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In 1402 Lanzarote was the first of the Canary Islands to be conquered by Jean de Bethencourt, without significant resistance from the original inhabitants. Later, however, there was unrest as a result of his tyrannical conduct, but this was suppressed by the Spanish crown without major incident.
For protection against attacks by pirates (Berber and English buccaneers) in the 16th and 17th centuries, Teguise in the interior of the island was made the capital of Lanzarote. The result was the construction of a number of castles such as that of San Gabriel and San José in Arrecife, or the fortress of Santa Bárbara in the volcano of Guanapay.
When attacks from the sea gradually became fewer, the town of Arrecife developed into the actual capital of Lanzarote thanks to the increasing importance of its harbour.