César Manrique left his trace on all of the Canary Islands with his architecture, painting and sculptures. A prolific artist, in this article we present a beautiful tour of these islands analyzing his work.
These are some of his most important works.
This 22,000 square meter space possesses a collection of pools with water extracted from the sea, restaurants, a gymnasium, play center, thermal water jacuzzi, entertainment areas for kids, sports facilities and even a small beach. Its facilities are set up to hold cocktail receptions, banquets and other events. Furthermore, it has the Palmetum of Santa Cruz Botanical Garden, with thousands of palm trees of more than 300 species. In 2003 an old pier area was added next to the Castillo San Juan castle and the Casa de la Pólvora, two sites with great historical value.
A 100,000 square meter complex in which the volcanic rock of the island plays a leading role. It is formed by a central artificial lake with a collection of pools, gardens, terraces, restaurants and cafés. Its design mixes elements belonging to Manrique’s particular vision of nature with local features such as watchtowers, palisades and the sea view. Furthermore, it contains a series of sculptures by the Lanzarote artist, such as the waves monument.
Astrophysical. Flags of the Cosmos.
In 1985 the artist created the Flags of the Cosmos, a series of works designed for imaginary purposes, symbolizing unknown satellite planets created to contribute to the opening of the Astrophysical Center, located on Roque de los Muchachos, for which he also took charge of the whole setting.
Mirador de la Peña
A 1989 project which was opened in 1995. It is a viewpoint which is perfectly integrated in the landscape and which offers a magnificent panoramic view of the valley in which it is constructed. Furthermore, it has a restaurant-school in which visitors can enjoy something more than the view.
The artist left numerous paintings to Gran Canaria, of which he was named an Adopted Son. He created the compact stone wall of the Hotel Cristina, and exhibitions displaying his work in La Regenta Art Center are normally organized.
Jardín del Cactus
Manrique’s final piece in Lanzarote. It is a garden which houses a great number of species of cactus from the archipelago and across the world. It is situated in an old volcanic sand (volcanic charcoal) extraction quarry which Lanzarote farmers use to cover their crops and retain humidity so that it reaches the roots of the plants.
Mirador del Río
Created in 1973 by Manrique, who modified the original project of Fernando Higueras. Located in the north of the island, in the Risco de Famara cliff, this viewpoint is formed by two domes buried to reduce the visual impact. Excavated in the rock of a cliff in the place where an old coastal artillery battery used to be situated, it offers a spectacular view of the Cinijo archipelago and has a restaurant with several terraces and large windows.
Jameos del Agua
Created in 1968, it is the first Art, Culture and Tourism Center created by Manrique, and is the reflection of one of his creative pillars: the harmony between nature and the artistic creation. A jameo is the Spanish name for a volcanic tunnel generated by the flow of lava within it, the upper part of which has been removed. The Jameos del Agua are formed by the Jameo Chico, which has a restaurant, and the Jameo Grande, where there is a pool surrounded by a garden. Almost twenty years after it was opened, in 1987, an auditorium for 600 people was built inside.
César Manrique Foundation
The Foundation was created in 1992 as a cultural platform drawing special attention to three lines of development linked to the life and work of the artist: plastic arts, the environment and cultural reflection. Located in the artist’s house-cum-studio, it is situated in the Taro de Taniche house and is the work which best represents the personal and artistic ideals of Manrique. It was built in 1968 on a lava flow from the eruption which occurred on the island during 1730-36 and has two levels: the internal lower part, which makes the most of the natural formation of five volcanic bubbles to configure an amazing habitable space and, a model in terms work performed on natural space; the external and upper level is inspired by the traditional architecture of Lanzarote.
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