LANZAROTE: Visiting the Castillo de San Gabriel in Arrecife – a 16th century fortress built to protect the island from pirates – Day 2.2

After exploring the village of Teguise during one of its popular Sunday markets, the next stop was the Castillo de San Gabriel in the capital city of Lanzarote: Arrecife. The stone fortress dates back to the 16th century, and was originally built to protect the city from pirates. Situated on an island accessible by causeway and a drawbridge, the castle is now a historic place and building of cultural interest, and a main attraction housing an ethnography museum.

Hailing a taxi from Teguise to Arrecife
A roundabout with an art installation of wind chimes by Cesar Manrique

To avoid further delays caused by the unreliable public transportation (in my honest and humble opinion), a taxi was hailed. The causeway leading to the castle rose from a beach bed covered by turquoise water. Some youngsters were swimming, and a few were seen fishing! The water was so clear that schools of fishes were visible!

The drawnbridge
Fish spotting!
A causeway with lost of space for many

The castle was strategic and had a good overview of the sea beyond and the city of Arrecife. According to sources online, it was originally a wooden fortress built in 1574. It was destroyed by an Algerian pirate in 1586, and then rebuilt in 1599.

Arrecife, as seen from the causeway
Housing the History Museum of Arrecife
Castillo de San Gabriel

Luckily, there were no lines going in the museum, which exhibits interesting artefacts like tools and ceramics from pre-Hispanic and Hispanic periods, most of which were apparently donated by a Canarian islander named Juan Brito, who was born in 1919.

Inside the museum
Ancient herb used to dye stuff
More herbs..

The fun part was being able to ascend through a narrow stone stairs to the castle’s roof. The views were amazing! And there was an old bell and a sundial!

View from the roof
The ancient city bell
Defending the city.. or?

Going back, we walked through the drawbridge. It was nice to watch the small crashing waves, and seabirds hopping along the stone wall.

Arrecife bay
Until then, Castillo de San Gabriel!
Indulging for a moment
Hoppity-hoppity chirp!
While it lasts..

Like other capital cities, Arrecife seemed more modern and developed than other cities on the island. I managed to explore a bit. Then, a second chance was given to the public transportation. It took a long time for the bus to arrive, but it did, and we were back in the apartment in time for some dinner.

Here are some shots taken in Arrecife:

A friendly reminder that Lanzarote is a volcanic island
Arrecife promenade
Continuing along the promenade
Grabbing some sweet meriende aka time for toilet break
City graffiti

So, all in all, it was a beautiful Sunday. I looked forward to seeing more of the island the next days. More about that in the next entries. 🙂 #spreadloveandpositivevibes


A quiet street in Arrecife


3 thoughts on “LANZAROTE: Visiting the Castillo de San Gabriel in Arrecife – a 16th century fortress built to protect the island from pirates – Day 2.2

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