almenaras de tarifa


The watchtowers complemented the defense system. These towers created a network that allowed alarms or messages to be communicated by means of smoke during the day or flames at night. The Christians will reinforce the existing system from the time of the muslim invasion. To do this, they built other new towers, to protect themselves from the numerous Berber attacks that sought to capture people and cattle.

Of all the towers located in the area of Tarifa, the oldest and also the most visible is the Torre de la Peña, also known as Roca del Ciervo. Which controlled the Ensenada de Valdevaqueros. It was built by the Muslims between the 12th and 13th centuries, and has a square floor plan. . It is located on a steep rock and was always a very valuable place to control land access to Tarifa from the west. Through it runs what is now National Highway 340, probably built on the ancient Roman Via Heráclea. The fight that took place at the foot of the tower during the Battle of Salado, in the year 1340, or the clashes between the Spanish-British and French forces in the War of Independence against the French are attested to.

Also noteworthy are the towers from the 16th century, Cape Gracia (converted into a lighthouse in the 19th century, like the one on the Island) and Guadalmesí. But the system continued inland, witnessed in the Puertollano area by the Torre del Rayo, Muslim, and the Torregrosa, Christian,larger and more luxurious. The wealth of water in that area was used to install hydraulic mills, some of which are still in operation. A similar scheme is repeated in the Facinas area, with the remains of several mills. As we have said, in addition to fishing, the basis of the traditional economy of the area has been livestock, agriculture and the exploitation of the resources of the mountains (wood, coal, cork, honey).