César Manrique is renowned as one of the leaders of modern art in Spain. A painter, sculpture and architect he created the 7 tourist centres of Lanzarote. A passionate conservationist, he convinced the local government not to allow the construction of high buildings or the use of billboards in order to protect the natural beauty of the island.
César Manrique – Monumento al Campesino
Built in 1968 and designed by César Manrique as a monument and tribute to the traditional farmers of the island. Highlighting typical Lanzarote architecture in the construction and daily demonstrations of local crafts (basket weaving, leather work and pottery) it is a good place to visit to get a feel of ‘old Lanzarote’. The restaurant serves a good selection of ‘tapas’ and is a perfect place to stop for a light lunch on a day trip out.
César Manrique – Jardin de Cactus
Over 1,400 separate species of cactus are planted here in this beautifully landscaped green amphitheater (it is set in an old quarry). The garden is situated on the edge of Guatiza in an area used for cultivating the cochineal beetle from which the red dye, cochineal, is extracted.
César Manrique – Mirador del Rio.
Right at the North of the island César Manrique excavated the top of a mountain to create an indoor lookout with breathtaking views. From its height of 600m you have a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean and the island of La Graciosa. Be sure to go on a clear day to fully appreciate this sight.
César Manrique – Cueva de los Verdes.
This 6km long volcanic gallery was not created by César Manrique but rather by a volcanic eruption approx four thousand years ago. It is one of the longest in the world and in 1964 2km was opened up to the visiting public. Once a place for Lanzarote inhabitants to take refuge from pirate attacks, with subtle, well placed lighting it now forms a must see part of a tour of the island. Manrique was incharge of the design and build project as you see it today.
César Manrique – Jameos del Agua.
Developed as a viewing attraction by César Manrique in 1968, you enter a large open volcanic bubble down a winding rock staircase. The natural shape of the cave creates wonderful acoustics and is used as a setting for concerts with seating for up to 600 people. At the lowest point, a lagoon created by seawater flooding the cave is home to thousands of tiny blind white crabs, sightless after years of living in the dark. At the exit of the cave is a spectacular swimming pool oasis designed by Manrique. With its smooth white edges, artistically placed volcanic rocks and strategically planted palm trees it has been the inspiration for many Natura Design Swimming Pools.
Cèsar Manrique – Castillo de San José.
Originally built in the 18th Century for King Carlos III, it was converted by César Manrique in the 1970’s as a Museum of Modern Art, housing a permanent collection of contemporary art as well as regular temporary exhibits.
César Manrique – Foundation.
César Manrique’s own home is used as the headquarters for the César Manrique Foundation. Built in 1968 when César returned to Lanzarote after 2 years living in New York, it houses many of his own works of art as well as some of his private collection of other artists including Picasso, Miró, Chillida and Klee. Set in 30,000 m² of volcanic lava flow the 1,800 m² of living area has been designed using the natural landscape with some rooms even created out of large natural volcanic bubbles.