Calle Lanzarote

Piracy Museum

Located in the Castillo de Santa Barbara overlooking Teguise, the Piracy Museum (Museo de la Piratería) is not an easy place to visit.

For a start, the advertised opening times are either inaccurate or just plain wrong. When we visited in October, they were advertised for Sundays as until 3pm in winter and 2pm in summer. As it happened, the castle was open until 2.30pm, with the last entry about 15 minutes before that.

Castillo de Santa Barbara near Teguise, Lanzarote

Castillo de Santa Barbara near Teguise

The road up to the castle closes 30 minutes after the museum itself. And care should be taken when driving along that road as it is narrow, with a sharp drop either on one or both sides. Especially just before the museum closes, drivers tend to race up it to try and get in – only to find that the time advertised at the bottom of the hill is the closing time of the road, and that they are too late.

Parking spaces at the castle itself are limited and along the edge of a crater.

The views from the top, however, are spectacular. Even more so from the top of the castle, so it is understandable why it was built there. You really can see the coast of Lanzarote in almost every direction.

The view from the castle towards Teguise

The view from the castle towards Teguise

Entry to the museum costs €3 for adults and is free for children (as of October 2011). It tells the story of the attacks on the Canary islands by pirates and privateers in the last 500 years. There are a few models of ships and the castle itself, as well as some artefacts, but most of it uses historical maps and as such is not quite so interesting for children as it could be.

However for those interested in Lanzarote’s past it is a chapter that is not usually mentioned amongst the details of the volcanic eruptions.

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