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Arrecife

Arrecife is a city and municipality on the island of Lanzarote, the island's capital since 1852. The name of the city received from the black volcanic reef ("Arrecife" in Spanish means "reef"), located at the beach. The population of the municipality, covering 22 square km, is more than 55 thousand people. On the East coast, Arrecife is a port, with ferries to other towns of the island, as well as in Europe and Africa.

The first mention of Arrecife found in the documents of the 15th century, when it was a small fishing village. Even then, rocky reef on the beach served as protection for boats during the sudden raids of the pirates. By the end of the 16th century the village began to grow in response to the need for accommodation and storage facilities in developing trade between the Old and the New world. At the same time there was built the first Church of San Gines, consecrated in honour of the first Bishop of Arrecife. But increasing prosperity caused certain troubles in 1571, the year of the infamous pirate Dogan sacked the city, virtually destroying its small port. Only in 1852, the year of Arrecife, recovered and reinforced, became the capital of Lanzarote.

Today Arrecife is the commercial and cultural capital of the island, a real Paradise for shopaholics. The longest pedestrian street of Calle león and Castillo boasts a huge shopping centre, boutiques and designer shops.

The city beach of Arrecife is Playa del Reducto - famous for its Golden sand and cool calm waters. Along the beach is a pleasant seaside promenade, ending at the second beach, Playa del Cable.

Landmark Arrecife is the castle Castillo de San josé built in the 18th century and today transformed into a Museum of modern art. The castle-fortress was built to protect the city from pirates on the cliff above the port of Naos. It has a D-shaped with a semicircular wall facing the sea and two small towers on the land side. In the 1970's the castle was restored and transformed into an international Museum of modern art, known as the MIAC. A large part of the presented work belongs to the Spanish artists, including Joan miró, Antoni Tapies, Eusebio Sempere and a group of El Paso.

Among the other attractions of Arrecife can be called the Puente de Las Bolas, leading to the castle Castillo de San Gabriel is a 16th century, which now houses the history Museum of Arrecife, and a man-made lagoon Charco de San Gines. And 10 km from the coast located Teguise - old capital of Lanzarote.