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Torrox lighthouse and the remains of Caviclum.
More than 150 years old, this is the Costa del Sol lighthouse that was built on the site of a Roman city
History

More than 150 years old, this is the Costa del Sol lighthouse that was built on the site of a Roman city

It was the Torrox lighthouse keeper who discovered the ancient remains of Caviclum, which can now be visited free of charge

Javier Almellones

Torrox Costa

Tuesday, 16 April 2024, 18:35

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When it was built in the 19th century nobody realised at the time that the foundations of Torrox lighthouse on the Costa del Sol were in fact valuable Roman remains. The lighthouse, which was built in 1864 and stands 24 metres high, stands on what was once a Roman salting factory, which was later used both as a Roman bath and as a necropolis. It is one of the visible parts of the ancient city of Caviclum, unknown until the beginning of the 20th century.

The discoverer of this Roman city was the lighthouse keeper himself, Tomás García Ruiz, who was in charge of the lighthouse at the beginning of the 20th century. It is said that he had a certain interest in and knowledge of archaeology, so he was keen to excavate the area.

Thanks to his work, part of Caviclum, a city of Baetica, which was very important between the first and fourth centuries AD, came to light. Today they can be seen free of charge in the enclosure that this lighthouse occupies at the easternmost end of the town's promenade.

Despite García Ruiz's discovery, this archaeological site fell into oblivion. However, years later, in the 1940s, the excavation area was extended and pottery and other remains were found that demonstrate the importance of Caviclum as a Roman villa linked to the Mediterranean. Today, part of what was found can also be seen in the Museum of Malaga.

A series of mosaics were discovered under Torrox lighthouse which was built in 1864 SUR
Imagen principal - A series of mosaics were discovered under Torrox lighthouse which was built in 1864
Imagen secundaria 1 - A series of mosaics were discovered under Torrox lighthouse which was built in 1864
Imagen secundaria 2 - A series of mosaics were discovered under Torrox lighthouse which was built in 1864

There is a small visitor centre which gives information on a series of mosaics that were found, including the birds mosaic, which can be seen in the aforementioned museum space in the Palacio de la Aduana in Malaga city centre.

Thanks to excavations and historical documents, it is now known that it was a town of great importance due to its strategic role in the distribution of agricultural and fishing products and was connected to the towns of Sexi (Almuñécar) and Menoba (located at the mouth of the river Vélez). Its location in Torrox, next to the river of the same name, were undoubtedly strategic factors in the creation of this prosperous Roman town.

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