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The Mysterious Obelisk Towers in Badia d’Alcúdia

If ever you walk along some or other stretch of coastline in the north of the island, in the Badia d’Alcúdia, between l’Albufera de Muro (Port d’Alcúdia) and Colònia de Sant Pere, you will find quite a number of strange-looking, obelisk-shaped towers, perhaps two dozen or so altogether. These Torres d’Enfilació (towers for aiming) always come in pairs; some of them have recently been repaired by the Ministeri de Medi Ambient and painted in a stark design using white and red colour. Somebody out there must be quite caring about these remnants of the past. The towers seem to be placed at equal distances of 1.2 km from pair to pair. I am not quite sure as to what the towers are or what their function might have been. All I can gather is that they were built by the Spanish military’s Naval division just after the Spanish Guerra Civil. Some local people say that the towers were built for triangulation purposes and had to do with submarines and their exercises in positioning maneuver. Others have it they were used for aiming and targeting practices of submarines and the firing of dummy torpedoes by the submersible craft. Submarines were stationed in Mallorca and in the Alcúdia Bay as part of the Polígon d’Armes Submarines which operated between 1941 and 1970. Nearby, there also was of course, and still is, the Naval airport of Port de Pollença. Perhaps some of the submarines were docking there; who knows?

An exhibition of black and white photographs was held in Felanitx about a month ago, showing some twenty of those Torres d’Enfilació, meticulously taken by Joan Forteza. When I passed by there yesterday, the show was still mounted at Can Cabestre.

The photos were taken near Can Picafort, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 11th, 2011. The time was 16:22:20 and 16:29:04, respectively. Credit must go to Nadal Benàssar who helped me with my research on the Internet.

Moltes gràcies, Nadal.

4 replies »

  1. Hello Klaus, the historian at Muro town hall confirmed to me what you say regarding the towers having been constructed for submarine target practice, by trainees based in Puerto Alcudia. They were then also used as navigation aids. As wider information, the towers were built under the direction of one Bernat Calçó and used stone that was brought by lorry from Alcanada in Alcudia. Andrew.

    • hi andrew,
      good to hear from you. thanks for your input. will you be coming to felanitx soon, perhaps next year? would be great.

      • Hi Klaus, Yes, must get down to Felanitx, would be great to see you again (I’ll mail you or phone you). It is a bit of a coincidence. I had already written my “awards” for 2011 (the Photo Blog is website of the year) which appear tomorrow before seeing this entry about the towers, a subject that has long fascinated me. Andrew

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