Torre Nueva

Zaragoza, Spain


The Disappointed Tourist: Torre Nueva, Ellen Harvey, 2024. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 24 x 18″ 61 x 46 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

We could have had our own leaning tower of Pisa! Anon.

The Leaning Tower of Zaragoza, sometimes called by its Spanish name, Torre Nueva (new tower), was a brick tower built in 1504 located in the Plaza de San Felipe). The leaning tower became an icon for the city. It was the highest Mudéjar-style tower ever built (80 m (260 ft)). It had a diameter of 11.5 m (38 ft) and a ground plan in the shape of a 16-pointed star. It was built as a clock tower, by master builders Gabriel Gombao and Antón Sariñena (both Christians), Ismael Allabar and Monferriz (both Muslims), and Juce Galí (Jewish). It started to lean shortly after being built. In 1892, Zaragoza’s city council decided to demolish the tower citing the risks posed by its leaning. The decision was opposed by many intellectuals and part of the population. After the tower’s demolition, citizens bought bricks as souvenirs. The painting is based on a photography from 1875 by J. Laurent.