A stunning house

This is the magnificent César Manrique‘s house from Lanzarote island. It’s situated in Taro de Tahìche, only at 5 km North of Arrecife, the capital of the island and it’s a perfect combination between the natural and artificial; the house was built on lava soil, directly into the volcanic rock and comprise two levels. The first level is a modern type building (now turned into a painting museum), but the true spectacular level is the second, underground level which has been made 100% into the lava stones. For his purpose, Manrique used empty underground volcanic gas bubbles to set up rooms. The “ground floor”, more appropriately titled the “basement”, contains five areas situated within volcanic bubbles, the rooms bored into volcanic basalt. There is a central cave which houses a recreational area, including a swimming pool, a barbecue and a small dance floor.

Once outside the main house, the visitor comes to the outside area, where there is a small square with a fountain in the middle before approaching a small café area and the visitor shop. This area was once César Manrique’s garage.

Now, the house is the headquarter of César Manrique’s Foundation and it’s open to public as a museum. If you’re in Lanzarote, this is a must-see. Enjoy the pictures I took there and, at the end of them, you can see a short movie that I captured during my visit.

The entrance:
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Los Hervideros

Los Hervideros or the place where the hot magma meets the ocean is a special point on the Lanzarote’s touristic map. “The boiling (pot of) water”, as it’s the direct translation from Spanish, has its origin back in time when the volcano Montañas del Fuego erupted in 1730 for 6 years (2056 days, exactly), covering approx. 200 square kilometers and extended to the western coast along a 20km wide front. The eruption spit between 3 and 5 cubic km of lava. During the 6 year eruption, more than 30 volcanic cones were formed in at least 5 eruptive phases, aligned along a volcano-tectonic fracture more than 14 km long. The eruption destroyed fertile land and 26 villages; the resulting famine eventually forced the majority of the population to leave the island. Most of the leaving families settled down in Texas (US) and put the bases of the San Antonio city (the seventh larger city in US). There is a monument in San Antonio that commemorate its Spanish Canarian roots.

Back to Los Hervideros, the road, the balconies that make the access possible near the confrontation of the lava and the ocean are all done thanks to the great man, César Manrique. Enjoy the photos.

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Teguise

It’s the old capital of Lanzarote, a small town in the north part of the island. Every Sunday there is a market taking place on the narrow streets of the oldest town of the island and it’s a good opportunity to buy amazing volcanic semi-precious stones and other exotic Canarian handmade items. To reach Teguise, from Arrecife or Puerto del Carmen, there is a local bus (I think it’s the same thing if you’re in Playa Blanca) or, if you want to have fixed hours to leave Teguise, you can buy a bus ticket from a trip company. On the road to Teguise, you will pass through Nazaret, an even smaller village, where Omar Sharif  made his sumptuous house in 70’s and lost it after only 2 months at a card play. There is an interesting story about Omar Sharif and Lanzarote… he loved the island and he was decided to relocate there, but after loosing his house, he never returned. That was dramatic, I think, not only because he lost his house, but that house was made after César Manrique‘s (his good friend) architectural plans.  I will tell you more about César Manrique, the man who made Lanzarote a special place. His intake was gigantic on the face of the island, in all the aspects and he’s a hero on that island.

I keep some nice and interesting stories about Lanzarote for the next posts, there will be so many… For now, take a look at the Teguise streets, church and traditional dances. You can click on the photos for a larger view (not maximum, but still larger). Enjoy!

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