Higuera Tower - Torre de la Higuera
Location (Province of Huelva).
|Location|| Matalascañas ( Almonte ) |
| Asset of Cultural Interest |
Historical heritage of Spain
|Statement||BOE No. 155, of 29 June 1985 [ 2 ]|
|Category||Monument [ 3 ]|
|Style||Military architecture [ 1 ]|
The Torre de la Higuera , known colloquially as "La Peña" or "El Tapón", was a watchtower that was located on Matalascañas beach , in the municipality of Almonte ( Huelva , Spain ), on the broad beach known generically like Castilla beach . It was one of the eleven towers in the province of Huelva that belonged to the coastal watchtower system , which covered a large part of the Spanish coastline, although nothing remains of it except its foundations overturned on the beach.
Its origin dates back to the 16th century, when the beaches of Castile, a compulsory passage for trade between Europe and America , were looted and attacked by Barbary corsairs and pirates from the North African coasts. For this reason, at the end of the 16th century, King Felipe II ordered the construction of a series of towers to defend the Spanish coasts. The fortification project of the Andalusian Atlantic coast , from Gibraltar to Ayamonte , was carried out by the royal commissioner Luis Bravo de Laguna . [ 4 ]
It was ordered to be built in 1577. When this line of beacon towers was planned, the need to build an "ordinary" tower, with a single vault or chamber, was indicated, since it constituted a gouache point, anchored for coastal shipping from Sanlúcar Barrameda , and the fishermen's farm, all subjected to the visits of the Berber boats.
Its current state is due to the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 , which made it tilt from the top of the margo-sandy cliff of continental origin where it was originally located, the foundations falling to the beach. [ 1 ]
With the appearance of a huge capital leaning on the line of low tide, the only visible remnant of what was the Higuera tower has been offered for many years. Its strange appearance is due to the fact that, being in a totally inverted position, the widening of the circular plinth and the foundations are shown in the air as a crown, while the walls stripped by the breaking tide sink into the sand and into the water.
This unusual position dates from quite old and has not substantially altered its state of conservation at least so far this century, thus evidencing the exceptional quality of the mortar used and of the work in general, which is resisting wear and tear and in a position forced for which it was not conceived. [ 1 ]
Currently only the foundations of the tower remain, which are overturned on the shore and in an inverted position. The tower offers the visitor a rare view of its foundation, which is in poor condition as a result of the passage of time and the action of the sea. Today it is under the protection of the generic Declaration of the Decree of April 22, 1949, and Law 16/1985 on Spanish Historical Heritage , which declared it an Asset of Cultural Interest .
In the long term, it has been detected that the sea has gained more than 200 meters to the beach in the last 200 years due to the action of the waters. [ 5 ]
The indiscriminate use of the tower as a point of support to jump into the water, with the dangers that this entails, has led the authorities to prohibit this practice. [ 6 ]
- Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage (ed.). "Torre de la Higuera" . Retrieved March 29, 2017 .
- State Agency Official State Gazette, ed. (June 29, 1985). "Law 16/1985, of June 25, of the Spanish Historical Heritage" . Retrieved March 29, 2017 .
- Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. "Consultation of the real estate database . " Retrieved March 3, 2017 .
- Sancho de Sopranis, H. (1957). The trip of Luis Bravo de Laguna and his fortification project of the western coasts of Andalusia from Gibraltar to Ayamonte . Year IX. No. 42. Madrid: Institute of African Studies.
- Huelva Information (ed.). "Matalascañas beach has lost 200 meters in two centuries" . Retrieved March 29, 2017 .
- El Diario Montanés (ed.). "Jumping from the Torre de la Higuera will cost up to 6,000 euros . " Retrieved March 29, 2017 .