Torre del Oro - Seville - Torre del Oro - Seville -


Torre del Oro, one of the iconic monuments in Seville

This 12 sided fortress tower dates from 1220, the era of the almohade, and was originally part of the Alcazar. At the time it was built it was linked by a heavy chain to another tower on the other side of the river. It was reputedly decorated with gilded tiles, which accounts for its name. Later it became a prison and today it holds a small maritime museum.

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La Plaza de España is an open air monument and it offers free access. Best tours or activities to enjoy it are walking tours, cycling tours, etc. 

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Torre del Oro

What is La Torre del Oro?

The Torre del Oro in Seville is an Albarran-style tower located on the left bank of the Guadalquivir River, built in  1221.  The tower stands 36 meters tall and it is believed that its Arabic name was Bury Al-Dahab, in reference to the golden glow that reflected on the river.

It is a tower formed by three main structures. The first and main one is a twelve-sided polygon, 15.20 meters wide. Inside there are three floors and a basement that was filled as a foundation in 1760. The different floors are connected by a hexagonal-shaped staircase. The tower was built between 1220 and 1221 by order of the Almohad governor of Seville, Abù l-Ulà, who handed it over to the city on February 24, 1221.

The second body is a bit more of a mystery. Some say that it was commissioned by Pedro I in the fourteenth century. This hypothesis isn’t confirmed, however, though it is the leading theory.

Finally, the upper body which is cylindrical and finished with a golden dome was built in 1760 by the military engineer Sebastián Van der Borcht after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

It was declared a historical-artistic monument in 1931 and has been restored several times. The work of the Navy has been important in its conservation, and the tower now houses the Naval Museum of Seville.

Where is La Torre del Oro?

It is located in the historic center of the city of Seville, in the Barrio del Arenal, in the same area as the mythic Maestranza bullring, the Torre de la Plata or the Atarazanas, and on the opposite shore is the Barrio de Triana.

What is the controversy regarding the name of la Torre del Oro?

it is believed that its Arabic name was Bury Al-Dahab, in reference to the golden glow that reflected on the river. During the restoration works in 2005, it was shown that this shine, which until then a false legend attributed to the tile covering, was due to a mixture of lime mortar and pressed straw.

Video tour of La Torre del Oro

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