Fuerteventura fortifications, El Tostón Castle in Cotillo
*Fortifications in Canary Islands
The history of castles and defensive towers in Canary Islands began during the fifteenth century, when the Kingdom of Castile conquered the islands and they became a bastion against Berber (North African), French and British pirates that thereatened the coast constatly.
*The ancient Puerto de El Tostón, El Cotillo
After the conquest, El Cotillo became a significant trading port for archil, cereals and livestock. This berth went under the name of Puerto del Roque since 1599. In 1626 it was named Puerto del Tostón, and by the middle of the twentieth century it became “El Cotillo”, which is its present name.
*The history of an emblematic tower
The conquer Jean de Bethencourt built th Castillo de Risco Roque in the early years of colonization, a fortification to protect the ships in the harbour against the pirate attacks. The present tower was built on the ruins of the original structure, and this commission was built on the ruins of the original structure, and this commission was given to the engineer Claudio de L,Isle by the General Captain of Canary Islands. The building work started in 1700 under the denomination of Torre de Ntra. Sra. del Pilar y San Miguel.
*The building work
The building is made of stone from a stone quarry close to el Cotillo. It has circular ground plant, a stone stair and drawbridge. There is a way down to the arsenal at the left of the entry and a way up to las losas, an area of level ground, at the right. Three iron canions defended the coast, and the tower could provide accommodation for a garrison of twelve men.
*La Torre de El Tostón nowadays
La Torre de El Tostón, was declared a historic monument in 1949 and it is an important element in the cultural heritage of the island of Fuerteventura.
Nowadays it has turned into a space for history and culture promotion for the population of Fuerteventura. It hosts contemporary art exhibitions, as well as a tourism office and a viewpoint over the white sand beaches of El Cotillo, which is one of the main tourism resorts in Fuerteventura.