1st Nov 2023 @ 6:00 am

As you drive up from Arrieta to Órzola, through the unique malpais of rugged lava, you’ll see one of Lanzarote’s most distinctive buildings perched on the flank of Monte Corona. This is La Torrecilla (The Little Tower) – one of Lanzarote’s most evocative buildings.

In 1918, Haría Ayuntamiento put several plots of land up for auction to finance the building of the pretty Town Hall that still stands in the centre of Haría. One plot was purchased by Domingo López Fontes, an ex-Mayor of Haría, who had big plans for the land.

López Fontes built a unique building that would serve as a family residence, as well as the headquarters of productive farm, producing wine and several other products. At one point, the finca produced 200,000 litres of wine annually, which was sold under the names Bodegas La Torrecilla and Bodegas Los Lajares.

In 1930, Don Domingo passed the property over to his son, Mariano López Socas, and in that same year the official secretary of Haría, Agustín Aldana Lorenzo, published a poem titled Song to La Torrecilla dedicated to the new owner.

The estate also produced cherries, peaches, plums, and figs that were sold in Lanzarote’s markets and exported to Gran Canaria.

The López Socas family continued to run the business until 1973, when a German dignitary who was visiting the island became interested in the property and acquired it.

In 2008, the Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar arrived on Lanzarote with Penélope Cruz to shoot a section of his film Los Abrazos Rotos. The film portrays a passionate love affair that is ended by a car crash that kills Cruz’s character and blinds her lover, played by Luis Tosar. In the film, La Torrecilla appears as the desolate sanatorium where Tosar’s character recovers from his injuries.

La Torrecilla is still a private property, and visits are not permitted. However, the building is currently for sale if you have €2.7 million to spare.

Meanwhile, it remains one of Haría’s most distinctive landmarks – a “watchman of the plain, witness of the sky”.

Song to La Torrecilla, Agustín Aldana Lorenzo. 1930.

On the grey plain of the desert fields,

Filled with mysteries of things that have died…

Like a hope in the desolation,

Is drawn proudly the regal silhouette,

That was the Muse of a humble poet,

There, in the distance, a beautiful illusion…

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