What is the Torre del Oro?

The Torre del Oro may be Seville’s “other” tower (the most important being the Giralda) but it has nonetheless become a symbol of the city. The 36m (118ft) tall tower was built in 1220 AD by the Muslim Moors and was part of a fortified wall that surrounded the entire city.

With its commanding position next to the Guadalquivir River, it has been tasked with guarding the docks throughout the centuries. Today, the tower houses a small naval museum but most people visit simply to admire its beauty and to enjoy the spectacular views from the top.

Torre del Oro Tickets & Opening Times

Opening Times icon indicating when the monument is open


Monday to Friday: 9:30am to 6:45pm
Weekend: 10:30am to 6:45pm

Location icon indicating the monument address
Admission icon indicating price of monument


General admission: 3€
Children (6-14), students & seniors: 1.5€
Free: children (0-6), disabled
* Free for everyone on Monday

Location icon indicating the monument website

Why is it called the Tower of Gold?

Torre del Oro & Guadalquivir river – Sevilla, Spain
Torre del Oro & Guadalquivir river

There are many theories about where the name Torre del Oro comes from. The most popular idea is that treasure, especially gold, brought from the New World was stored in the tower.

Seville Torre del Oro - river cruise trip    Discover Seville from the water taking part in this budget friendly 1-hour boat cruise

This theory doesn’t have any basis though since the tower was already referred to as the Torre del Oro by King Alfonso X in the 13th century. In addition, the Almohads who built the tower named it “Borg al-Dsayeb” which referred to its gold shine that was reflected in the river.

Best rental car deals with Discover Cars Best rental car deals with Discover Cars

Previously, it was widely speculated that the tower was covered in gold tiles but restoration works conducted in 2005 discovered that this wasn’t the case. The restoration experts concluded that the walls were covered in a mixture of lime mortar and pressed straw, which gave the tower a slight golden hue.

Top of the Golden Tower – Sevilla, Spain
Top of the Golden Tower

Torre del Oro History

The 12-sided Torre del Oro was built in three phases. Each phase is easily identified from the exterior’s three separate sections.

The bottom section was built in 1220 by the Almohad dynasty of Muslim rulers. The tower was the stronghold of the city’s defense and especially important because it overlooked the port below.

In the event of an invasion, a giant link chain could be drawn over the water extending to the other side of the river, preventing any unwanted ships from entering the city.

Torre del Oro among palm trees in Seville, Spain
Torre del Oro among palm trees

However, less than 30 years after the tower was built, Christian forces captured Seville. In the 14th century, King Peter of Castile ordered the second level of the tower to be constructed.

Rumor has it, that the king’s mistress, doña Aldonza Coronel lived in the tower and was under constant guard so that another one of the king’s mistresses, María de Padilla, would not kill her.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Torre del Oro was witness to Seville’s golden age. The port that it guarded became the main connection point to the New World. Several important historic voyages set sail from the tower, including Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world.

Due to river flooding and several earthquakes, the tower was damaged and restored many times throughout history. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 almost destroyed the tower and there were even plans to completely demolish it. However, it was decided to restore the iconic tower and in 1760 the cylindrical third level with its golden cupola was added.

Throughout time the tower has been used for more than just a defensive barrier to the city. It’s been a chapel, gunpowder warehouse and even a prison for the nobility.

Torre del Oro in 1844 – Seville, Spain
Torre del Oro in 1844

Top Hotels in Seville

Search Hotels, Compare & Save
CHECK-IN DATE calendar
arrow to scroll to top
Wait, don't close me!

Has España Guide helped plan your trip?

If so, please consider booking your hotel through the links to found on our website or use the following link:

That way, you get the best rates on your hotels and at the same time, it helps us to continue contributing to this site. Everyone wins!