GUAITA TOWER

Guaita Tower audio.

History

The guaita tower of Tavernes de Valldigna, also known as La Vall tower, was built in 1575, commissioned by King Philip II to the Viceroy of Valencia, Vespasià Gonzaga y Colonna, with the aim of defending the inhabitants from continuous attacks by pirates and corsairs (Turks and Barbary pirates), who landed on the coasts of the eastern peninsular, devastating crops, plundering villages and taking prisoners.

It was part of a coastal surveillance system that provided rapid warning of an attack. As a communication mechanism, they used bonfires at night and smoke screens during the day.

The attacks were quick and by surprise, which is why they warned of danger from the turret, hence the colloquial phrase “Moors on the coast”.

It has been standing for more than three centuries and is located between orange trees, near the entrance to the urbanised area of Tavernes beach, which can be reached by the Marenys road.

Description of the construction

It is the tallest and most slender of the towers of the old Kingdom of Valencia, with a very well-preserved stone structure. The structure is truncated cone-shaped, with a circular floor plan measuring six metres in diameter and a height of 15 metres. It consists of a ground floor, plus two storeys and a terrace. It also has very deteriorated battlements.

The ground floor has no openings other than a lintelled doorway.

A hole in the ceiling is the access to the first floor. On this first floor we can see a single window that illuminates the room.

In the ceiling of this first floor there is also another opening for access to the first floor, here there is a balcony and two windows, one facing north and the other south. Inside this room attached to the wall is a small reconstructed chimney, which was used for smoke signals during the day in the event of an attack.

On the third floor, the terrace has a thick, irregular wall, and on the floor there is a smoke outlet from the chimney.

All heights were accessed by movable wooden ladders, which in the past made it easier to defend the tower because they were removed.

Currently

It has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC), with the category of Monument. It has been established the level of integral protection, as it is a BIC element that has to be preserved in an integral way, due to its singular or monumental character.

Its current use is for public use, it is located in a leisure area, with spaces for barbecues and eating. It has a green area with a pond. There is also a visitor reception and tourist reception centre.

The monument has signposting, information and an itinerary adapted for the blind and disabled.

One of the most striking elements is the iron mural that decorates one of the walls of the path that connects the Tower with the area known as La Torreta, where various scenes have been drawn that refer to the watchtower’s function as a watchtower and other symbolic images referring to the Valldigna.

Along this path you can reach the cycle path, which is before reaching the beach, and from here you can link up with different routes in the Valldigna.

How to get there?

More images of The Tower of Guaita