The history of Torre Tavira is really interesting. It is the most famous viewpoint tower of all Cádiz. It was named after its first lookout, the lieutenant of frigate D. Antonio Tavira. Built in the mid-eighteenth century, its style is baroque and is part of the Palacio de los Marqueses de Recaño.
Rectangular in shape, three floors high and double facade to the street, it is located at the highest level of the city, 45 meters above sea level. This is the reason why it was chosen as the official watchtower of the Port of Cadiz in 1778. This way, they controlled the entries and exits of boats in the bay and the port. Therefore, the Torre witnessed the commerce and prosperity enjoyed by the city in its “Golden Age”.
The Torre Tavira, together with Torre Gorda, on the isthmus between Cadiz and San Fernando, and the Torre Alta in San Fernando, were the watchtowers that were used to inform of the main maritime movements through a system of flag signs.
Over the centuries, the Torre Tavira has had several uses and functions, in addition to the lookout tower. From being a printing house to the headquarters of the Supreme Court, going through a dressing room of Carnival groups or even a school.
Nowadays it belongs to the Cadiz city council although, since 1994, it is managed 100% by a private company through an administrative concession. Turned into a great tourist and cultural attraction, it has inside the first Camera Obscura installed in Spain. It also offers two exhibition halls and a viewpoint from which spectacular views of Cadiz can be enjoyed.
The first exhibition hall focuses on the operation of a Camera Obscura, its history over the centuries and other Cameras Obscuras installed around Spain and the world.
The second exhibition hall is dedicated to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Cadiz. In it, we can get to know how the Port of Cadiz worked in the eighteenth century, the trade routes with America, the houses of merchants, the Torres Miradores or the Cortes de Cadiz of 1812.
Its Camera Obscura allows us to enjoy a 360 degree tour throughout the whole city through real and moving images. In addition, a guide explains the history and curiosities of Cadiz and its monuments.