Santa Elena Tower
Santa Elena Tower, locally known as Torre de Santa Elena or simply Torre de la Azohía, stands on a rocky outcrop next to the sea, east of the town of La Azohía in the province of Murcia in Spain.
Ever since the Turkish settlement in Algiers in 1516, the entire coast of the Spanish Mediterranean was threatened by attacks of Barbary pirates who landed on the coast and ravaged and looted towns and rural settlements, taking away the inhabitants as slaves. So, in 1552, during the reign of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, lots of defensive watch towers were started being built along the coast, from Alicante down to Cádiz. Most however were built or completed during the reign of his son, Philip II of Spain, during the second half of the 16th century.
Santa Elena Tower was designed by the Italian military engineer Giovanni Battista Antonelli and built somewhere between 1556 and 1598. It had to guard the sea for possible pirates, warning the locals by means of smoke during daytime and fire during nighttime.
During the 18th century the tower was transformed. In the beginning of the 19th century it lost its military significance and later that century it was transferred to the Carabineros Corps.
At present Santa Elena Tower can freely be visited. The entrance to its interior however was closed when I visited. I don't know if it is ever open. A nice tower, I wish I could get inside.