Santiponce Itálica

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Don Fadrique Tower

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The Mocha Tower is the most iconic symbol of Albaida del Aljarafe, witness to significant historical events, including the day in which the 2nd Count of Olivares took legal possession of the town in 1578.

During the reign of King Fernando and Queen Isabel, and once the threat from the Moors had disappeared, most defensive infrastructures controlled by the nobility were curtailed. The battlements of many watchtowers were torn down to counterbalance their power symbolically. These towers were known as ‘torres mochas’.

The Don Fadrique Tower is strategically positioned to control the Guadiamar Valley, alongside other defensive towers. Therefore, it has been argued that it may predate the Moorish period, as the Roman road linking Onuba (present-day Huelva) with Italica and Hispalis (Seville) ran through this area.

The tower has a 10.15 x 8.30 metre rectangular floor plan, and sits on a 2.40 metres high podium or base that extends 50 cm from the tower walls. The structure was built with concrete, while the corners and doorway were made of stone. The walls are 1.65 metres thick. The tower is lined inside with brick and has an access ramp, groin vaults and arches.

Albaida del Aljarafe’s Mocha Tower may have been one of the most critical defensive towers, as it stands on the highest point in the region. Therefore, it would be the first to spot a threat and alert other towers using flags, fire, and smoke, among others. Hence, when Albaida del Aljarafe was reconquered by the Christian troops, Prince Fadrique ordered its reconstruction in 1253, as the inscription on the gateway reads.

The tower was listed as a Site of Cultural Interest on 25 June 1985.
 

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