Just steps away from the Alcázar, and perched upon the Guadalquivir River, stands one of Seville's most un-missable monuments from the past, the Torre del Oro, or Golden Tower.
The 12-sided tower dates back to the Almohad Dynasty, when it was constructed in the 13th century. The theories behind the name's origin vary: Some say it came from the tower's once gold-tiled exterior, others say that it was due to it being a drop-off and storage point for gold delivery from the New World, and still others believe the title is simply a result of the landmark's golden-hued reflection on the river.
Whatever the reason, the Golden Tower's purpose was to act as a river defense to protect Seville. Along with another tower that once sat across the Guadalquivir (believed to have been demolished during an 18th-century earthquake), a chain would be raised in the river to stop ships from proceeding farther – a tactic that failed during the Reconquista, when Christians eventually took the city from the Muslims.
These days you can visit the tower, which now houses a naval museum, where you can browse its collection of navigation charts, historic documents and replica models of famous ships like the Santa Maria. Or simply head up the spiral staircase to the top, where you can keep watch and take in views of the city.
The Torre del Oro is open for visits Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 6:45pm, and on weekends from 10:30am to 6:45pm. It costs 3 euros to enter, but is free on Mondays.