torre del oro

Torre del Oro (Golden Tower)

torre del oro

Table of Contents

The Name.

Wrongly believed that the name comes from holding inside the silver and gold that came from America. It was believed that the name came from the golden reflection of the tower in the river. In a 2005 restauration process was demonstrated that such reflection was in fact due a combination of lime mortar and pressed straw. Previously, most people thought the reflections was from a shiny ceramic coating.

The Origin.

Has it’s origin during the XIII Century when the Almohads dominated the land and built this defensive tower to control access from the river.

The  Torre del Oro  is 36m tall (118ft). Most tourist are disappointed by it’s height, expecting some tall building like the Big Ben, but keep in mind that this was a defensive building, so it’s easier to defend and shoot arrows from the top. It was also connected with the rest of the walls protecting the city.

Torre del Oro
recreation Seville XVI century
Torre del Oro
Recreation Seville XVI century.

Span of Time.

The tower wasn’t built in one go. The lower body is dodecagonal built by the moors around 1221-1222 by order of the muslim governor Abu al ulá. The second part was built following orders of king Pedro I “the Cruel” in the XIV century and  the top part is cylindrical crowned with a dome, built in the XVIII by the military engineer Sebastian Van der Borcht. The same man that projected the Royal Tobacco Factory (Universidad de Sevilla- Today).

At some point in history, there was a thick chain connecting the two riversides to prevent foreign incursions.

Resilience.

 The tower has survived the 2 earthquakes that have shaken the city, but it’s most critical time was during the “glorious” revolution of 1868 when the mob of people destroyed the ancient walls surrounding the city and targeted the tower, luckily, most people of Seville were against and the tower survived. 

Today.

Historically the Torre del Oro has been used as a chapel, prison, arsenal, Seville’s Port Authority and  Since 1931, was declared  Historic Monument. From 1994 serves as a naval museum, small in size but powerful in content. There’s another city with a tower that serves similar functions; Lisbon and the Belem Tower. In 1992 during the World Expo held in Seville, the two tower bonded in a brotherhood.

Other Info.

Price.

Adults 3€

Kids 6-14, seniors +65, students with ID 1,50€

Children under 6 free.

Schedule.

Mon-Fri 9:30 to 18:45 hrs.

Sat-Sun 10:30 to 18:45 hrs.

Closed on public holidays.

Audioguides.

Spanish, English, French, Italian and German. Group visits are required to request in advance via email.

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