Updated: 17. March 2017
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News from 17. March 2017

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Welcome to Mallorca Torres



Dear English-speaking visitors.
I apologize for my bad English. I hope that my information is still interesting for you.


Why this page?

The island is very rich in tourist attractions, natural monuments and cultural heritage of many eras. Some of them are still well preserved, some have been restored but many are also threatened by decay, including some still on the island located Torres. On the following pages I would like to try some of these secrets Mallorcan landmark to ventilate and also food for thought, since the expiration of endangered cultural assets are witnesses of history and should be preserved.


What are Torres?

The Torres are signaling, guard and defensive towers, especially along the coast, but also in the island are located inside. "Torre" is Spanish and means "Tower". Often the Torres also called "Atalaya" or "Talaya" (Spanish - Watchtower) refers. The term "Atalaya" is derived from the Arabic "Atalayi" (Watchtower). From a traditional cartographic work of Vicente Mut from the year 1683 shows that the Torres divided into two categories were. The differences arose from the manner in the display card. Towers with a flag on the roof Watchtowers were therefore caused by fire or smoke before signs of an imminent danger and warned mainly in coastal areas were encountered. Towers, without the flag on the roof were displayed, served only as an Observationtowers. On the coast of the "Serra de Tramuntana" and the "Dragonera Island" de are 16 Watchtowers and 7 Observationtowers indicated. In the southern part of the island, which is rather flat, are only 2 Observationtowers and 12 Watchtowers uses. On the card are a total of 37 out Towers.


Why were these towers built?

The starting point is probably the conquest of some African regions (Melilla, Algiers, Bougie) by the Spanish naval power in 1500. The Emir of Algiers, therefore, asked the Turkish brothers Horuk and Chaireddin Barbarossa, leader of a feared pirate fleet, for help. The Emir of Algiers but was murdered of the Horuk, so that now the fate of the Emir took over. After Horuks death was his brother Chaireddin in power and controlled now also in the Mediterranean-based Muslim pirates. These huge pirate fleet was the biggest enemy of the western Mediterranean. The "Cabrera Island" served them as a base. The Spanish crown was now obliged to act, they won fortress builder, such as Juan Bautista Calvi from Italy, into the country and left anywhere on the coasts of the so-called "Pirate Towers" building. Therefore, a large part of the Torres in the 16th Century.


As the towers were built and how the alert system functioned?

The towers existed in most cases, in two floors lying vault built chambers and a cistern for drinking water. They were mostly from without footing from rubble built. For their own defense were the towers with a gun and several handguns equipped. The towers were usually with two to four men and were occupied, with the exception of food procurement by an individual who will not leave. The entrance to the tower was often several meters above the ground and could only by a rope ladder achieved. The alarm at Pirate attacks or hostile vessels sighting occurred on the day via smoke signals and the signal fire by night. These signals were from tower to tower and forwarded it reached the Almudaina Palace in Palma in a very short time. Even the inhabitants of surrounding villages and settlements have been warned against possible risks.


Where were the pirate attacks take place?

For their looting raids and searched the pirates worthwhile cities, and finally the attacks should be made ample booty. The most vehement attacks were made on 1531 and 1550 to Pollença. 1551 to Alcúdia, 1552 and 1553 to Valldemossa on Andratx. During the raids were up to 1500 pirates, with up to 20 boats landed on the localities and their inhabitants ago. Often the intruders were only a few Majorcan opposite, so that a counter-defense was almost hopeless. In 1561 but then should an attack on Sóller everything differently. The early warning system had proved itself. The intruders were at their retreat into a trap and lured a large part of the pirates were from the Mallorcan inhabitants killed. The attack on Sóller was the first successful conceded.


When paid to the construction of the towers?

In 1571 there was another attack by the pirate fleet on the island. But now because of functioning defense system were only a few of these attacks successfully. On 7. October 1571 was Chaireddin Barbarossas pirate fleet in the Battle of Lepanto, on the Gulf of Patras, shattered. On that date, there was only isolated cases of robberies, these few raids had yet to mid-19th Century existed.


How many of these towers are on Majorca?

From various literary works show the former 85 of this watchtowers were built. Around 50 of them are still, in whole or in part, be preserved.


If you want to support me?

Unfortunately, there is very little information about Torres. Thus is the search for the towers themselves, as well as for information as very difficult. They have ideas, tips or usable material. Your help is always welcome!



© 2004-2017 Jens Händel