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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

I Spy With My Little Eye....
Friday, November 25, 2022 @ 6:29 PM

In Cádiz there is a Moorish palace which was built in the 11th century - Casa Palacio de los Marqueses de Recaño. This building responds to the characteristic typology of civil gaditana Baroque architecture complete with a vaulted mosque, a system of wells, elaborate gardens filled with fragrant trees and even a multi-room hamam.

Being in one of the highest areas of the city, it is the highest of all the watchtowers in Cádiz, located 45 meters above sea level and in the centre of the historic town. Because of its height and privileged location, it was the official watchtower of the port of Cadiz in 1778, receiving its current name - Tavira Tower - which was its first watchman, D. Antonio de Tavira. 

Apart from the architecture, it provides a unique tourist attraction: the "Camera Oscura". It projects a vivid and moving picture of what is happening outside in real-time. It is a relatively simple optical principle, already known in times of Leonardo da Vinci. The system comprised of two lenses and a large periscope mirror was installed on the very top of the tower. This optical contraption is controlled from below by a pair of long wooden-handled levers, to cast live images of the surrounding town onto a large parabolic table around which people can gather. In a modern age where the resolution of the images we see on our screens are constantly questioned and improved, the lenses’ projected picture on the table before the viewer is surprisingly sharp and focused. The mirror swivels around and zooms in on incredibly small details around the city and the fields beyond.



In the tower, there are also two exhibition halls. In addition to the exhibition halls and the Camera Obscura, the monument also has an amazing viewpoint to enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the entire city.

The guide who is also the lens-operator speaks English and uses the Camera Obscura not only to show the incredible architecture but also to discuss the history of the development of Jerez.  The tour costs an extra two euros on top of the normal price of admission to the palace grounds and is worth every penny. If you manage to go, make sure it is on a bright and sunny day to enjoy the best results.


Like 2


DavidH said:
Tuesday, November 29, 2022 @ 12:48 PM

I can confirm that the Camera Obscura is something you must experience on a visit to Cádiz: it is both technically and architecturally interesting.
Cádiz itself is not to me missed; go there if you get the opportunity.

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