A MOMENT FOR... CESAR MANRIQUE
“Lanzarote is like an unframed, unmounted work of art and I hung it and held it up for all to see.”
Enter César Manrique, local artist and main man who stopped the overdevelopment of the island and changed how the world saw Lanzarote. He’s basically God here.
Thanks to him, you won’t find high rise buildings or advertising billboards, ‘I used to go around at night destroying the adverts’. Yes César.
Painter, sculptor, architect, interior designer, environmental activist and all round good guy, César designed buildings to blend with nature and created giant artworks using local volcanic ash.
Let’s take a moment for César Manrique…
Mirador del RioThis volcanic viewing point could not look more like a Bond villain's lair if it tried.
Built into the mountain, it overlooks the island of La Graciosa - one Lanzarote’s most famously beautiful views.
At the top you’ll find two reflective sky lights (pictured), that look like shimmering pools of water. César nailed it.
César Manrique FoundationCésar built his house into underground volcanic bubbles. Classic César.
His home until 1990, today it’s an art gallery and museum showing work from his famous buddies (oh hello Picasso) and his own volcanic art canvases.
Legend has it that he hosted wild parties here - the cocktail bars and 60s style wraparound sofas tell their own story 🍆
El Diablo restaurantCésar’s flying saucer shaped restaurant in the Timanfaya National Park uses geothermal heat FROM A VOLCANO to cook your food.
Watch bursts of hot vapour rise through the iron grill to brown your steak.
The man LOVES himself a volcano…
Jameos del AguaConsidered César’s greatest work, this ridiculous combination of caves, sparkling pools and pitch-perfect acoustics is magical on a Gandalf level.
Every Saturday you can book dinner in the cave (even the waiter’s uniforms were designed by yer boy) and see a local concert down by the water. Think soulful Spanish guitar…
The cave is home to the endangered blind albino crabs (found only in Lanzarote) which César campaigned to protect. There’s also a swimming pool that only the king of Spain is allowed to swim in and an auditorium with acoustics that hug your ears.
Jardin de CactusCésar was also a landscape gardener (was there anything the man couldn’t do?!)
Feel like an extra from ‘The Good The Bad and The Ugly’ as you spot over a thousand species of cactus in the world’s spikiest garden.
Poor César was killed in a car crash in 1992 aged 73 - but what a legacy he left. As his friend put it, “the blood of César is in the island.”