Legends of Torre Del Oro

The Torre Del Oro, translated as the Golden Tower is one of the identity signs of Seville. It’s situated on Paseo Cristóbal Colón, next to Guadalquivir. The tower consists of three levels and is 36 metres high. Let’s dig a bit deeper into the history about this tower!

The construction of Torre Del Oro happened in three different phases with different cultures. The first phase was in the 13th Century (1221) by the Almohad regime. They constructed a dodecagonal level with a concrete vault to make the building stronger. They used it as a watchtower, which was called “Borg-al-dasjeb” or Torro Del oro. It was constructed at the end of the reign of Taifa Kings. In the 14th Century, Catholic Kings from Castile came and this was the second phase. They added another level which was a meeting place. Legends say it was used for the mistresses King Peter had. People known him as “the Cruel”.

They also believe that there was another tower on the other side of the river connected with chains to stop the waterway traffic. These chains were damaged by Ramón de Bonifaz who helped King Ferdinand III to conquer Seville to the moors with his ships.

Between 1504 – 1755 there were a lot of earthquakes that damaged the tower. The worst one was the Lisbon Earthquake in 1755 that damaged the entire structure. The last phase was finished in 1760, repairers repaired the damages of the earthquake. They added an upper cylindrical level with a small dome with yellow tiles.

During these periods, it was generally used as a watchtower, fortress, chapel, prison and a port warehouse. In the beginning of the 19th Century the tower was used a company. They were the first one who built a steam boat here in Spain. But the Revolution of 1868 was another crisis for the tower. Revolutionaries demolished the decorative facing of the walls to sell it. After restauration, King Alfonso XIII visited the tower and inside you can see a sign dedicated to him when he came. In 1931 the tower was declared as a national monument.

Now, why is it called the Golden Tower? There are a few theories hanging around about this. First one is that the tower used to be covered in white gilded tiles that reflected the sunlight. Another one is that Torre Del Or was an emblem of the port where they kept all the gold of Americans. However, the name probably derived from the 12 sided base as opposed to the 8 side base buildings that were usually known as Torre de la Plata (Silver Tower).

TOWER TODAY

Today the tower is a Naval Museum of Seville that is interesting for people who like objects of the past or are interested in the maritime history of the city. It consists of two exhibitions floors and a terrace where you enjoy a view of the city. Inside you can find nautical objects such as uniforms, medals, decorations, historical paintings, sea charts, model ships and so on. Entrance costs € 3,00.

In which theory do you believe in? Or have you heard about another one? Let us know!

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