Torre Tavira is the biggest watchtower in the city. It is also home to the Cámera Oscura; a 'camera' which projects a moving picture of the whole of Cádiz into a large dish shaped screen. It is really interesting. A expert will give you a talk about what you are looking at in Spanish, English, French or German. The camera is open from 10-6 during the summer. Each session lasts about 30 mins.
Other that that you can go to the top of the tower where you get a spectacular view of the bay of Cádiz. It really is breathtaking. Cádiz looks even more beautiful from above than in the streets!
You can also see a short film footage on the history of Cádiz and the tower.
It is not expensive to enter. There is also a gift shop where you can buy calenders and posters with the Torre Tavira views!
It costs about 4 euros to enter unless you have a student card which entitles you to a discount. It is the same price to go up with or without going to see the Camera Oscura.
In the 18th century, Cadiz was once one of the most important ports and trading centres in Europe. The wealthy city and its silver imports from the Americas became a prime target for Anglo-Dutch pirates, who repeatedly raided and ransacked the port. That's why no less than 160 watch towers similar to Torre Tavira were built in Cadiz to protect the coastline and from which arriving ships could be observed.
These towers formed part of the local merchants' houses. Torre Tavira, was the highest lookout point in the city and was hence designated the official watchtower of the town. Despite its rather modest height (45m above the sea level) it is the tallest remaining watchtower in Cadiz and provides a panoramic view of the city and the bay. The tower is named after it's first watchman, Antonio Tavira.
The tower also houses a darkroom with a camera obscura, a simple optical device invented by Leonardo da Vinci, that allows you to see what is happening outside the tower via an optical effect. These moving images of the city are projected onto a screen. Each camera obscrura session lasts about 15 minutes and includes a historical commentary. Sessions tend to take place every half an hour in French and Spanish and every half an hour in English. Check the times at the reception since it's not every half past and then at 11am sharp as would expect.
There are also 2 exhibition spaces inside the tower. The first gallery offers an informative video session about the tower's history (although unfortunately at the time I visited the tower it was only in Spanish). The second gallery houses scale models that illustrates the trade in the area as well as the city's urban development.
Do not go, if you are afraid of heights since the steps up to the tower are made of metal and you can see through to the lower parts. They also get narrower once you get to the second gallery.
At one time Cadiz had over 160 towers where the citizens of Cadiz could keep watch. When business was booming in 18th century Cadiz because of its trade with the Americas, it became attracted pirates who constantly ransacked the port. The Spanish Kings therefore decided upon towers being built in the city to keep a close watch on the port.
In the Tavira Tower you can see exhibitions and watch a moving film in a darkroom where images of the city are shown on a screen. The device used was invented by Leonardo da Vinci.Open dailt 10-6pm
Admission: 3.50 euros
Cadiz is famous for it´s towers - torres miradores. The baroquian style tower Tavira in 1778 was designated officialy as the highest tower under the level of the sea.
From the top of the tower you can see the view of all old Cadiz city, the sea, the old town, crossing streets, lots lots lots beautifull white towers, houses, roofs... beautifull...
Cámara Oscura, which is inside the tower, - the dark room, it is something u need to visit! it´s great.
There in the really BLACK room, in a total dark, u see live ´view´ of what is going on in Cadiz at the same moment... they use relatively simple optical method, which was used already during times of Leonardo da Vinci, there is white screen, mirror and lenses there.. on the screen u can see live view - not only the picture - with all movements... u see people going the streets, birds flying...
The Torre Tavira is just one of Cadiz's many towers, but it is certainly the most interesting. Built in the eighteenth century, it was the highest point in Cadiz at one time, and was designated as Cadiz's official watchtower in 1778.
If you can make the climb to the top, the views over Cadiz are spectacular, but the best reason to visit is to experience the Camera Obscura. This giant version of the pinhole camera projects a detailed picture of the surroundings onto the display screen, enabling you to see the views in great detail. The guides are very good indeed, and point out landmarks and points of interest as well as explaining how it all works - in several languages as well.
The entry fee was 3.50 euros in September 2003.
While I was living there this tower was as many others on ruins. So since I saw sirRichard’s tip I had been willing to go.
This tower has apart of great views at the top a dark chamber (Camara Oscura), the first one in Spain. from here you can have a great introduction of Cadiz, so I recommend it!
Price of entrance is 3 Euros
Mientras viv?a all?, la torre como tantas otras estaba en ruinas, pero desde que vi la recomendaci?n de Joaqu?n Sir Richard he estado deseando verla.
Aparte de las vistas incre?bles que puedes disfrutar desde la terraza, lo que la hace mas especial es la C?mara oscura, que sirve de introducci?n a C?diz, creo que fue la primera en Espa?a.
Me encanto ver los p?jaros y las gentes lol.
Precio de Entrada es 3 euros
Following Sacramento street we will find the Teatro de Falla
Torre Tavira is one of the larger rooftop towers in Cadiz, it was used and named after the first watchman Antonio Tavira, whose job it was to record the ships entering and leaving the port of Cadiz. It was used from 1778.
In the early 1990ýs it was refurbished as a tourist attraction it acts as a gallery and museum. In the top of the tower a camera obscura was installed, this consists of a darkened room with a white viewing dish, and a periscope which projects the images of the city onto the dish. Small groups can enter the room and are given a talk on the city sights. It was quite amazing as even the birds flying past and women hanging out washing on the rooftops were visible. In addition there is a rooftop viewing terrace offering excellent views of the city.
I highly recommend a visit if you are in Cadiz, the entrance including the viewing cost only 3 euros.
This highest and most important of the city's old watchtowers is a fine place to get your bearings and affords a dramatic panorama of the city. Back in the 18th century, Cadiz had no less than 160 towers to watch over its harbours.
A few years ago it was brilliantly restaured by Belen González Dorao and now it houses a 'Dark Chamber', which is one of the main attractions in Cadiz. Don´t miss it!!