The Castles of the island of Lanzarote
Main military architecture in Lanzarote:
1.GUANAPAY FORTRESS or SANTA BARBARA CASTLE
2.SAN GABRIEL CASTLE or REEF FORTRESS
3.EAGLE TOWER OR THE COLORADAS
4.SAN JOSE CASTLE or FAMINE FORTRESS.
HISTORY of the Military architecture in Lanzarote
This plane was built by military engineers in 1742. It was preserved in the Geographic Institute of the Army and its plans are similar to the ones of the towers of the Caleta de Fuste and Tostón in Fuerteventura and Gando in Gran Canaria.
In the figure the profile plane, an elevation and a plant in which two spaces are indicated:
A: Repto. Gunpowder
This castle in Las Coloradas, was not carried into practice exactly as it appears in the plane.
Therefore, this tower, which was to be the stereotypical model of military engineers of the time, was not carried into practice in Las Coloradas, at least in its entirety.
In 1742, the anonymous ground plane and the tower section of the Coloradas appeared. This plane was already quoted for the castle of San Gabriel, since both towers contained therein. A defensive trench system also appears in the south of the island of Lanzarote, in the area from the tower of the Coloradas to the core White beach. The aim was, of course, preventing the landing of Arab and Algerian pirate vessels.
The plant and tower section of the Coloradas contained in this plane, has much resemblance to the plane that the military engineers described. But this one with minor variations on the stairs and access to the tower. The two chambers for powder magazine referred to the legend of the plane exist today. But not the central pillar as already explained the previous figure.
More about the Military architecture in Lanzarote
In 1749, the tower was burned by the Algerians jabeques. So in recognition of the defensive strengths of the island, the engineer Alejandro de los Angeles, in 1767, rose again the planes of the tower. In his plans, Alejandro de los Angeles casts some reforms to Eagle Tower, also known as Las Coloradas.
Following the proposals of Alejandro de los Angeles, Eagle Tower is restored. But despite the confrontation engineer, on his return to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with Major General Don Miguel Lopez Fernandez de Heredia. Their rivalries ended in a rupture, followed by the arrest and expulsion of the engineer, so that some of its proposals for Lanzarote ended without approval. However, reco
nstruction and reforms of the Eagle Tower were conducted. They concluded in 1769, year that appears on the inscription that crowns the tower door and that is still preserved. It says:
«REIGN MR. D. CARLOS III SENDING HIS EXCELLENCY these Islands. MR. D. MIGUEL LOPEZ DE HEREDIA FERNANDES Field Marshal REDIFICATED THIS TOWER IN SAN MARCIAL PORT OF EAGLE POINT COLORADAS IN THE YEAR 1769 «.
Registration at the coronation Eagle Tower entrance.
In general, the plane of the engineer Alejandro de los Angeles, faithfully reflects that the castle has been preserved to this day, except for the basement and above all, the absence of the fourth existing guard, which is not reflected in any of the elements of his plane. It has also reached to an anonymous plane from 1769 called «Tower of the Eagle or Colorado Castle». It perfectly appreciates its constitution once built.
Again the Army Corps of Engineers gave us a very complete information of the Tower and its status in 1846 thanks to the «Inventory Castle Tower Eagle». It includes the most significant aspects of distribution.
The access bridge was located in ruins in the late twentieth century.
The remoteness and isolation of the «Punta del águila», it separated from the rest of the island by the massif Ajaches, the tower has been preserved without restoration. But declining only by the passage of time but getting rid of human vandalism. For not being of use to the Army, in 1936, the tower was delivered to the Ministry of Finance. This fact occurred as a result of a request by the Administration of Public Revenue of the Province of Las Palmas.
In 1978 the tower transitioned from the General Captaincy to be owned by the municipality of Yaiza. It handles the lifting of the planes of the tower to the author of the book that has served us for this text query, D. Jose Felix Alvarez Prieto. The objective was a restoration by the town hall.
In the basement, the difference can be seen with the primitive level of the previous figures. Lacking the central column that supported the floor of the main floor, unnecessary for the support of the barrel vault. Probably after the burn in 1749 by Algerians, it was rebuilt following the plane from Alejandro de los Angeles.
The island, apart from a charming coast line, can also offers us an interesting military architecture in Lanzarote.
Source: «Military Architecture of the Canary Islands»
Author: D. Jose Felix Alvarez Prieto