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Montana Tindaya

Fuerteventura, Spain
1 of 10

Tindaya, the small goat farming village was recently thrown into the limelight because of a project to build a 'gigantic cube' inside the Tindaya mountain. A contemporary Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida, intended to 'hollow out' the mountain. Chillada said he wished to create "a great space where we would feel smaller than what we think we are, and more tolerant to one another, a place of tolerance". The project would also include a public park making Tindaya one of the islands major tourist attractions.

Chilladas plans have met strong opposition from local ecologists, archeologists, and grassroots groups determined to defend their environment, cultural values, and archeological sites. The debate continues.


The space designed by Eduardo Chillida in Montana Tindaya is a truly evocative, mystical sculptural environment, an architecture of hollows decorated only by the matter that forms them.

The dimensions and structure of the work were affected by geomorphic properties and by the presence of fissures and basins within the mountain, of volcanic origin. Chillida created a cube measuring about 50 metres on each side inside the mountain, extracting 125,000 cubic metres of stone. The cube is lit up by two skylights, two long tunnels that allow light to filter in with highly evocative effects, and under certain conditions provide unusual glimpses of the sun and the moon.

As Chillida himself said to a letter to the press in 1996: "The idea was to create a sculpture that would protect the sacred mountain. The large space created in the heart of the mountain is invisible from the outside, but those who dare to venture within will see the sun and the moon from a hollow with no horizon."

To reach this place visitors must pass through a tunnel with a 15 metre square section measuring 80 metres long, which Chillida has designed with a lowered floor level so that people inside the cube cannot see the arriving visitors but only the line of the horizon. Chillida's work inside Montana Tindaya is a monument to tolerance, a hymn in praise of man, the protagonist in a magic space which lives its natural cycles and which allows sun, rain and the weak shadows of the moon to penetrate into the heart of a mountain.

Current Status

Arup carried out feasibility and geo-technical studies in 2004, and in 2006 declared the projects was feasible. In 2008 the Canary Islands government declared works to recommence in February 2009 while an Ombudsman report questioned the validity of the report, in 2010 the project was brought to a stop.

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mariathuroczy, May 16th, 2014
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