Lanzarote´s concept of art & nature
The varied landscape of Lanzarote, with its jagged volcanic cones overlooking neat serried rows of vines planted in the startling black volcanic grit, and trim white washed villages surrounded by neatly tended vegetable gardens reflects the way that the inhabitants of the island have harmoniously adapted the natural environment for their own uses. The foremost exponent of the unique beauty of the island was César Manrique, who, as artist, polymath, designer and architect played a very important role in retaining and preserving Lanzarote’s rich culture and natural beauty. Thanks to Manrique and the movement he created in the late 1960s Lanzarote was largely spared the mass tourism developments. The artist died in 1993, but the Foundation he created is still active today in raising environmental awareness.
The particular model of development that has seen the island, with sustained economic growth, with an obvious protection and nature conservation and the environment has made it worth of the recognition and declaration of Lanzarote as a Biosphere Reserve, on Oct. 7 of 1993 by UNESCO. 41.6% of the island’s area has been declared a protected space within one of the Canary Islands Protected Natural Spaces Network. Its territory includes a National Park, an Integral Natural Reserve, two Natural Parks, five Natural Monuments, two Protected Landscapes, two Sites of Scientific Interest (SSI), eleven Special Protection Areas (SPA), seven Special Protection Area for Birds (SPAB) and one of the most extensive Marine Reserves in Europe, which protects the interior waters of what is known as the Chinijo Archipelago, a set of islets north of the island. From the simple whitewashed villages of the interior, to the large modern resorts of the south, and the rugged beauty of its steep northern coast to the peaceful coves of the southern headlands, intriguing Lanzarote exerts a compelling attraction on its visitors, who will always wish to return.
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