Torre Canela

Torre Isla Canela is located on Isla Canela road that brings you to Punta del Moral and Isla Canela Marina.

The tower, like many along the Andalucian coast mainly from Gibraltar to Ayamonte, was commis­sioned by Felipe II in late 1500s to protect the coast from attacks by Turkish and Berber pirates.

Felipe II ordered more than 40 of these beacon-shaped towers to be built, although the cost of­ten fell back on the local population.

The towers were even­tually paid for by a Sisa del pescado, a type of fishing tax which was levied at one maravedi (one thirty-fourth part of a real) for every pound of fish caught.

Some of the towers never got off the drawing board as the local coun­cils were unable to raise the funds or there was strong opposition to the tax and the positioning of the tower.

The tower had fallen into disrepair and although Isla Canela (Pryconsa) did some renovation work on the tower in the 90’s it wasn’t until 2010 that a full restoration project was completed with funding from the Junta de Andalucía.{rokbox title=|See Torre Canela Restoration Video Here| size=|854 505| album=|demo|}{/rokbox}

Ana María Mateos Gómez, an architect from Ayamonte, and her col­league Manuel Gonzalez Martinez, a quantity sur­veyor, started to study the renovation of Torre Canela in 2005.

It was their preliminary study of the tower which led to an interesting dis­covery and a change in the restoration plan for Torre Canela.

On the first investiga­tion of the site and the tow­er’s roof the architect and surveyor noticed that the floor on the roof was sloping outwards to evacu­ate any water that fell. Under normal circumstances you would expect this to be correct but this was a defense tower and they were usually designed with the roof sloping inwards to collect the water to be used later by the guards who stayed in these towers. This only spurred both Manuel and Ana on to find out what was the reason behind this anomaly.well

What followed was a petition to the Junta de Andalucía to bring some archaeologists to the tow­er and open a section in the floor to confirm the suspicion. The well that was found at the centre of the tower is now a fea­ture for everyone to see when they visit the Tower. The floor of the tower is a stainless steel grid and below behind glass you can view the well.

The tower, which had two chambers, had dete­riorated over time and a wooden vault structure was built to simulate how the two chambers were originally.

The two chambers are now connected via a stair­well and a stainless steel banister with glass panels around the edge of the wooden vault prevents visitors from falling down into the tower.

Sadly Canela Tower does not yet have a set timetable for viewing so it is best to ask in the Tourism Office in Ayamonte for opening hours. It is expected to be used as an exhibition centre in the future.