Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, MIAC-Castillo de San José

The Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo-Castillo de San José, is located near Puerto Naos and Arrecife, capital of the island, and the place where César Manrique was born. It was built between 1776 and 1779 under the ruling of King Charles III. The museum’s privileged location on top of a cliff, made protection from Castillo de San Gagriel easier, and it meant it was a crucial spot to defend Arrecife and its port from the dangers the modern states posed to the Spanish Empire. When its use for defensive purposes decreased, it was left abandoned for almost a century. It was Manrique (who else), who convinced the authorities of the island to transform the ancient fortress into an art gallery that ended up opening in 1976, the Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo. Manrique started up the 1st International Visual Arts Competition with the work of Picasso, Tàpies, Miró, Mompó, Millares, Zóbel and some of his own creations that inspired one of the largest abstract art collections by Canarian and Spanish artists of the second half of the 20th Century in the Canary Islands. Manrique also added a significant number of modernist sculptures that can be seen when touring the depths of the castle. One of the main contributions Manrique made to the modern areas such as the bar- restaurant, a pleasant and harmonious corner within the fortress where visitors can taste the avant-garde dishes on offer with the coast and the sea in the background over the bay, viewed through a large glass window.

Museum: 10:00 to 20:00.

Restaurant Qué-Muac (Free access) :

  • Restaurant: 12:00-16:00  Tusday-Saturday
  • Cafeteria: 10:00-20:00 Monday-Sunday
  •  Lounge bar: 21:30-01:00  Friday-Saturday
  • Price  2017 Adult: 4.00 euros
  • Children: 2.00 euros (7 – 12)
  • Canarian Adult Resident: 3.20 euros Canarian
  • Child Resident: 1.60 euros Residents in Lanzarote: 1.00 euro

We recommend purchasing one of the 3, 4 or 6-centre tickets available, saving up to €10,55. In doing so, you will be able to organise your trip more comfortably and enjoy the work of artist César Manrique from different perspectives, combining visits to the Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, MIAC-Castillo de San José, and other Centres of interest on the island.

1 hour.

  • Cóctel-Bar. We recommend our cocktails (mojitos, gin-tonics, etc.) Dj Music, Friday and Saturday nights.
  • QuéMUAC-Castillo de San José Restaurant
  • Local jewellery and the best local handcrafts available at the gift shop.
  • Free Wi-fii.
  • Free car parking.
  • BikeFriendly

The Art, Culture and Tourism Centres are in the process of removing architectural barriers and adapting to physically disabled visitors. At present, this Centre is partially accessible.

Free access for children under 7. Comfortable high chairs for children available at the restaurant. Baby changing facilities available in the toilets.

No pets allowed, except for guide dogs.

We recommend taking photographs of the facade of the building (18th Century fortress), the gardens, the top terrace and the sea views of the QuéMUAC-Castillo de San José Restaurant. Photographs inside the museum must be taken without the use of a flash in oder to avoid damaging work of arts.

Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo

MIAC-Castillo de San José

The MIAC Collection started with a close collaboration between the Cabildo of Lanzarote and César Manrique. A selection of artists were brought together to open the First International Visual Arts Competition that opened the museum and the first large group of pieces of the collection. Among the artists taking part, there were artists whose work reached their peak in the 1960s. Renowned names such as: Tápies, Guerrero, Torner, Zóbel, Sempere, Gordillo, Rivera, Le Parc, Pedro González… This initial group has grown in the same direction and has included the work of outstanding Canarian artists of avant-garde trends: Óscar Domínguez, Pancho Lasso, Juan Ismael, and also the following generations: Millares, Chirino, Cristino de Vera… Since 2000, the MIAC Collection has increased with photographic work, counting on the work of authors such as Joel Peter-Witkin, Joseph Beuys and Jürgen Klauke, among others.

Consult our programmed exhibitions calendar.

MIAC offers a programme of activities that revolves around its Collection, although what matters is how it is handled and the ideas that surround it, as it is a centre where culture comes to life. Artistic contemporary work goes hand in hand with the life experiences that the pieces portray, which leads to new activities that are true expressions of creativity. It is the people who are a consistent part of the works of art, and they are the ones our work is aimed at, to contribute to raise the visual and intellectual awareness of our society. ARTELANZAROTE BIENNIAL GATHERING Since 2001, MIAC organises the Lanzarote Biennial, a project promoting artistic activities and acting as a window to the world of contemporary creation. The Biennial starts up a debate with the cultural parties involved -artists, curators, architects, anthropologists, managers and citizens- promoting the fact that art must be in touch with reality and life. Each edition covers topics linked to culture, art, tourism, the environment, immigration, architecture, sustainability; all of them current issues, not only in the globalised world we live in, but also as a means of action for Lanzarote and the Canary Islands.

