Punta de la Chullera Watchtower
There are numerous watchtowers (Torre Vigia) along the coast of Southern Spain. Some are of Moorish origins others from date from the later Christian re-conquest period. All with the purpose of looking out for invaders from the South. They have lasted the centuries with remarkable strength. In general the towers with square bases are of Moorish origin, and those with round bases were built after the reconquest. In 1575 King Filipe II ordered a major reconstruction programme.
They were primarily a lookout against Barbary Pirate raids from North Africa. Initally the Barbary Pirate raids concentrated on shipping, but later escalated to land raids and included capturing young people for their slave trade. The primary aim of the towers was to watch for pirates and to signal warning so the local inhabitants could go into hiding. The warnings were by smoke signals by day, and the light of fire at night.
In the nineteenth century many towers became Casa de Carabineros posts and barracks were often constructed alongside or nearby. In 1940 these posts became Guardia Civil barracks.
A common feature noticed today is a rough opening or 'hole' at high level. This was the 'door' of the tower, which was reached from outside by a rope ladder. Inside at this entrance level is the only room with a domed ceiling and with stairs up to the rooftop terrace. The fire for the smoke signals was in a fireplace in the room with a chimney to the roof. The fire at night was on the roof. Some towers have a rifle firing post on the roof. Some towers have an machicolation. (from the French 'mâchicoulis' this is a floor opening between the supporting corbels of a battlement, through which stones or boiling cooking oil, could be dropped on attackers.
TORRE DE LA CHULLERA
This tower, one of a number on the Andalucia. It existed in 1497 and replaced a Moorish tower located on higher ground about 500m inland. A royal decree of 1516 asked for the need to build a new tower at the mouth of the Guadiaro river which is now a few kilometers to the west.
This new watchtower is a solid, truncated masonry cone. The base has a diameter of 7.45m is 5.75 at the roof. The total height is 10.05m and the entrance door is at 6.15m from the ground. The masonry is small stones, limestone and red, placed in horizontal courses. Its seems to have been reconstructed at the beginning of the XVI century, since the masonry is smaller and irregular and bricks are interspersed with tizor.
Its conservation is good, the vault, part of the parapet, the door and the surveillance window are conserved to this day. Above these holes are the tiny stones that are the remains of a machicolation.
The watchtowers is located on an private empty fenced plot of land, but can be reached from the beach. 36º 18' 43'' N 5º 14' 49'' close to
Punta de la Chullera's beaches sport low cliffs and rugged areas.
Just minutes west of Punta de la Chullera, is Puerto de la Duquesa with its recreational port and accompanying 18 hole golf facilities. And continuing right around the corner Sotogrande offers a luxury marina, world class golf, polo, private international schools, numerous eateries and an eclectic, outdoor weekend market bartering away everything from antiques and fine arts to African imports and homespun arts and crafts.
Westwards amd into Cadiz Province is Torreguadiaro, next Sotogrande and Pueblo Nuevo de Guadiaro and inland around the Guadiaro River basin and known for its delightful orange groves are San Enrique de Guadiaro, San Martin de Tesorillo and Guadiaro.
HOTELS IN TORREGUARDIARO (near PUNTA DE LA CHUlLERA)
All rooms at Milla de la Plata offer spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar. The hotel is situated overlooking a quiet cove just 2 km from Puerto de Sotogrande Port.