Torre del Fraile

Algeciras, Spain

The Torre del Fraile is one of a set of military watchtowers built around the South and East coast of Spain to keep an eye on passing shipping and Barbary pirates. The watchtowers were in sight of one another and it was therefore possible to get a signal to Gibraltar from the watchtower in Tarifa. The tower was designed by Luis Bravo and Juan Pedro Laguna in 1588.

The tower is about 240 metres back from the sea and Cala Arenas and 120 metres above it. The tower is over six metres in diameter and was over thirteen metres high until the top collapsed in 2006 with the loss of a window and the upper staircase. The tower's entrance was over five metres in the air and this led onto a floor. From this the soldiers could climb to the top where space was reserved for firewood for signalling.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1588
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Guillermo Cruz Beltrán (3 months ago)
The friar's tower from the abandoned artillery barracks on the road of screens.
Acisclo Pedraza Nevado (4 months ago)
If you want to know more, continue reading: The beacon tower known as del Fraile is one of the main defensive monuments of the city of Algeciras, and until recently, the last building of this type that was erected completely intact in the coastline of this town, Gibraltarian countryside. The place names of Torre del Fraile, Torre de los Canutos, Torre de Fontanillas, Torre de San Diego or Torre de Cala Arenas, have been applied to the airy Beacon that rises in the same orographic complex of the Torre de Punta Carnero and Torre del Lobo, although it was already in the Bay of Algeciras. It is one of those referred to by archival documentation with an exclusive watchdog function. Called watchtowers, beacon towers, lookout or marine, their mission of exploration of the horizon in search of hostile sails imposed their location in very high places and with good visibility since ancient times, since this type of construction is attested on the shores of the Mediterranean since ancient times.
evaristo blazquez (2 years ago)
hace tres o cuatro años fuimos dede la carretera que pasa por "Las Pantallas". subimos esa carretera. dejamos los coches arriba. Retrocedimos caminando por la carretera y unos doscientos metros abajo y a mano derecha hay una verja. La pasamos y monte abajo. Fue duro. El camino estaba casi cerrado por la vegetación. llovia y a la vuelta se empezó a meter niebla. No se como se encontrará actualmente. Pero si esta como entonces no es un tranquilo paseito con niños. eso si. en dias claros las vistas son impresionantes. la torre esta semiderruida y sin mantenimiento. ni intentamos bajar hacia la playa.
Doge the dog (2 years ago)
Ok
Juan Marcos Troyano (3 years ago)
La Torre del Fraile es una construcción que se usaba para vigilar la costa, y forma parte de un conjunto de torres distribuidas por todo el litoral del Estrecho de Gibraltar. La Torre del Fraile es ahora mismo inaccesible, debido a que no tiene ningún tipo de mantenimiento y el matorral y la maleza impiden acercarse. Bajo la Torre del Fraile se encuentra la Punta del Fraile, punto de la costa usado por submarinistas y pescadores por la riqueza de sus fondos.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.