Category Archives: Towers and viewpoints in Cádiz

The Torre Tavira in Cádiz

The Torre Tavira is a watchtower and the tallest point in the city of Cadiz, located 45 meters above sea level. It is situated in the Casa-Palacio de los Marqueses de Recaño (currently the Conservatory of Music of Cadiz) and was built in the Baroque style in the 18th century. It was designated as the official watchtower of the Cadiz port in 1778 because it had the highest elevation, and was named after its first watchman, Lieutenant Frigate D. Antonio Tavira.

Currently, it houses the Camera Obscura, one of the most symbolic tourist attractions in the city of Cadiz, as well as two exhibition halls and a viewpoint, from which the entire historic city center can be admired.

Tickets to the Torre Tavira at Get Your Guide

Explore the ancient city of Cadiz on this 2-hour guided walking tour. Visit two of its most impressive monuments: the Cadiz Cathedral and the Tavira Tower while passing historical landmarks along the way.

The Camera Obscura was inaugurated in 1994 and is composed of an optical system that reflects real-time scenes from the outside onto a white screen. The exhibition halls show, through informative panels, the development of the city of Cadiz and its history in general, and the Torre Tavira in particular during the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors can also admire the original telescope and the watchman’s daily logbook, as well as photographs from the 19th and present centuries that show the changes undergone by the city during the last century.

From the Torre Tavira, in addition to all the rooftops of Cadiz, one can see Puerto Real, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Rota, and Sancti Petri. When the horizon is clear, the African coast can be glimpsed.

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Opening times and practical information

October – April: 10am – 6pm.
May – September: 10am – 8pm.

  • Duration of the Visit : 45 min.
  • The last entrance in the tower is one hour before closing time.
  • Open every day all year except the 25th of December, the 1st and the 6th of January.
  • Limited capacity. It is necessary to book in advance and follow safety instructions.
  • Normal Price: 7,00 Euro
  • Reduced price: 5,50 Euro, for People over 65, Students (with student ID), Groups of more than 10, Disabled people.

Official website:

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The watchtowers of Cádiz

The Watchtowers of Cádiz are a series of defensive structures built during the 16th and 17th centuries in Cádiz, Spain. They were part of the city’s fortifications and were used to watch for incoming ships and to provide early warning of potential attacks by pirates or foreign powers. Some of the towers have been preserved and are now used for various purposes such as museums or tourist attractions.

Influenced by North African architecture but without doubt pure Andalucian, the watchtowers of Cádiz are one of the most characteristic elements of our city.

Whilst walking in the narrow streets, many of the ornate towers are hidden from view. But, from the sea, they create a picturesque and distinctive silhouette of the city that has become famous the world over.

Continue reading The watchtowers of Cádiz

Bella Escondida tower

The Bella Escondida tower is the only lookout tower (of the hundreds) in Cádiz with an octagonal floor plan. It is located on top of the house at number 13 Calle José but as it’s name suggests, it can’t be seen from the street. “Escondida” in English means “hidden”.

If you want to see this tower then visit the rooftop bar of the hotel las Cortes de Cádiz from where you can get a great view whilst enjoying a coffee, beer or glass of wine.

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It is said that this tower was built not only to watch for the ships arriving from the Indies but also to show the love a father had for his daughter refelected in the beautiful facade of the tower. She was secluded in the convent in the adjacent street but from her room she could see the tower and know that her father loved her.

Bella Escondida tower

The tower itself is different from the other towers scattered throughout the historic center of the city due its octagonal floor plan with columns and pilasters. It has four floors, small balconies and its location makes it impossible to see from the street. It is also peculiar in its baroque style, decoration of polychrome tiles and ceramic pinnacles as well as its Mudejar-inspired geometric drawings.

This tower was called the Bella Escondida by the now deceased local journalist Bartolomé Llompart. (Considered by many Gaditanos to be the unofficial chronicler of the city). In one of the articles that he wrote for the newspaper Diario de Cádiz, he gave an account of the discovery made whilst walking down the street called José de Toro. A building had been demolished leaving a “grande view of this strange tower that few had ever seen.” Many people came to see the tower after his article was published but very soon a new building was constructed on the old site once again obsuring the tower from view.

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