Candle Tower - Alhambra

Brief description of the monument

It is the largest tower. It has a square floor of 16 m. sideways and 26.80 m. Tall. It has four floors and a ground floor with silo and dungeon. It was crenellated but in 1522 the battlements were destroyed by an earthquake.

Monument history

This tower is the most symbolic of the Alhambra. It was topped by a bell that the Arabs used to announce disasters. From its privileged position, a large area of territory is dominated, the whole of Granada, the summits, the neighborhoods, etc. and it was fundamental in defense and vigilance.

The floor of the Torre de la Vela measures 16 meters sideways and 26.80 meters high. The base is solid and has four floors with arches attached by pillars. For some time, this tower became housing, so its appearance has changed with respect to what it had in its origins. On the second floor it had battlements until the 16th century. The current location of the bell on the western facade is 1840 and had to be rebuilt later due to the lightning strike in 1882.

The bell is the main protagonist of this tower. Formerly, its touch served as a night clock for the farmers of La Vega to irrigate their fields. It began to sound from 8 to 9:30 at night, and continued to sound at different intervals and with different touches until 3 or 4 in the morning, depending on the season of the year. This bell has also served to call the Grenadians in case of danger. Today, it is January 2 of each year when the Vela tower and its bell recover the prominence that it had in the past. In commemoration of the date on which the Catholic Monarchs took Granada, there is a tradition by which all single girls in the city who ring the bell on January 2 of each year will get married before the end of the year..

The landscape that we can observe from the tower is wonderful, since it is possible to enjoy at a glance a panoramic view of the city, Sierra Nevada, the valley and the surrounding villages.