The watchtower trail is a hiking trail that allows us find out more about the military architecture that surrounds Alcalá la Real. We access the two best preserved watchtowers from the town centre: Moraleja tower and Cascante tower, both located to the south of the town and declared as being a site of cultural interest.
The trail passes nine watchtowers with their panels that provide directions, recommendations and descriptions with information about the border defence system surrounding the walled town of Alcalá la Real, a map of the watchtowers and information about how they were used.
Military strategy during the Middle Ages gave great importance to the watchtowers. They served as vantage points that informed of the enemies’ movements and their possible attacks.
There is a wide network of Christian and Moorish watchtowers around Alcalá la Real, which was the key feature of the border system during the low Middle Ages, serving as a means of communication between castles and towns, such as Alcaudete, Moclín and even the Alhambra.
The area’s watchtowers can be differentiated by their size, height and the constructive material. Traditionally, there was a difference between Christian and Moorish watchtowers, but at source, all were built during the height of Islamic presence, being used to as a means of communication between plazas and castles dotted across the land.
The towers found in the surrounds of Alcalá la Real are mostly cylindrical in shape, with a height of approximately 11 m and a diameter of 5 m. They have a raised room, covered with a vaulted ceiling. In addition to a door which gives access to the interior, there is a chimney for smoking foods and an interior stairwell that goes up to the terrace where they fired and set off beacons.