The Torre del Oro in Seville was built in 1220 by order of the governor Abù l-Ulà. It is an albarrana tower, meaning it is separated from the rest of the city walls. It owes its name to the original covering of golden-hued tiles.
The tower has a dodecagonal shape and consists of two sections:
- The lower section features a blind arch gallery with pointed arches and battlements crowned with pyramids.
- The upper section has blind arches in the Almohad style. On top, there is an eighteenth-century lantern.
From its stone base, a strong chain was extended across the river to connect with another tower in the area, known as the Torre de la Fortaleza (a smaller tower), thus protecting the entrance to the port.
During the Middle Ages, the Torre del Oro served as a prison and occasionally housed precious metals brought periodically by the fleet from the Americas.