In 1576, King Philip II ordered the construction of towers on Els Alfacs Bay to protect the port from Saracen pirates. Only two of the four planned, the Codonyol and Sant Joan towers, were actually built.
Sant Joan Tower is actually in the village of Poble Nou del Delta, now part of the municipality of Amposta (Montsià). It is a large, low building with a square base, a pyramidal (raised) trunk and slightly convex walls. Currently only the base and solid part of the tower remain.
It had a garrison of twelve and was in use for some 250 years, including during the Reapers’ War (1640-1652) and the Peninsular War (1808-1814). It was probably during the latter conflict that it was destroyed by the British Navy to cut off the French army’s line of coastal communications or, perhaps, it was blown up by the French themselves as they retreated.
Photo: @esteve_fornos on Instagram