The town of Haría in Lanzarote - The cave of the Cueva de los Verdes
| The cave Verdes (Cueva de los Verdes)
|The eruptions of the volcano Monte Corona (609 m) occurred there between 2500 and 4000 years, spreading lava and volcanic scoria over a wide area that is now known as the Malpaís de la Corona (Maleterre of Crowned). On the southern edge of Malpaís very fluid lava formed volcanic hoses, the upper cast solidifies on contact with air, while in the lower part, the lava continued to flow and emptying into the ocean until exhaustion of the eruption. These hollow volcanic bowels were superimposed over successive eruptions.
These volcanic bowels are at a low depth in places, the basalt crust forming the roof of the casings collapsed, exposing the cavity, in the form of pits as Jameos del Agua or in the form of a very long cave, like the Cueva de los Verdes.
Casting which includes the Cueva de los Verdes extends from the égueulé crater of Volcán de la Corona (Volcano of the Crown), 6 km from the coast, up to 1.5 km under the sea at a depth of 50 m. The submerged part of the hose was named “Tunnel of Atlantis” (Túnel de la Atlántida); underwater explorations have discovered that this hose underwater harbored many endemic animal species.
The entrance to the Cueva de los Verdes is located about 1 km from the coast, 850 m upstream sinkholes of Jameos del Agua. The cave extends for several kilometers to the volcano Monte Corona. Upstream of the cave Verdes, other sinkholes (jameos) are visible, a total of 21 jameos.
|Despite its difficult access - or rather because of its difficult access - the Cueva de los Verdes has always been used by the inhabitants of Lanzarote. In the fifteenth century the aborigines majos were hiding European conquerors and, a century later, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Europeans were hiding to escape the pirates and merchants of Barbary slaves. This time it was discovered in the cave crucifixes and medals.
The first evidence that we find on the existence of the Cueva de los Verdes come from the writings of the Italian military engineer Leonardo Torriani in 1588. In these writings, Torriani, in addition to highlighting the significant beauty of this impressive geological accident, indicates an important defensive interests and protection for the island population.
"... And inside, it has wonderful caves, which seem to have been masterfully made and in hilly neighborhood and inaccessible that it is impossible to cross without light. Some experts say that inside is a secret river that flows impetuously and that few people know. She also has another exit by sea so that the men and women who are home it can go out and embark. "
Description and history of the Kingdom of the Canary Islands, formerly known as the Fortunate Islands, with the advice of their fortifications. Leonardo Torriani, 1588.
This is confirmed by the historian Viera y Clavijo (Noticias de la historia general de las Islas de Canaria, 1772-1773) recounting the disastrous consequences of large-scale invasions, such as the arraez Jabán and Solimán in 1618, who took the catastrophic proportions:
"... The most significant portion of the inhabitants took refuge in the hiding caves, especially in the great cave of Haría Verdes, which extends underground for three miles. (...) This fatal blow, which left speechless and tears covered the entire land of Lanzarote, also contributed to impoverish the country by emptying its purest substance ... "
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the land where the cave was owned by a family of shepherds, the Verde; it was at this time that the cave became known Cueva de los Verdes.
|From the second half of the nineteenth century, the cave becomes an obligatory visit for travelers, scholars and European scientists who traveled to the Canary Islands.
In 1951 the historian of Lanzarote Agustín de la Hoz organized a caving expedition to explore the Cueva de los Verdes. In 1960 Agustín de la Hoz and César Manrique begins to imagine a setting cultural and touristic value of the cave. The Cabildo de Lanzarote entrust the work to Jesús Soto, a close associate of César Manrique.
Jesús Soto performs development respecting as much as possible the natural character of the site, limiting its intervention to a minimum security, with a concrete path that facilitates walking. Jesús Soto also sets up a subtle lighting that highlights the reliefs and textures of the natural site and the dissemination of a discreet background music that calms visitors. In one of the underground rooms installed a concert hall boasting excellent natural acoustics
La Cueva de los Verdes is inaugurated in February 1964; only a distance of a little more than one kilometer is open to the public, following the cave is too difficult to access.
|The visit of the cave shows very varied aspects, with large rooms, up to 50 m high and 15 m wide, narrow and winding hoses, straight and wide corridors. One can observe various rock formations, lava channels, solid blocks driven by the current of lava, lava gutters, salt deposits, successive layers of solidified lava ...
The atmosphere of the cave is not oppressive with drafts that provide natural ventilation soft and pleasant, and a temperature constant, which is around nineteen degrees.
|In some places the visit passes from one hose to an upper hose by means of a staircase; it is successive castings which are superimposed; one can see up to three overlapping levels.
|The shapes and colors of the walls and vaults are particularly enhanced by the lighting; one can observe white traces of calcium carbonate, red traces oxidation of the iron contained in basalts, yellow stains phosphorus or black marks magnesium. Multiple ocher tones come from the reflections of light on the salt efflorescence produced by water filtrations from the surface.
|In one of the rooms can be seen on the ceiling of sharp little concretions are not limestone stalactites but lava stalactites: while flowed liquid lava lava hose packages were projected from the ceiling by gas bubbles escaping from the bubbling washing; in the ceiling dripping lava these packets are solidified in this form.
|One of the rooms has a small underground lake; although deep 20 cm reflect basalt arches in the water makes it appear much deeper.
|One of the larger rooms was converted into the auditorium almost perfect acoustics.
|The Cueva de los Verdes is 26 km north of Arrecife; from the capital you get there by following the LZ-1 road heading north. After Arrieta continue for 4.5 km to the chasms of Jameos del Agua, and turn left on the LZ-205 road. The cave is less than a kilometer from the junction.
Summer hours: daily, 10 am to 19 pm (last admission at 18 pm).
Winter hours: daily, 10 am to 18 pm (last admission at 17 pm).
Admission: € 9; half price for children 7 to 12 years. Possible use of packages “Bono 3, 4, 6 Centros."
Phone: 00 34 928 848 484
Site on the Web: www.centrosturisticos.com
The tour lasts about 50 minutes.
Visits are multilingual groups guided by a multilingual guide; Groups depart when 50 people gathered to 20 minutes after the departure of the previous group.
The visit of the Cueva de los Verdes is not wheelchair accessible; even people with back problems should know that some parts need to bend 90 degrees to not bump his head against the ceiling.
There is no possibility to drink or to eat on the site of the Cueva de los Verdes. These services are available to Jameos del Agua, but you have to pay the entrance fee. One can also opt for the fish restaurants Arrieta or Órzola.