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"Les Torretes" of Calella

"Les Torretes" and the optical telegraphy

 A tower of optical telegraphy for civilian use was raised In 1857, right next to the military tower. The number 214 line going from Montjuïc in La Jonquera was called "Paton Station", taking the name of the site on which the tower was built. The towers consisted of two floors connected by a spiral staircase. Access to the observatory on the top floor was forbidden to all persons outside the garrison, including the families of lighthouse keepers. The interior was austere and with scarce furniture.

The demise. The arrival of the railroad and the electric telegraph.

The operating period of the optical telegraphy was brief due to two factors: firstly, the arrival of the railroad; on the other, the use of the electric telegraph, which over a period of some political stability and due to the inauguration of the first line between Madrid and Irun in 1854 managed to guarantee operation without fear of sabotage. That is why the optical telegraphy towers ceased operations in 1862, thanks to the advantages of the railroad and the telegraph as well as the safety and speed of communication.

The optical telegraph towers in Calella

The Catalan network of military optical telegraph towers, placed the telegraphers at the top of towers, bell towers or other high constructions. Some, as is the case of the civil and military Calella telegraph, coincided in the same military emplacement, very close to one another.

The military tower was raised upon Patón hill in 1848. It was 83 meters high and was very close to the sea. It had loopholes, military staffing, and it had number 53 on the line between Barcelona and Girona, running inland. Its closest references were the towers of San Juan de Blanes in the north and Caldetas, toward the south.

The optical telegraph towers in Cataluña

In Catalonia, the “Guerra de los madrugadores” or second Carlist war (1847- 1849) accelerated the installation process of the optical telegraph network, to secure rapid communications and to consolidate a new liberal state in the Catalan territory and maintain the public order. The use of the optical telegraph network was restricted to the civil and military authorities. The optical telegraph network of Catalonia, extended upto the border with France. It was shaped by a civil and military network. Both counted with several stations of great strategic value.


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