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Torre del Río de Oro

The Tower of Río de Oro, popularly known as the “Parrot Tower,” is a watchtower declared a Cultural Heritage site, located on the border of the municipality of Palos de la Frontera, adjacent to that of Almonte. Its name is derived from the Torre del Loro beach. It lies in ruins near the mouth of a stream, between the shore of the Atlantic Ocean and the base of the cliff. The tower was mentioned in the early 16th century as a powerful watchtower. Its location near the shore and at the mouth of a stream did not pose major problems until the mid-18th century, requiring only minor repairs to its structure until then. A report by Pedro Mateos in 1748 contains serious damage caused by a storm to the tower’s foundations, threatening to ruin up to a third of them. In the preceding decade, storms had exposed the tower’s foundations, causing alarm, but another storm filled the gap opened by the first, so the alarm was silenced. Both repairs had the technical complication of reinforcing the foundations on solid ground for a tower located on the sand and completely surrounded by the sea at high tide. The solution used was to create a lining of ostionera stone ashlars up to seven meters high. In 1756, the long-term ruin of the tower due to its location, surrounded by water and only accessible at low tide, seemed inevitable. However, the renovations carried out in the previous years facilitated its observation in good condition in 1764. In 1827, it still appears as an active tower in the Geographical-Statistical Dictionary of Spain and Portugal by Sebastián Miñano, although by 1867, it is already listed as in ruins in the coastal routes.
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