Lanzarote (Spanish Lanzarote) is an island in the Canary Islands, the province of Las Palmas. The area is 845.94 km ², the population is 141 938 people (as of 2009). It is divided into 7 municipalities, the most densely populated is Arrecife, the capital of the island. The name of the island comes from the Genoese merchant Lancelotto Malocello, who visited the island in the XIV century. Famous for "moon landscapes".
Lanzarote is called island reservation of volcanoes whose main attraction is the fantastic beauty of "moon landscapes" of the most incredible colors. The charm and originality of this unusual island of the Canarian archipelago are not only volcanic landscapes, but also a special charm that is expressed in the architecture, and a harmonious combination of civilization and nature.
This amazing island inspires the creative work of many representatives of the art world. About him they write books, compose poems, make films, draw pictures. The colorful lava fields of Lanzarote seem mysterious and almost extraterrestrial.
Lanzarote - the fourth largest island of the Canarian archipelago, is 140 km away. from the coast of Africa and 1000 km. from the Spanish mainland. Residents are often called Lanzarote "Island of Fire" (Isla del Fuego). This is due to the fact that the highest volcanic activity is observed with respect to the other islands of the archipelago in Lanzarote. Lanzarote's calling card are volcanic landscapes: there are more than 300 volcanic craters on the island. Such a unique landscape of the island was caused by frequent eruptions, some of which lasted more than 6 years.
Today, one-third of Lanzarote is covered with lifeless basalt, which has a very negative impact on the development of agriculture on the island. A fertile layer of earth is under a thick ash layer, so that the inhabitants of the island make vineyards into deep pits and frame them with rings of fragments of frozen lava. In addition to agriculture, the island also actively produces salt: According to the decision of the UNESCO World Organization of 1993, the entire island of Lanzarote was declared a biosphere reserve. Today, the territory of the island is strictly forbidden the construction of multi-storey buildings that violate the usual form of Lanzarote, and all new buildings must be made in the traditional style of the island.
Until the arrival of the Spaniards, the island was inhabited by tribes of Mahoc (majos), who, according to one version, were the representatives of the Berbers, ie natives of North Africa. At that time, the island was called "Titerogakat" (Tyterogakat or Tytheroygatra), which translates from the language of the native translates to, Red Mountain '- this name was quite logical, because if not stopped in Lanzarote volcanic eruptions. Its modern name must be navigator Lanselotto Maloseyo (Lance Mallocello) Genoese, who first visited the island in 1312. According to historical data, he led the first (after ancient times) European visit to the Canary Islands. Information obtained from him were made in the Portolan diagram, created by the famous cartographer of the time Angelino Dlsertom. Then on the map, two new islands, marked Genoese shield "Island Lance Malocello" (Lanzarote) and the "strong winds island" (Fuerteventura). Portulan Dulcerta was the first European map to mark the exact location of these Canary Islands.
On previous maps, there were only assumptions about their location, based on the references to Canar in the works of the ancient Roman scholar Pliny. The arrival of the Spaniards in Lanzarote was led by Norman nobleman Jean de Betancourt. He landed in the summer of 1402 on the island. Then the locals could not resist the intruders and surrendered. The conquerors settled in the southern part of the island, where they built fortifications and built the Canarian diocese. From 1402 to 1405, the island of Lanzarote was used as a fortress during the conquest of P. Fuerteventura.