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History & Culture

Santa Elena Tower

La Azohía
30868, -Cartagena-

Spanish name: Torre de Santa Elena, in La Azohía

Torre de Santa Elena Torre de Santa Elena, tower also known as Torre de la Azohía and even Torre de Santa Catalina hundreds of years ago, is 70 meters high. The tower sits on the Punta de la Azohía cliff, in the municipality of Cartagena.
 
The tower, part of a defense system designed by emperor Charles I for the entire Mediterranean Region, was eventually built by his son and heir Felipe II.
 
In the 16th and 17th centuries, a number of defense towers were built, including Santa Elena which was erected between 1556 and 1598 and equipped with basic defense artillery.
 
The tower was intended mostly for surveillance of sea traffic and defense against Berber pirate attacks. In case of aggression and to ensure the population could look for shelter around the tower, in case of attacks smoke signals were used to warn people during the daytime and fire at night.
 
Torre de Santa Elena, restored in the 18th century, was in service until the early 19th century, when it started to lose its military value. This tower, the only one standing in the Cartagena coast, was transfered to the Police Forces in the 19th century. 
 
This hexagonal tower has masonry walls, a slightly tapered edge and an upper lead section. It also has two floors with vaulted ceilings and a tank, as well as a spiral staircase connecting the two floors to the battery area. Torre de Santa Elena is categorized as a site of Cultural Interest.
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Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena
Torre de Santa Elena

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