The museum has developed a Cultural Management Training Programme in collaboration with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with the aim to offer professional guidance to a wide range of people.

The Education and Cultural Action Department at the MIAC, offers a programme of activities and visits targeting very different types of people. The activities organised offer an opportunity to think and learn, having the observation of objects in a group context, as a priority. The DEAC promotes positive experiences, that are fun and significant from a young age, in order to encourage the tradition of visiting museums, as well as raising an understanding towards the worth cultural heritage has by being in contact with original pieces. Contact:

QuéMUAC Restaurant

A wide range of quality products available

At the QuéMUAC Castillo de San José Restaurant, there are international menus available, and trendy traditional Canarian dishes. We recommend our Tapas Selection Menu. Menus for vegetarians and celiacs available. Children’s menu available.

Cafetería/Bar: 10:00 to 01:00. Restaurant: 12:00 to 16:00. (Tuesday to Saturday) 19:00 to 23:00. (Friday and Saturday) Cóctel/Bar: 22:00 to 01:00.

On Fridays and Saturdays, QuéMUAC dinners have interesting video screenings of artists, and music in the background played by local Djs.

Menus for vegetarians and celiacs available. Children’s menu available. We recommend our tapas menu and our selection of cocktails.

E-mail our commercial department if you wish to make a reservation or book a special event.

Gift Shop

Art, local jewellery, books and magazines, and local handicrafts

Purchase prints of artists displayed on the MIAC Collection, interesting local crafts and jewellery.

De 10:00 a 20:00 horas

Will you rate us?

Excellence Certificate awarded by Trip Advisor. Thank you!

Get to know our history

+ 50 years sharing César Manrique's creation
The Art, Culture and Tourism Centres (CACT) of the Cabildo of Lanzarote are the main tourism role model on the island. In January 2005, the Art, Culture and Tourism Centres began to be run by a Local Business Entity (EPEL), supported in its entirety by the Cabildo of Lanzarote. The EPEL-CACT, the Tourism Board and the Domestic Tourism Office, are the three public entities that manage tourism in Lanzarote. For the people, but with a corporate philosophy, the Tourism Centres are the economic engine of the island, focusing their profits greatly on Social Work on the island.

Protection of natural values

Protection of natural valuesArtist from Lanzarote, César Manrique was its main creator,wisely making art and nature bond. The Centres have become a modern version of the traditional intervention of local people on their natural surroundings, which sets deep in the roots of the local population. Currently, the CACT are a tourist product that smoothly meets the existing demands, respecting the essence and philosophy they were intended for.

César Manrique Cabrera (Arrecife, 24 April 1919- Teguise, 25 September 1992) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and landscape artist from the island of Lanzarote. He balanced his art with the protection of environmental values on the Canary Islands. He sought harmony between art and nature creatively. He was awarded the Global Ecology and Tourism Award (1978) and the Europa Nostra Award, among others, for his art and environmental work in Lanzarote (1985). He displayed a range of art forms (paint, sculpture, urban-planning and public art, among others) with an underlying willingness to integrate his natural surroundings. An all-encompassing syncretism (total art, in his words) plain to see in his public space designs. Making an effort to find harmony, not only showing his passion for beauty, but also for life.

César Manrique, Cabecera

Fundación César Manrique Archive

More info

César Manrique artist

Fundación César Manrique Archive

The origins of the Art, Culture and Tourism Centresdate back to approximately 1966. After a three-year stay in New York, César Manrique (1919-1992), one of the Spanish abstract painting pioneers, came back to Lanzarote, his home town, for good, where at that time tourism seemed to be emerging. Being aware of the uniqueness of the island’s landscape, he started to promote an ambitious creative project that consisted of the intervention with nature, aiming to preserve and protect the environment, and linking it to a new economy for Lanzarote related to the tourism industry. Quickly, and backed by an enthusiastic team of collaborators on his side, they started to obtain their first results: Jameos del Agua (1966), Monumento al Campesino (1968), El Diablo Restaurant (1970), Mirador del Río (1973), Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, MIAC (1976) and Jardín de Cactus (1990).
More info