César Manrique

César Manrique is Lanzarote's renowned artist and local hero!

He was determined to achieve the unique harmony between man and nature and to create sustainable tourism. César Manrique battled to achieve this and his importance to the island cannot be over-emphasised. His creative works can be found all over the island, which he made look so good. His commitment to the preservation of the environment, the traditional architecture of the island and to develop tourism in a sustainable way was and remains second to none.

""To me it was the most beautiful place on earth and I realised that had they seen the island through my eyes they would have agreed with me. From then onwards I was determined to bring the beauty of Lanzarote to the attention of the whole world". César Manrique

Where to go and what to see

Castillo de San Jose (San Jose Castle), Arrecife.

Restoration carried out under the supervision of César Manrique. Now houses the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Modern Art Museum) - holds exhibits of Manrique, Picasso, Miro and there's the castle restaurant downstairs, with large glass windows framing Arrecifes port.

Fundacion César Manrique (Manriques house), Tahiche.

César Manrique built his house here. It really has to be seen to be believed. He lived here until 1987 and later left it to his fellow citizens as a foundation.

Mirador del Rio.

Mirador del Rio is 479 metres high in the extreme north of Lanzarote.There's a look-out point with breathtaking views of the island and Graciosa. César Manrique cut a hollow into the mountain and placed a restaurant inside. A vast window conceived by Manrique provides a view of sea and sky so stunning it seems unreal.

Los Jameos del Agua, near Arrieta.

Our personal favourite of all Manrique's installations! "Jameo" is an indigenous word used to refer to a big cave, hollow or volcanic bubble which has burst open giving access from above. Almost 70 metres below ground level is a huge lava cave which houses a lake below sea level where small blind albino crabs live. There's also the outstanding auditorium with seating for an audience of 600. A festival of Visual Music takes place each October. Check press for dates and times.

Jardin de Cactus, Guatiza.

At the foot of the Guatiza mill, César Manrique coneived the Jardin de Cactus, a study centre for the flora of the area. The garden is in the shape of a Roman circus. Along the stone paths and between the black ash are over 1,400 species of cactus and almost 10,000 plants.

Museo del Campensino, San Bartolome.

Only a 5 minute drive from Finca Malvasia is the Museo del Campensino. The monument designed by César Manrique as a homage to the forgotten efforts of the unknown peasant workers of Lanzarote. It features the 15 metre high sculpture designed by Manrique, and made by Jesus Coto in 1968. There is also the restored and enlarged cottage which Manrique developed in order to see the old way of island life reflected faithfully. There's also a restaurant; sample the tapas upstairs in the bright sunshine or head downstairs for a true Canarian feast!

Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, the National Park.

It covers a surface area of 542 sq kilometres and was created in 1974 as a protected area where volcanic activity had been the most intense. César Manrique designed the Resturante el Diablo (The Devil), a circular building with a facade covered in volcanic stone. The 5 metre deep well provides the restaurant kitchen with a natural oven where the temperatures reach between 80 and 200 degrees C.