The Casa-Museo del Campesino is a tribute to the islanders who, generation after generation, worked the fields and eked a living by growing crops in the lava fields. Manrique used his artistic flair to showcase the island’s traditional way of life and craftwork. A visit is like stepping back in time and viewing a portrait of Lanzarote before the advent of tourism. Located in Mozaga, at the geographical heart of the island near San Bartolomée, the museum marks the start of the Wine Route through La Geria.
César Manrique’s touch is clear to see in this example of traditional Lanzarote architecture with gleaming whitewashed walls, chimneys and green-painted balconies, doors, windows and railings. Typical rounded organic shapes, exposed volcanic rock and plants also feature throughout the space.
The Monumento al Campesino, or Monument to Fertility, stands like a watchtower at the entrance and can be seen from miles away. The sculpture rises fifteen metres high and is made of water tanks that have been salvaged from old ships and assembled in such a way as to represent Manrique’s cubist vision of a shepherd with a dog by his side.
The idea behind the House Museum is two-fold. Firstly, the different interiors are designed to show Lanzarote’s cultural history with displays of farm tools, crafts and rooms that lend insight into rural island life of yesteryear. One room, for example, features an old loom that would have been used to weave the simple garments that were typically worn in the past. Secondly, the museum aims to showcase the island’s traditional cuisine using fresh local produce like fish, goat’s meat, potatoes and local cheese. Must-try dishes include typical sancochofish stew,caldomillo corn broth and desserts like sweet potato turnovers (truchas).
A volcanic grotto, which was once quarried to supply stone for construction use, has been converted into a restaurant that can be accessed from the main courtyard. The huge round volcanic dining room is a remarkable space with no columns to hinder views. It also boasts the island’s most extensive list of local wines. There is a shop selling gifts, souvenirs and handmade jewellery made on the island using lava, silver, leather, olivine and turquoise.