THE ROYAL VILLAGE OF TEGUISE
Altitude: 360 mts.
Teguise Coat of Arms
Teguise was the first capital of the island. The first Marquis of Lanzarote was born in the Royal Village of Teguise around 1536 and was named Don Agustin Herrera y Rojas. It is said that during one of his excursions to Africa in search of infidels, the Moors kidnapped his wife, Doña Ines Benitez de las Cuevas. On September 9th. of 1567 he was granted the title of Count of Lanzarote and on May 1st. 1584 received the title of Marquis of Lanzarote. At that time the village had 120 dwellings and two churches. In July of 1586 the village was taken by assault by Morato Arráez, who arrived at the island on seven galleons with 400 Turks and scores of Moors who, in the process of the invasion, inflicted serious damage to the castle of Guanapay which had to be later on rebuilt by Leonardo Torriani. In 1618 the village was again assaulted and burned down by the Moorish leaders Jabán and Solimán, who arrived with 5.000 men on a fleet of 60 vessels. Teguise had, at the time, a very well developed industry of the timple, a typical instrument closely related to the ukelele and which was originally called "Camellito" (Little Camel) because of its hump, even though it has been known as timple since ancient times.
At present the Village of Teguise is a typical place where timples made by artisans can be found, as well as restored old buildings made into restaurants. You can get excellent wines and visit an open-air local market every Sunday, where you can find a great variety of goods at bargain prices. (But beware of Rolexes at 5.000 pesetas) There is also a nearby town called Costa Teguise, a busy but very relaxed tourist destination. The main holidays are: January 5th. Epiphany celebration, July 16th. Our Lady del Carmen, and December 24th. Christmas Eve.
This is the town where César Manrique used to live; his house is today the César Manrique Foundation where you can appreciate how nature can be blended with living quarters. On September 25th. 1992 César Manrique died in a car accident at a crossroad.
El Mojón is famous for its superstitions; from ancient times the inhabitants used to fight the Devil with holy water and all kinds of amulets and charms. The local made ceramic is also very famous and in particular the figurines of a bride and groom from Doña Dorotea´s site.
Guatiza dates from the early 1600´s and its first inhabitants used to shave their heads and grow thick beards. The town is full of a prickly pear plant (cactus) that is host to a parasite called "cochinilla"; this parasite is used to manufacture tints and high quality cosmetics.
This island is the largest of the small archipelago surrounding Lanzarote; it has docking facilities at Caleta de Sebo. (capital of La Graciosa) According to Torriani, Don Juan de Bethencourt who, upon seeing the island in 1402, thought of it as cute or gracious gave the name of La Graciosa, which means cute or gracious in Spanish, to it. According to legend there was a Christian warrior, without whom the Crusaders could not achieve the goal of retrieving the Holy Sepulchre, and who was kidnapped from the Christian camp by the beautiful Armida, a pagan witch who ended up falling in love with him and seeking a hiding place in the island, giving later the name of Armida to a mountain. With the passing of time the name Armida was slowly transformed into Amarilla, (yellow in Spanish) and the mountain is known today as Yellow Mountain.
In all probability the name Caleta de Sebo (capital of La Graciosa) has its origins in the abundant fat of terns and sperm whales.
It was a custom amongst the fishermen of the island that, after the catch, the benefits would be distributed in the following manner: equal parts for the actual fishermen; equal parts for the comrades who were ill and unable to go to sea; another part for the unfortunate one who lost his ship in a storm and, to top it all, everyone dropped a couple of coins in the heap of the sick to help buy the needed medicines. As Agustín de la Hoz used to say: "this is real Social Welfare" In 1898 there were 30 fishermen in La Graciosa, living in huts.
Montaña Clara, also called La Mariana, owes its name to the clear glow given out by its whitish colour. There are no means of transportation similar to the one operating between Lanzarote and La Graciosa.
According again to Torriani, Alegranza (joy in Spanish) was given its name by Don Juan de Bethencourt, who felt a deep joy in seeing the Promised Land, but there are no means of transportation to reach this island.
Our ancestors are said to remember , that camels used to plow the field in order to cultivate barley, and there was a flock of goats that provided milk, cheese and meat. Salt was obtained from the large coastal puddles left by the sea.
Some of the native inhabitants used to spend the night in small caves near the coast in order to continue fishing the following day; others helped to harvest the barley.
The articles of clothing were washed with "barilla", a kind of herb with a very wide leaf.
It is said that Don Eusebio Romero learned how to make fireworks from a book, and they were used in Maguez, Haría and even for the first time in San Ginés. He almost lost his life in one occasion while working the black powder.
There was a system used for emergencies in Alegranza that consisted of three kinds of bonfires: one bonfire meant a light emergency; two bonfires meant a serious one, and three bonfires meant a life or death emergency. There were some fishermen who lost their entire catch in order to rush to Alegranza upon seeing the fires.
The owner of the island was Don Manuel Jordán, who also had a gas station in Arrecife.
There was a ship called El Bartolo that provided supplies to the lighthouse.
