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Teguise is a sleepy town whose history as the islands capital until 1852 can be seen in its palaces and stately homes and wide, cobbled strreets. The town was declared an architecturally historic site in 1980.
Above the town of Teguise, on the Guanapay volcano, is a 16th century castle, the Castillo de Santa Barbara, which was built to protect Teguise against the pirates who were a menace in the seas around the Canary Islands at this time. In the 17th century its size and fortifications were increased. The castle is now a museum dedicated to the Canary emigration to the Americas. Other evidence of the pirates in Teguise is the street called Calle de la Sangre or Street of Blood!
In the town the Palicio Spinola is open for visitors. Its exterior is very simple, a long, white rectangular building. Inside the style is still simple but really very elegant with its polished wooden floors, dark wooden doors and window frames and white walls. The Palacio Spinola was the home of the Governor of Lanzarote in the 18th century.
The Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe is on the main square of Teguise. It is very attractive with its simple white structure with an attached red and black brick tower with a Moorish-looking bell tower on the top.
Two other religious buildings are worth visiting. These are the Convent of Santo Domingo and the Convent of San Fransisco. The Convent of Santo Domingo is beautifully simple inside with white walls and four arches built in red and black bricks. It is now home to a contemporary art gallery. The Convent of San Fransisco is Baroque in style and houses a museum of Religious Art.
A good day to visit Teguise is Sunday when there is a busy market and craft fair with folk dancing.
Places to visit nearby
Of course most visitors to Teguise will be holidaying at the popular nearby resort of Costa Tequise. If you are not then the resort is worth visiting. The resort was designed by Cesar Manrique, a Lanzarote-born artist who has been instrumental in developing Lanzarote as a tourist destination but in making sure that developments are subject to strict planning regulations.
Cesar Manrique was an artist and you can visit his house-museum, the Casa Museo del Campesino just outside San-Bartolomé. As well as various artworks there is an underground volcanic cave that has been converted into a restaruant. There are various other Cesar Manrique installations across the island of Lanzarote.
Haria and the Valley of the Thousand Palms are nearby. This is a popular spot with walkers and there are a couple of excellent view points nearby. At one of them, the Mirador del Rio there is a Cesar Manrique artwork and also a cafe allowing you to savour the views over the sea and the mountains.