Torre del Oro: watchtower of the port of Seville.


The Torre del Oro is one of the most curious monuments caused to tourists and locals by the various theories of the origin of its name.
It was built in the early thirteenth century by the Almohads, a type of Islam that invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the twelfth century, and was created as a defensive tower of the Sevillian port area. It was the icing on the defensive system created by Muslims in the city of Seville but why it is called that is what attracts the most attention. There are several theories such as the location of the store of gold arrived with the American trade, another refers to the reflection of the sun when it is covered with tiles, giving it that golden aspect. But neither are correct. The first is not because the precious material was taken to the Casa de la Moneda or to the houses of the European bankers to whom the debts of the Empire had to be paid; and with respect to the second, there are no tests, either graphic or documented, that show it.
The most accepted theories are two: the tower as customs and the reflection of the mixture of lime and pressed straw. Regarding the first, the defensive tower had a large iron chain which was attached to another small tower on the other side of the Guadalquivir River, on the edge of Triana. This one was lowered when paying the commercial boats a tribute with gold coins to be able to happen to the port of Seville. This chain and the other tower are no longer found because they were destroyed a few years later, in 1248, with the Reconquest of Seville by King San Fernando, because it was not only taken by land but also by sea, since Admiral Bonifaz came from Cantabria, northern Spain, with its Castilian army, entered the Guadalquivir River from its mouth and broke that chain and the subsequent bridge of boats, thus isolating the Muslim city of Seville. And, as I have said before, the lime and pressed straw that was used as a coating for the Torre del Oro, it seems that it offered that golden aspect with the reflection of the Sun.
Be that as it may, the name of this Tower of Gold goes around the world and there are many visitors who ask for it. When you look at the tower you can see that it is divided into three parts: the largest is the original, built in the 13th century by the Almohads, and has an extension in the fourteenth century by King Pedro I, which is said to he used it as a private corner for his encounters with his lovers; and the upper part, the yellow dome, whose architect is the same as the Royal Tobacco Factory, is placed in 1760 after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, which causes some damage in the city of Seville.
But not only its extensions and restorations have been numerous but its uses have also been: in addition to defensive tower, after the Reconquest was used as a chapel of San Isidoro de Sevilla and even as a prison. Its existence was complicated by the Revolution of the Glorious of 1868, whose Revolutionary Junta destroyed all glimpses of the wall and most of its towers, but by popular demand the Torreo del Oro remained. Almost in the middle of the 20th century, in 1944, the Naval Museum was inaugurated and is still open today. In this Naval Museum of the Torre del Oro you can find ancient instruments of seamanship, models, graphic documents and deals with the importance of the relationship between Seville, the Guadalquivir River and the sea. In addition you can also climb the second body of the tower and admire the beautiful views of Seville and its river.
The visiting hours of the Torre del Oro in Seville:
Monday to Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Holidays, closed.
Prices: Adults: € 3
Children from 6 to 14 years old, students and accredited retirees: € 1.50.
Children under 6 years old: free admission.
Monday, free visit.
If you want to know more about this magnificent monument and see it live from abroad, you can join and book our tour of the Historic Center of Seville, available every day at 10:00 am in Spanish and English. Book through our website

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