Cave of the Greens

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Cueva de Los Verdes
Cave of the Greens
The Cueva de los Verdes is located in the north of the island of Lanzarote in the town of Haria, and integrated
into the vast volcanic landscape of the Malpais National Monument of La Corona.Its formation is the result of the eruptive activity of the Corona Volcano (dated by geologists about 3000 - 5000 years), resulting in a large underground volcanic tunnel four miles long that runs from the volcanic cone to the sea. Two of the Centers for Arts, Culture and Tourism most important, the "Cave of the Greens" and "Water Jameos." Are integrated within this tunnel.
Volcanic tunneling occurs by cooling and solidification of the surface portion of lava in contact with air while molten magma continues to flow inside. The partial collapse of the roof of a section of the tunnel forming the structure called "Jameo" which is merely an opening in the ground which permits access to several caves.
The tunnel consists of the Corona Volcano which  is one of the most extensive and interesting of the planet. Along its path, there are at least sixteen Jameos. More than four miles acquaintances preface from the crater of the volcano until it enters the sea on a stretch of a mile underwater media called "Tunnel of Atlantis".
Cueva de Los VerdesHistorical notes

The first evidence we have about the existence of the Cave of the Greens come from the writings of the Italian military engineer Leonardo Torriani in 1590.  Torriani, apart from highlighting the striking beauty of this significant geological feature, shows a significant interest in defense and protection of the island population.

Lanzarote, especially during the sixteenth and seventeenth, suffered cyclical episodes of massive insecurity, due to the continuous invasions, raids and kidnappings by pirates off the northern coast of Africa. They have historical evidence that the intricate galleries of the Cave of the Greens served as hiding place and refuge for the decimated population of the island.

Highlights some large-scale invasions as those of Tabán Arraez and Suleiman in 1618 reaching truly catastrophic dimensions. The historian Viera y Clavijo (News of the General History of the Canary Islands, 1772-1773) describes well the dire consequences of this raid, the substantial portion of the neighborhood took refuge in the recesses of the caverns, notably in the great Cave of the Greens in Haría, which runs underground nearly three miles long. "This fatal blow, which stunned and in tears all the land of Lanzarote, also served to impoverish the country by extracting the pure substance. "

Subsequently, and in the nineteenth century, it becomes a must for travelers, scholars and scientists in Europe who moved to the Canary Islands. They all describe this unique volcanic fascination. We quote the geologist Georg Hartung (1855), the geologist and botanist Karl von Fritsch (1863) and, more recently, also geologist Eduardo Hernández-Pacheco (1907).

Internal vault
The internal intervention.
Aware of the unique aesthetic, geological and historical Cave, in the 60's of the twentieth century, raises preparation for tourist use.

The creation of the Center for Art, Culture and Tourism "Cueva de los Verdes" is part of a set of innovative activities in strategic locations promoted by the local Government for enhancing the attraction of the island. Its inauguration in February 1964 is one of the first bets decided to incorporate the island into quality tourist destinations.

Cueva de Los VerdesThey account for this ambitious project with the artist Jesus Soto. To him we owe the lighting and the creation of the internal path. The interior space was barely involved, with the access esplanade outside and inside the path will be made where the most significant. Despite the spectacular result, the artistic, very respectful of the environment is limited to introducing light, perfectly camouflaged and ambient sounds.

Jesus Soto, attentive and anxious observer, displays all his knowledge about light and shadow, meticulously researching the proper way to illuminate and enhance the relief and textures that cover the spectacular multicolored domes inside the cave. Soto creates a chromatic atmosphere of artistic spaces and natural environments of strange beauty and poetry. The Cueva de los Verdes was inaugurated in February 1964. Since then many visitors have been enjoying this awesome natural phenomenon that has become one of the most suggestive of Lanzarote.

Another name that is closely linked to the genesis of the Center for Arts, Culture and Tourism Lanzarote is the historian Augustin de la Hoz, who in 1964 published his literary work "Cueva de los Verdes" where, after a thorough investigation , and poetically describes thoroughly the grotto. In turn interprets the various segments of the cave entering names of historical imaginary island.

The route

Few experiences are often more interesting to a traveler, while adventure and discovery, such as the access to a cave. Without doubt, visit La Cueva de los Verdes is a true journey of initiation into the bowels of the earth. A visit that aims to be spectacular and unique.
Cueva de Los VerdesThe section visited of the Cave of the Greens is made up of one kilometer of superimposed galleries with vertical interconnections between them. At some points there have three levels and allow visitors to discover new spaces from different perspectives.
Inside the tunnel, the height reaches about fifty feet, with widths that are close to fifty feet. There are peculiar stone formations and structures: lava channels, solid blocks, drops of lava, salt deposits, successive layers of solidified lava.

It is particularly spectacular the range of colors that adorn the ceilings and walls of the cave. Reddish colors are due to oxidation of the iron content of basalts. The many shades of ocher come from the reflections of light on salt efflorescence caused by water seepage from the surface.

It is to note the pleasant climate of the interior. Air currents allow a smooth and pleasant natural ventilation and temperature constant, it is around nineteen degrees.


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