Castillo de San Gabriel, Arrecife, Lanzarote

Castillo de San Gabriel, Lanzarote

This is the Castillo de San Gabriel on the coast of the Lanzarote town of Arrecife. It’s one of two castles in the town, the other being the Castillo de San José (though we never managed to find that castle).

Built in 1574 to defend the harbour at Arrecife, the small fortress has two cannon at the front door. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in 1586 by the Algerian Pirate Morato Arraez. The current castle dates back to a reconstruction project undertaken in 1592 to a design by the Italian architect Leonardo Torriani.

There are two wonderful stone bridges leading out to the island that the Castillo de San Gabriel sits on. One is a solid stone bridge, and the other has a disused drawbridge. The town of Arrecife is incredibly picturesque and has a more authentic Spanish feel compared to the nearby resorts of Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise. It actually reminded me vaguely of the Spanish town of Torrevieja that we visited last year.

3 comments

  1. The other castle is further along the waterfront in Arrecife, situated overlooking Puerto Naos the main port for the island. It is now the International Museum of Contemporary Art and has some interesting exhibitions as well as a bar/ restaurant.I liked your photo of Castillo San Gabriel, this castle is currently being converted to be the history museum of Arrecife. 

    • Thanks for commenting, Jules. We had a wonderful time in Arrecife – I actually prefer the small towns to the more crowded resort areas! Shame we didn’t get a chance to investigate the town in more detail, but we really enjoyed our stay!

  2. El castillo de San Gabriel, es una fortaleza de base cuadrangular cóncava.

    Es curioso, porque las 4 fortalezas que hay en Lanzarote, se ajustan a planta diferente:
    – Castillo de San Gabriel, de planta cuadrangular.
    – Castillo de San José, de planta semicircular.
    – Castillo de Santa Bárbara (sobre el volcán de Guanapay, Teguise), de planta rombal.
    – Torre del Águila o castillo de Las Coloradas (en la costa sur de la isla, Playa Blanca), de planta circular.

    En el contexto de una isla que era poco poblada, de muy escasa pluviometría, sus fines eran proteger la isla de la piratería que la asolaba hasta el siglo XVIII.

    Saludos.

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