This monument is located in Calle Santa Clara in Seville. It is an albarrana tower built in the courtyard of the convent of Santa Clara. It is considered an Asset of Cultural Interest and was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in June 1931.
In this building we can observe the combination of Romanesque and Gothic styles. It consists of three sections and a crenellated roof. Each of the sections has different characteristics that make the Torre de Don Fadrique a unique monument in the area. An example of this is the mixture of both Gothic and Romanesque windows that make up a unique architectural image.
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The history of this tower dates back to the XIII century. It was in 1252 when the infante Don Fadrique, ordered the construction of this tower in order to reinforce security and as a watchtower.
However, the legend that was created about its construction differs from this supposed reality. It is said that the real reason for the construction of the tower was an illegitimate affair between the infant Don Fadrique and the widow of the posthumous king, Fernando III.
The queen at the time, Doña Juana de Pointhieu, was residing in the Alcázar of Seville, where she met the infante and where their romance is said to have begun. Given the privacy afforded by the walls of this tower, Don Fadrique and Doña Juana could meet far from the knowledge of the nobility and the people.
Nevertheless, the rumour of this love affair existed and eventually became a reality. As was to be expected, this situation was not well accepted by high society and the common people. As it was considered disloyal for a brother of the late king and his widow to have such a relationship.
Therefore, legal proceedings were brought against the prince. King Alfonso X, the Wise, was in charge of carrying out the trial against his own brother. Under pressure from the nobility and the clergy, he ruled that Don Fadrique was guilty of royal offence by maintaining an illicit relationship with the widow of his father, Fernando III. This sentence led to the queen’s departure to her native France. The Infante had a worse fate, as he was condemned to death and executed in Toledo.
There are several curiosities surrounding this tower derived from the aura of amorous legend that hangs over it.
One of them tells how, after the forced departure of Queen Juana to her homeland, she “looked at the tower with her eyes full of tears” for the last time. This feeling of grief is provoked by the affairs she had with the prince, who on the other hand had a worse fate than her. He was sentenced to death by her own brother, Alfonso X.
Another of the curiosities that can be found is the plaque that can be found at the entrance of the tower, which reads:
“This tower is the factory of the magnificent Fadrique, it may be called the greatest praise of art and of the craftsman: his mother Beatriz was pleased with this offspring of King Fernando, experienced and a friend of the laws. If you wish to know the era and the years, now one thousand two hundred and fifty-two (1252) the serene and pleasant tower, full of riches, already existed”.
One last curiosity that is worth mentioning is a version that maintains that the real construction of the tower was the construction of the same as a hunting lodge, given the Infante’s passion for the flight of falcons. This version differs from the most widely accepted, which is that it was actually a love “nest” for lovers.
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