Canela Watchtower – Ayamonte
Canela Watchtower is located on Isla Canela, on the left bank of the road that connects the town of Ayamonte witht the neighborhood of Punta del Mora.
The insecurity of our coasts was for a long time an everyday problem difficult to remedy. In order to enable the monitoring of the coast, a series of security measures were taken in the middle of the 16th century. Thisse actions consisted in raising beacon towers throughout the Atlantic coastline in order to be able to monitor the access by sea to the inhabited territories and to defend itself against the invaders. The coasts were then depopulated, long since subjected to the berberic corsairs. These during their incursions into there scattered and poor villages, captured bouth the inhabitants and the coastal fishermen who fished in their waters or the travelers.
Canela Watchtower or Isla Canela Watchtower is located at the western end of the sector of the Guadalquivir-Guadiana, less than three kilometers of Portuguese land. It was erected in 1756 as watchtower of the area in order to defend the mouth of the Guadiana. However, a century and a half later it no longer had the original use for which it was built and today it is one of the best preserved beacon towers in the province. The loss of this function was due to the fact that the configuration of the coast in Isla Cristina composed of marshes, marshes and beaches changed with time.
The sedimentary bar of the Guadiana began to weaken a century after the tower was built, increasing the extension of the existing beach in its outline. By this coastal evolution, the tower separated from the coastline and the mouth of the river, gradually losing its primitive purpose. The artillery of which was endowed, when losing its effectiveness, was retired, although the tower continued working like watchtower.
At present, the transformation of the area has advanced even more by the combination of natural and human factors, and the tower has become an emblematic element of this Natural Site.