One of the many towers of Cadiz has installed a camera obscura for the delight and education of visitors. Guided once again by Marianne's suggestion we made our way to the very centre of the old town, winding through narrow streets until we found Torre Tavira. For those thinking about their own future travels, this is a worthwhile destination.
You are wondering why Cadiz buildings had towers, aren't you? I was! It goes back to those heady times when the Cathedral was being built … Cadiz was in a stategic position at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea, where the trade routes of the known world passed their port, and tremendous wealth from the newly conquered Americas came pouring back into Spain. Wealthy merchants lived within view of their ships, and built towers to keep,watch on their livelihoods … their ships. Apparently there are still over 120 towers in existence, and if you look closely you see many of them in the following photos.
Looking back to the Cathedral, not many towers that way …
and here is the port, still very busy today … I can see at least one little tower with a guardhouse on top … right in the centre ….
now in this one there are many towers of different shapes … some were like a chair, wide at the base and then narrow, others were turreted, other had a guardhouse, and some were combined … I guess you would not want your tower to look like the one next door would you?
Have you noticed the pinky hue of the buildings? We were not allowed to photograph the images on the camera obscura, because it shows you the whole city live, with people walking about, cars on the streets, people on their high terraces hanging out the washing, and so on. Our guide used a little piece of paper to 'pick' people up and shake them back and forth, quite amusing really, and she made little bridges for their images to 'climb' over … interesting in the sense of wondering who we are in this world … just images?
There are more of these but you have seen enough and run out of interest in towers and wealthy merchants … Cadiz has a lovely buzz, but I am glad to be back in the country, in the hill town of Vejer.