cesar manrique

 Cesar Manrique –

An artist of international projection.

cesar manrique

The development and the actual configuration of Lanzarote can not be understood without knowing deeply the space and architectural works of art of Cesar Manrique , an artist of international projection. Due to his endless imagination and to his love for the place where he was born, the island was kept away from development currents of the 70’s and its people have adopted the theory of balance that combines elements for tourism and for the preservation of the enviroment.

Monumento al Campesino

Mirador del Rio

Jameos del Agua

It was in New York, in the mid 70’s when Cesar Manrique created the Art, Culture and Tourism Centres of the Council of Lanzarote, which are related to the economic development of the island, making it an incomparable tourist destination. Together with the Insular Government, whose president José Ramírez was a very good friend of him, Manrique promoted the setting up of the seven tourist centres existing in Lanzarote. In those years, Public Institutions invested in infrastructure and communications, always conserving nature and the natural and cultural heritage of the island. At the same time the artist was afraid of an uncontrolled speculation would make it necessary to create some kind of regulations to control the town planning, emphasizing the esthetic values of the island. The society has become aware of this and this idea still prevails on the island. Manrique was aware that due to natural values and beauty of the Lanzarote landscape, it could become the main source of wealth and because of its fragility it could be badly affected. To avoid the latter, the artist combined the creation of attractive elements for the visitors with the preservation of the landscape. Nowadays, this is known as Sustained Development, a concept that combines the saving of natural and cultural values with the evolution and economical prosperity.

Reserve of the Biosphere

The impact of César’s philosophy was definitive with the declaration of Lanzarote as World Reserve of the Biosphere by the UNESCO in 1993, a year after the death of the artist.

In the mid 70’s, Manrique began to outline a development integral plan for Lanzarote. In his letters from New York, he was interested in negotiating the purchasing of the Saint Joseph Castle (Castillo de San José) and at the same time commented that he was getting advice to carry out all the projects he had created for Lanzarote, such as the Mill of Arrecife or the works on the Islet of Love, that were never finished. In any case, everyone agrees that Manrique was firmly decided to create a complete cultural and touristic project and keep away the ghost of town planning disaster which happened in other parts of the island or in the Iberian Peninsula. When César Manrique finally came back to the island in 1966, he started with his space projects where he combined landscape, architectural, plastic and design elements. The result will be the setting up of the Seven Centres of Art, Culture and Tourism: The Modern Museum of Art Saint Joseph Castle, “Jameos del Agua”, “The Cave of Los Verdes”, the “Mirador del Río” the restaurant “The Devil” in the “Fire Mountains”, the “House museum and Monument to the Peasant” and the “Cactus Garden”.

cuevas del los verdes

cactus garden

Manriques House

The information contained above is accurate at the time of uploading should ammendments need to take place, then this will be carried out on the next upload.

Photo Gallery: Lanzarote-UK