Teguise is one of the seven municipalities Lanzarote island is divided into nowadays, and it is without a doubt the one that enjoys the richest history and traditions. Lanzarote was the first island in the Canary Islands archipelago to be explored by European seafarers, probably because it is the northernmost of the islands and the closest to the continent.
Between 1320 and 1339, the Italian seafarer Lancelotto Malocello arrived at Lanzarote and gave it his name. In 1402, the Frenchman Jean de Béthencourt arrived and defeated Guadarfía, the Guanche king, or Mencey, of the island. And so Lanzarote became the first annexed island of the Kingdom of Castile, coming under its rule and vassalage.
What we know of today as the Real Villa de Teguise stands above the Gran Aldea of the majos of Lanzarote (the former inhabitants of the island) which according to Viera y Clavijo, was called “Acatife” by the natives. The place received the name of Teguise in honour of Princess Teguise, King Guadarfía’s daughter and married to Maciot de Béthencourt’s, Jean de Béthencourt’s nephew.
The city enjoyed prosperity and rapid economic growth, which made it the target of numerous attacks by pirates, privateers and criminals during the 16th and 17th centuries.
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