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.



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Founded: 1588
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

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User Reviews

Luis Bravo (3 years ago)
A shame the state of abandonment of this
Guillermo Cruz Beltrán (4 years ago)
The friar's tower from the abandoned artillery barracks on the road of screens.
Acisclo Pedraza Nevado (4 years 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.
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