Teguise, named after a Guanche (the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands) Princess, was the capital of Lanzarote up until 1852, when Arrecife became the Capital due to it’s increased importance as a Port. Teguise is amongst the oldest towns in the Canary Islands, it being almost 600 years old.
At the heart of Teguise is a lovely town square, the San Miguel Plaza, which becomes the centre of an open-air market held every Sunday morning.
At this market you will find many locally produced crafts as well as “replica” watches.
There are several buildings of historical interest that are open to the public; The 18th Century Palacio Spinola, the 16th Century church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, the 17th century Dominican convent (Convento de Santo Domingo) and the 16th century Franciscan Convento de San Francisco.
Overlooking Teguise is the ‘Castillo de Santa Barbara’, a 16th century castle built to protect the island from invading Moorish pirates.
These attacks were frequent and bloody, one of the side streets in Teguise bears the name Sangre – blood in Spanish – on account of these attacks.
The castle now houses an emigration museum.
The Chinijo Archipelago – the group of islands located to the north of Lanzarote – also falls under the administration of Teguise. The archipelago (now a nature reserve) comprises of La Graciosa, Alegranza, Montaña Clara, El Roque del Este and El Roque del Oeste.