Atalayón Battery, locally known as Batería del Atalayón, lies on the ridge of a cape above the sea, west of the city of Cartagena in the province of Murcia in Spain.
WW I had resulted in huge technological advances, which rendered the defenses of Cartagena obsolete. Cartagena then already was the headquarters and main military port of the Spanish Navy. So in 1926 a Defense Plan called for the construction of a new defense system, compromising the building of tens of new fortifications around Cartagena, giving it full protection against attacks from sea and air.
Cabo Tiñoso, a cape some 25 kilometers from Cartagena, was amongst the sites chosen to be used. On the ridge of this cape were built 3 batteries; Atalayón, Castillitos and Jorel. Atalayon was built on the highest peak, some 349 meters above sea level. It was an anti aircraft battery, protecting the lower two batteries, armed with 4 Vickers 105 mm 45 caliber anti aircraft guns. They had a reach of around 13 kilometers.
The battery was deliberately built into the top of the ridge to render it invisible from the sea. For the buildings of this battery the builders used a style of eclectic modernism, decorating them with Ionic columns and Doric frontons.
Firing tests were carried out at Atalayón Battery in 1933. Like all the military sites around Cartagena it played a part in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939. However, technological advancements during that war and WW II quickly made the battery outdated. So, already in 1952 Atalayón was dismantled and turned into an ammunition storage. In 1994 the battery was decommissioned, subsequently stripped and abandoned. It quickly fell to ruin. It is still owned by the Ministry of Defense.
At present Atalayón Battery can freely be visited. From the hamlet of Campillo de Adentro you can drive, over the old very winding military road and through some great mountainous scenery, up to a small parking lot almost at the entrance of Castillitos Battery. From there you have to walk up a gravel road for some 20 minutes to reach the Atalayón Battery. A real nice place to explore and of course offering great views.