When we were in the cathedral bell tower I thought we’d need a helicopter to get better views of the city.  Then we visited the Torre Tavira.

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This watch tower is one of many in Cadiz, 126 currently, though in 1777, when the USA was new, there were a high of 160.  They were part of the merchant culture, and were used to see ships coming and going, and also to signal what those ships had to trade. The history is covered well here.

Torre Tavira is special, though, because it has a “camera obscura.”  Imagine a large periscope with a lens that projects the image onto a screen below, like this diagram.

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Here’s the periscope part that projects from the top of the tower.

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The image is projected down through the roof and ceiling into the room below…

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…and onto a bowl shaped screen below.

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You watch in a darkened room.  To focus, the entire screen is raised and lowered with a set of pulleys.  The images are very clear, but as you can see in the photo above, cameras are not allowed, so I don’t have pictures of the projected images.

What is allowed, however, is to climb the multiple flights to the top of the tower.

 

There, I took lots of pictures…

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…and let google photos combine them into panoramas.  If you look closely, you can see where these two would join to make one super-wide view of the city.

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If you’re ever lucky enough to visit Cadiz, I’d recommend saving your trip to this tower until you’ve spent a few weeks exploring the city.  We found all the places we’ve enjoyed, and now we know how they look to the gulls.