The figure of the pirate has accompanied us all our lives. We have all played at being pirates as children, and surely movies like Pirates of the Caribbean revived our fascination for them. Well, to know a little more about these characters who ride between the fantastic and the real, the best thing is to approach the Piracy Museum of Teguise.
At the top of the Guanapay volcano stands the castle of Santa Bárbara. Built from a fourteenth-century tower by Lancelotto Malocello, which served to monitor the coasts and give refuge to the locals when pirates were sighted. When the alarm sounded, the inhabitants of the Villa de Teguise, the old capital of the island, climbed the volcano and were sheltered until the looting ended.
The pirates were already regular visitors in Canary waters before the Spanish Conquest, but after it and especially after the discovery of America, and with the Canary Islands as a port of passage between the peninsula and the new world, pirate attacks intensified.
Arriving at the Museum is very easy, there is no possible loss. When arriving at the Villa we find the ascent to the volcano duly signposted with a large stone sign, simply follow the road to the end, on top of the volcano. The fortress is accessed by stairs that lead to the door that is up. A pirate flag and a ship’s helm receive us before entering the first room.
The first room is dedicated to the Villa de Teguise and its history as the old capital of the island. A large model of the urban area shows us what life was like back then in the population center of the island. The second room is dedicated to the Berber pirates, such as Morato Arráez, Tabac Arráez and Soliman, who came in search of slaves to Lanzarote. Following the corridors we find more than known names, such as John Hawkins, Francis Drake and Robert Blake. Beside each of them there is always an explanatory note in several languages, where we can read something of their life and activities.
The weapons room, full of pistols, cannons and sabers that were part of the usual weapons of pirates, is the most interesting; as well as the scale models of boats, among them an impressive Spanish galleon of the XVII century of 106 guns, without a doubt a sample of the power of the Spanish Navy at the time.
Perhaps one of the most striking places, is the area where we see that the castle, apart from strength against pirate threats, also had dungeons where to detain the prisoners.
Another of the most striking rooms is that which is completely lined with wood, serving as a ship’s warehouse.
The rooms are full of images, reproductions and models that make the visit very enjoyable, both adults and children. The texts are not long, and there are videos explaining in some rooms that tell us the attacks suffered by the islands in different periods.
The views from the top are spectacular, from there you can understand why it was built in that area, since from it it is very easy to have controlled the coast to be able to give the alarm in time.
It is the perfect museum for both children and adults to enjoy it. If we visit the Mercadillo de Teguise on Sunday, the Piracy Museum is perfect as the next stop on our route, since it is open every day from 10 a.m. to 16 p.m.