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Torre Nueva: The defensive tower in Spain built centuries ago to warn locals of pirate attacks.

2 min read

We are on the South of Spain, where a series of centennial towers are spread along the whole coast, some of which still standing.
One of the best preserved towers is in La Linea de la Concepcion, the Spanish town that borders the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.

The sea-facing structure has one room some four meters above ground, the place were soldiers kept a constant eye to the south, where Africa is just about 15 kilometers away. The guards who manned the tower sent smoke signals to warn the locals of Berber pirate attacks.
However, the Torre Nueva doesn’t have any sign explaining its origins. The tower, also called sometimes Torre Sabá, is one of the 44 towers of the same characteristics that dotted the Spanish coast from the river Guadiaro to the border with Portugal. All of them were built during the reign of Felipe III, along with others located along the Mediterranean coast from Málaga to Catalonia.
At the top of each tower, there was always a bundle of dry wood to be burned immediately in case of danger, transmitting the alarm signal to the towers nearby.
The Torre Nueva was declared a national monument on April 22, 1949.
It was once possible to go up the ladder and enter in the guards’ room, but the lower ladders are gone because it seems people were using the room to organize meetings with alcohol and drugs.
The road going to the tower is also interesting, as it belongs to a failed urbanization project that was never built. In fact, many constructions in Spain stopped development in the 2009 financial crisis.

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