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Friday, July 19, 2013

Military History Photo Friday: The Torres de Quart in Valencia, Spain

These impressive towers are called the Torres de Quart. I saw them this week when visiting Valencia, Spain. My wife had an astronomy conference there and I tagged along so I could write a travel article on Valencia.

The city dates back to the Roman times but sadly most of its early remains are gone. The only parts of the old city walls still standing are two city gates dating to the Renaissance. The Torres de Quart defended the city against various invaders, the most recent being the forces of Napoleon. The French emperor had take over Spain some time before and in 1808 the Spaniards rose up in rebellion. Soon Valencia was in their hands.

Napoleon tried to take the city back on 26 June 1808. The Valencians flooded the surrounding plains so that the French were forced to attack the relatively higher ground on which the fortified gates, the strongest parts of their defenses, stood. As you can see, the towers still bear the scars of cannonballs.

The Spaniards put up a stout resistance and soon the French had to withdraw. The pockmarks on the Torres de Quart are a testimony to their determined defense.


  1. I can see the cannonball marks now.
    Astronomy conference? What does your wife do, Sean?

    1. My wife studies the star-forming regions and black holes in galactic nuclei. She works with the Hubble Space Telescope and is part of the team to send up its replacement, the James Webb Space Telescope. She's the smart one in the family. :-)

  2. This is SO cool. I've been to other parts of Spain, but never here. Jealous :)


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