The Villa de Teguise is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages on the island. For those who visit the island for the first time can not miss the Sunday morning visit to their market. But the Villa is more than that. Strolling through its centennial streets full of history, taking advantage of the lights that leave us the sunset, it’s a real joy.
Before the conquest of the island, there was already a large village at the foot of the mountain of Guanapay, inhabited by the majos (name received by the ancient inhabitants of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura), and which was called Acatife. After the conquest, Teguise was founded in honor of the Princess Teguise, daughter of King Guadarfía and who married Maciot of Bethencourt, nephew of Jean de Bethencourt.
Its location, at the shelter of the wind, the altitude and the fields of culture that surrounded it made the first capital of the island prosper quickly. Due to this, it suffered attacks from pirates and corsairs every so often. For this reason the castle of Santa Bárbara was built on the top of the Guanapay volcano in the 16th century, taking advantage of the existence of a watchtower.
Santa Bárbara’s Castle
This castle gave shelter to the population when the alarm was played when spotting enemy sails on the coast. Today it houses a museum about piracy in the Canary Islands. A very interesting visit if you like the piracy theme, and if it is with children, they’ll enjoy this visit very much.
The streets of the Villa de Teguise transport us to another time, as if time had stopped and we have seen strange cars parked in its cobbled streets.
Teguise, with its untouched white houses and wooden doors, is dotted with small palaces with centuries of history. From Plaza de la Constitución, or Plaza de los Leones, in the heart of the town, there are two very important buildings: the church of Guadalupe and the Spinola Palace.
The Church was built in the fifteenth century, but due to the attacks and looting suffered by the city, burned and sacked several times, throughout the construction it was expanded, reaching three ships in the eighteenth century and with the last fire of In 1909, one more prism was added to the tower, thus being the tallest building in Teguise.
This old manor house, built in the eighteenth century around a central courtyard, currently houses a museum dedicated to the timple, with more than fifty pieces of this typical Canarian instrument and some similar string instruments from all over the world.
Other places that you can find at the streets of Teguise are the convents of Santo Domingo, now converted into an art gallery, and San Francisco’s convent, which was the first one on the island, and of which only the convent church is conserved, which houses the Museum of Sacred Art.
Without a doubt, the magic of this ancient city will delight you if you walk along its quiet streets and drink something in one of its bars and restaurants. Enjoy a drink in one of the terraces while you see the sun goes down and turns the white of the walls in red, pink and violet tones. It’s a vision that will remain engraved on your retina.
Do not miss the opportunity to visit the old capital of the island at sunset, it is a quiet and beautiful visit that you will not regret.