Torre del Oro#14 in Best Things To Do in Seville
The Guadalquivir River once served as the main waterway to southern Spain and Seville was one of the region's primary ports. Naturally, a port with that much influence needed protection from ships trying to enter the claimed territory of the Almohad Dynasty (a 13th-century Muslim Caliphate that once ruled northern Africa and southern Spain). The 12-sided Torre del Oro tower – situated on the edge of the Guadalquivir – was once linked by a large chain to its sister structure across the river to stop ships from sailing into the port.
The once gold-tiled tower – which has also served as a military watchtower and a prison – is now home to a small naval museum, the Museo Náutico. The museum highlights the Torre del Oro's maritime past and the role it played in New World imports and discovery. Some travelers were turned off by the nearly 100-step climb to reach the observation deck, but many recent visitors said it's worth the trek.
You can tour the museum and the rest of the building from 9:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the museum doesn't open until 10:30 a.m. Entry into the tower costs 3 euros (about $4), but it's free on Monday. The Torre del Oro sits in El Arenal about a mile west of the city center.
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