Cementerio Viejo de La Villa

Teguise council have opened an attraction for visitors to Lanzarote’s old capital of La Villa de Teguise, albeit it a little bit unusual.

Ayuntamiento de Teguise Cementerio Viejo de La Villa

The Cementerio Viejo de La Villa was the first Catholic cemetery to be built in Lanzarote and dates back to 1814. It is open to the public every day from 09:00 to 17:00. Mayor Oswaldo Betancort commented at the opening ceremony “Today we have recovered a piece of the island’s history and our heritage with the idea of sharing it with everyone who visits us”.

The old cemetery was used until as recently at 1979, when the municipal cemetery “Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves” was opened. Visitors will find mausoleums dating back to the first noble families, as well as residents from Teguise and Lanzarote.

The project to restore this cemetery is part of the 600 years commemoration, it was previously in an abandoned state and sadly had been vandalised in recent years. The rehabilitation works included the restoration of the chapels, crypt and tombstones. 


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Historical Background

All Lanzarote burials were performed in Teguise at the Matriz de Guadalupe church and Franciscan, Dominican monasteries. After the parochial division of the island in 1798, each new parish built their own cemetery. 

This ancient cemetery was opened in 1814 due to the population growth in Teguise at that time. A chapel was founded in 1822 where funeral acts could be performed. The cemetery was extended by 900 m2 in April 1945 under the direction of Miguel Llivina Bonete.

The most characteristic features of the cemetery is the funeral chapel, the basement and pyramid shaped tomb opposite the main entrance. Famous people such as Luis Ramírez González, who died of peritonitis on his way to Rome to meet the Pope in 1950, rests here in a beautiful memorial. 

 

The old capital is a fascinating place, if you want to explore the cobbled streets and architecture, best to avoid the bustling Sunday market, and many places close on a Monday.

Related articles:

La Villa de Teguise

Historical City Route Teguise


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