There are plenty of attractive holiday destinations around the world. But few can match the cultural attractions of Lanzarote, which is located in the Canary Islands.
As this Spanish outpost is home to the many creations of a well known, locally born artist called César Manrique. Who had a profound influence over the development of tourism on the island.
Renowned as a destination for sun, sea and sand Lanzarote boasts a quite unusual cultural side which often goes un-missed in the rush to the beaches, and with an excellent choice of Lanzarote villas finding accommodation on Lanzarote will not be a chore
It´s impossible to visit Lanzarote without coming across the name of César Manrique. His presence is ubiquitous – right from the airport which he had a hand in designing through to the white colour that all of the apartments and holiday villas in Lanzarote are painted. And it also thanks largely to him that the island is not covered in high rise buildings and apartment complexes. Whilst advertising billboards are also noticeable by their absence.
César Manrique’s Biography
Manrique was born in the island capital of Arrecife in 1919 and developed a deep love for his birthplace from a very young age. Fostered by long summers spent on the beach at Famara in the north of the island, where his family kept a holiday home. And where the huge 8km long bay is flanked by the majestic sight of the Famara massif cliff range.
The young Manrique went on to study art in Madrid, against his parent’s wishes, before becoming involved with the Spanish surrealist movement in the 1950´s. A brave move in Franco´s Spain at the time. Before heading off to New York under the patronage of the Rockefellers to study and exhibit there. Where he rubbed shoulders with contemporaries such as Andy Warhol.
César Manrique´s spirit
However back in Spain along the Costas and in the Canaries tourism was starting to take its toll. Package holidays had just been launched and lots of land was becoming submerged beneath hotels and apartments. A fate César Manrique was determined to avert for Lanzarote. So he returned home and began to marshal local opinion for a more controlled approach to tourist development on the island.
When he returned to Lanzarote and saw the threat of tourism César Manrique was pragmatic enough to accept that tourism was vital for the islands future survival as until then locals had lived off fishing and agriculture.
But he was also shrewd enough to realise that the islands fortunes could be better served by developing tourism carefully and along ecological lines. As a result he successfully fought for a controlled development plan which ensures that Lanzarote remains a relatively unspoiled destination to this day.
“You don’t know how wonderful it is to travel until you come home and rest your head on your old pillow”.