Seville: Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold)

Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold) in Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold)

Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold)
An iconic landmark of Seville, the Torre del Oro is a military watchtower located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. As you can see, there are three levels, each built in different periods. Visitor can climb the first two levels and get a 360 degree panoramic view of Seville that includes the Guadalquivir River, Seville Tower, Seville Cathedral and La Giralda.

Lower Level – Moorish part
Fearing a surprise attack by the Christians, Abù l-Ulà, then Moorish Governor of Seville, commissioned this watchtower in 1221 – 1222. At that time, there was a double wall protecting the Alcazar of Seville. This watchtower was built adjoining to that wall and connected the Torre de la Plata (Tower of Silver). The double wall and the watchtowers also protected the river port and shipyard located on the banks of the river.

Once the Reconquista took over Seville in 1248, the Christians started using the tower as a chapel dedicated to San Isidoro (St. Isidore), who was the Bishop of Seville from 600 to 636. Later, it became a prison and an armory. Now it hosts a small maritime museum that displays items related to the maritime history of Seville. These items include canons and models of ships that traveled the New World. On display on the wall of this museum is a pictorial illustration of the history of Torre del Oro, which is closely tied to the history of Seville.

The Almohad tower is dodecagonal-shaped with the hexagonal core consisting of a spiraling staircase.

Middle Level – Built by Peter the Cruel
The smaller tower on the second level was built by Pedro the Cruel in the 1300s. It is believed that he used the tower to imprison is opponents, house his mistress, and store his treasures.

Top Level
After the tower was badly damaged by the Lisbon Earthquake in 1755, the tower was repaired and a new circular level was added at the top in 1760.

Related Pages
Seville Cathedral: An awe-inspiring architectural marvel
Sala Capitular – The Chapter House of the Seville Cathedral
Sacristía Mayor – The Main Sacristy of the Seville Cathedral
La Giralda: A harmonious blend of Moorish and Renaissance architectural styles

Copyright © 2020 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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