Guaita Tower audio.
The Guaita Tower of Tavernes de la Valldigna, also known as the tower of la Vall was built in 1575. Its construction was ordered by the king Phillip the Second and Viceroy of Valencia, Vespasià Gonzaga i Colonna, to defend people from the constant attacks of the pitates and corsairs (Turcks and Barbaresco) that landed and drestroyed the food crops, robbed peoples and captured and kept prisoners.
It was an important part of a surveillance system that allowed them to defend themselves from an enemy attack. Bonfires were lit at night and smoke screens were created during the day to communicate among them and warn of the presence of the enemy.
The attacks were rapid and surprise; this is why they warned people against an attack from the tower. Hence, the expression “Moros en la costa” (Moors on the Coast).
It is built for more than three centuries, it is located among orange trees, near to the entrance of the beach of Tavernes de la Valldigna, and it is reached by the Marenys pathway.
Description of the construction
It is the tallest and most slender tower of the former Kingdom of Valencia. It has a well- preserved masonry wall. It has a conic structure and it is circular in shape of six-metres diameters and 15 metres high. It consists of a ground floor, two floors and a terrace. It also has very damaged battlements.
The acces to the tower is through threshold with a lintel. The first floor is accessed by a hole in the roof and this floor just has a widow which iluminates the room. The second foor is accessed by another hole in the roof like on the first floor, but on this floor there is a balcony and two windows: south-facing and north-facing windows. There is a fireplace to make smoke signals and warn against an attack.
On the third floor, the terrace has a thick and irregular wall and on the floor the smoke came out from the fireplace.
The acces to the upper floors was using wooden ladders. In the past, they were removed to defend the tower from an attack.
The tower was declared a Property of Cultural Interest and as a listed building, we must preserve its uniqueness and its monumental character.
It is currently used for use of the public. It is located in a place of leisure, with barbacues and places to eat in a big green space where there is a pond. There is a visitor reception centre too.
The signalling, the information and the itinerary are adapted for the disabled.
The most obvious feature on one wall that is joined to the small tower is a mural of iron. The scenes make reference to the tower’s surveillance function and there are other symbolic images refered to Valldigna.
You can find the tower following the cycle track before reaching the Tavernes beach, from where other paths are connected to other walking trails.