To mention Arrecife, is not only to speak of the capital of Lanzarote or the main locality of Lanzarote's smallest municipality, but also of the chain of small islands which flanks its. What gives the area most character is the coast line which small islets, most of which become covered during high tide. "Las Cruces" is a long island which lies parallel to the coast and which protects the port of Naos. It is one of the most interesting of these small islands.
Then comes "El Frances", a high wide islet surroundded by several "bajas" (depressions) called "perejil", "pasadizo" or "pasadero" and the pared. The most important is however, the islet of San Gabriel or "del Castillo" which supports the Arrecife Quay with its castle built by the Herrera, former lords of the islands, in the sixteenth century and then reconstructed, after its destruction by Morato Arráez, in the eighteenth century, for the purpose of prot acting the capital from the Barbary pirates. lts joined to the city by a drawnbridge, populary known as "de las Bolas". At present it is the island's archeological museum.
Further to the west we find the islet of Fermina, which lies parallel to the coast and the "Playa del Reducto". The group of reefs constitues a singular landscape which attains its maximum splendour on the arrival of the fishing fleet, making a scene of incomparabale beauty.
The capital, astride the two most important tourist centres next to the port and very near the airport, concentrates more than half the population which is nourished by the incomparable supply of fish to be found along the coast.
Among places which must be visit we mention the Castle of San José, seat of the Contempory Art Museum which contains works by Piscasso, Miro, Mompó and César Menrique among many other painters and sculptors from all over the world.
This fortress is situated in the east, on a small cliff, and houses different receational installations with a view of the port of Naos and that of the Marbles.
Another places of unusual interest is the "Charco de San Gines" (San Ginés Pool) where the water enters the land and where the hermitage was built, around which was formed the first nucleous of fishermen' s cottages.This village has changed progressively, but still preserves its fishing village atmosphere.
In Arrecife we can also admire the old straigth "calle real" (Royal Road) which leads to the Avenida Marítima, where we find the municipal park.
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