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History of


Built in the first third of the XIIIth century, towards the end of the Taifas Kingdoms. Its name in Arab was Borg-al-Azajal, which came to express, that the golden tiling that flashed in the sun was like gold, and reflected in the river, could harm your eyes.

In 1220 Abu I Ula, the almohade governor, ordered to build it to defend the city. He also closed the entrance to the port with a heavy chain that crossed the river from this tower to another one that doesn’t exist anymore, in the border of Triana. This chain was broken by Ramon Bonifaz’s sailors in 1248 with the Reconquest’s fleet.

The legend tells us that the Tower of Gold was a refuge for the ladies that were courted by King Pedro I the Cruel, whose most famous love affair was the one he held with Doña Aldonza, sister of Doña Maria Colonel, who lived in the Tower of Gold, meanwhile her wife, Maria de Padilla, lived in the Alcázar.

Later the tower became a chapel and a prison. It is a dodecagonal plant. It has three parts: the upper one with a circular shape. The second one is made of bricks and with an hexagonal plant and green ceramic decoration, and the first one has three floors covered with edge vaults.

The tower was abandonned as the years passed by. In the XVIth century it was in a complete ruinous state, which made it necessary to carry out an important restauration work. Thanks to this, it remained in good health untill the XVIIIth century, when the terrible Lisbon earthquake (1755) shook the city and seriously affected the Tower.

Also in the Revolution of 1868, the revolutionaries started destroying the walls, wanting to sell all the materials of the demolition, but the popular opposition made that the Tower survived.

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