Circa 1845 tobacco was an abundant crop in this town and it was of an exquisite quality. The last volcanic eruptions were here and what follows is an account of the diary written by Don Baltasar Perdomo, parish priest at San Bartolomé: "On Saturday, July 31st.l824 the volcano erupted in Lanzarote; the Mayor at the time was Captain Ginés de Castro y Alvarez. On the 29th., at about five in the morning, several earthquakes were detected in many towns around the island, but they were of low intensity. On the 30th. there were underground tremors with small fires spouting from the ground, resembling lightning. Some cracks in the soil were seen that morning around Casa Cortijo, home of Presbyter don Luis Duarte, as well as in the road from Tiagua which appeared to be somewhat larger, while the tremors continued. Some travellers noticed these commotions and then, on Saturday the 31st. at seven in the morning, a dust tornado was seen, located behind a small rock formation near the house of Presbyter Don Luis Duarte. Suddenly a violent and upright column of smoke went into the air from the small rock formation, and the same occurrence from another rock to the east next to the road, only in this case fire and lava were seen running to the east and on to the road. After realising that this was a volcanic eruption, the Mayor ordered a general alarm and the church bells were sounded, and the cannons at Santa Barbara's Castle gave three salvos in order to gather the locals to assist in the emergency around the area of the volcano. He also ordered the Councilman, Dean Antonio Barrios, to come to the site to confirm the birth of the volcano and inspect its progress, and at the same time give help to the inhabitants who needed it the most. After doing what he was ordered, Dean Antonio Barrios reported back to inform about the incident. At about half past eight, the Commissioner of Taos reported that around midnight a great tremor was detected in the area, followed by another four or five minor ones and that the smoke coming out of four places had abated somewhat. However the rumbling was more noticeable than other occasions when the smoke to the East spouted out for two hours. The Mayor tried to confirm this report with the neighbours from Tiagua, who were sure about the smoke and the noise but did not notice the tremors in spite of having guards around the volcano area. Smoke continued to come out all day with changes in colour, going from dark to light and vice versa. Presbyter Don Jose Perez said that around nine a very perceptible tremor was felt and events continued without major changes, except in the colour of the smoke, which was whitish at the time, and so night came under these conditions. On August 21st. the smoke was unchanged but it became denser in the evening, later some cracks appeared where the east and central mountains meet and smoke continued to spout from them while big bangs or rumblings were heard underground until sunset. The 22nd.started with a very dense and fetid smoke and at about seven in the morning, water begun to pour out of the existing cracks and creating new ones, and coming down the mountains in such quantity that the sand and rocks could not absorb it, but it was able to run its course without major incidents. The Mayor came to the volcano to inspect the running water and found it to be very salty. The water was probably a consequence of the great amount of steam produced by the smoke and the stones in the mouth of the crater that he inspected, which looked like an enormous planter with even walls, and the continuous smoke hitting these walls made them sweat the water that in turn fell back down into the crater. On the north face he could also observe water coming out and that immediately evaporated on the lava, while smoke and water were pouring out from other parts of the mountain, and at the top he could see many different colours, like a field of flowers. He also saw some big cracks that were impossible to cross, he then ordered some bottles to be filled with water, seal them and then send them to Santa Cruz and Canaria in order to carry out some experiments. On the 29th. the day begun with an increase in the smoke and around noon a great noise was heard in the centre of the island to the West, then a tremendous explosion without warning or tremors before it, and a new volcanic eruption occurred between the towns of Tinajo and Yaiza; the smoke could be seen from the waterfront in Arrecife. The running melted lava sounded louder than the sea pounding the rocks on the shore; stone, sand and smoke were hurled into the sky all the way to the clouds. The sand was coming back down at distances over ten kilometres away and the lava was running like melted lead or tar. On October the 1st. the volcano was as violent as the day before, even more so, and on the 4th. the lava reached the shore and went into the sea, literally frying all kinds of fish and shellfish that came floating to the surface; the water was so hot that it was impossible to step into it"
According to the distinguished geologist Don Telesforo Bravo, the water coming out of the cracks on the ground was actually boiling underground water from the sea, searching for a way out. After these volcanic eruptions, the Mayor, showing an extraordinary generosity, donated all of his funds to buy wheat in order to feed the hungry islanders.
Mozaga is situated to the east of the prehistoric hamlet of Hainaguadez, which was buried forever by the volcano of the Islote.
This town is the site of the Trasera caldron, there are no dates of eruption but it gave birth to the Soo range, probably more than one thousand years ago, being the mountain of El Cuchillo the oldest crater in Lanzarote. To the north of Soo, looking from the shore, you can see the frightening figure of the edge of Machin, where an eighteenth century schooner, loaded with sugar, disappeared in an instant under the devastating fury of the waves.
Soo overcame the infamous "malpais" (badlands) reputation, as it can be seen in the beautiful quality of the watermelons, enjoyed by the whole country, and one of the cities tasting this delicacy is Barcelona.
Caleta de la Villa (Caleta de Famara).-
The beach of Famara, five kilometres in length, is close to this town. It is a sandy beach in low tide and a pebbled beach in high tide, and it must be pointed out that it is a dangerous place due to whirlpools formed by the encounter of two different marine currents.
It is said that before dawn one morning, on January 1937, an old fisherman, Nicolas Bernal Sosa, went out to fish in Las Baja's, around Rada de Penedo. At about three in the morning a storm broke out and with one wave left Nicolas without his bag net and the rest of his fishing equipment. A second blow took the sixty-year-old man out of his boat, unable to swim in the strong tide, but Nicolas was a brave man and determined no to drown, so by diving and crawling on the bottom he was able to reach the shore at the Beach of Famara, two kilometres away.
The beach of Famara is situated at the foothill of what it's called "Risco de Famara" with an altitude of 675 metres. In the old times, a person would go up the rock overlooking La Graciosa, and waving a "bobo" branch, would advise the residents of that island of a gravely ill relative. If at night one bonfire was lit it was a sign of a minor incident, if the bonfires were two it meant an urgent case, but three bonfires always meant a fatality.
Album with old photographs of Teguise
Album with old photographs of Teguise (2)
Album with old photographs of Teguise (3)
Album with photographs of Teguise
Album with photographs of Teguise (2)
Esta pagina ha sido realizada por Sarabel y Chino.
E-Mail: Sarabel y Chino
Colaborador Escudos municipios.E-Mail: j_paiz