the Temple of Veracruz are other religious building which must be visited. Teguise is the largest municipalilty in size of the island, and like Yaiza and Haría, has a sea front on both sides of the island. The east coast is low with many beaches and small coves and promontories, although in some stretches we can see low cliffs. This part of the municipal area is known as “Costa Teguise” (Teguise Coast) where a large tourist urbanization exists today. The northwest coast has two very differentiated sections: one, low and sandy which corresponds to Penedo Bay, bordered by the white, wide beach of Famara, and the other, high and rocky, of spectacular beauty in relation with the volcanos of Sóo, one of the villages which forms part of the municipal area.

As regards the west coast, here the islets of La Graciosa and Alegranza are situated, which are dependent on the municipality. La Graciosa is the only one which is inhabited and although fishing is the main occupation, the fact is, that there is an ever-growing number of tourist who visit its beaches and their transparent waters. La Alegranza is considerable smaller than La Graciosa, almost half its size, and its only inhabitant is a lighthouse. A strange and unusual place is the “Jameos de Las Palomas”, a deep entry in the south of the volcanic system called “La Caldera” (The Cauldron). Small boats can enter it, as its interior is navigable and it has access to the island of “El Veril” a place where many visitors disembark. Also of interest is the important archeological deposist of “Zonzamas”, with cyclopean alignment and constructions.