Traffic Sign on Sea: Lighthouses
Let’s shed some light on its history, famous lighthouses and their secret characteristic!
Tower of Hercules: SPAIN- Built: 2nd century AD, Height: 57 meters
Secret characteristic: oldest lighthouse in use.
While the exact date of its construction is unknown, the inscription on the tower attributes its design to the Roman architect-Gaius Sevius Lupus. It was used as a positioning marker on the coast for passing ships. The first lighthouse was Pharos Lighthouse at Alexandria which is one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. It was destroyed in stages by invaders and earthquakes.
Cape Agulhas:SOUTH AFRICA- Built: 1849, Height: 27 meters
Secret characteristic: A National Monument
Located at the southernmost tip of Africa, it has long served as a beacon to sailors in the rough seas off the coast of Africa. The powerful beacon can be viewed up to 35 miles from shore. Interestingly for is construction, funds were received from Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Manila, St Helena and London.
Sambro Island Light:CANADA- Built: 1758, Height: 25 Meters
Secret characteristic: Its construction was a National Historic Event.
It was built during the Seven Years War as a means of guarding the treacherous pass entering the Haliflax harbour. It has witnessed several ship wrecks and several bloody sea battles during the American revolution and the war of 1812.
Amedee: FRANCE- Built: 1865, Height: 56 metres
Secret characteristic: first metallic Lighthouse.
Built from steel in Paris in 1862. It was the dismantled and transported to Amedee Island in New Caledonia. It was used to guide vessels attempting to navigate the port of Noumea then a French penal colony.
Kolobrzeg: POLAND-Built:- 1899, Height: 26 meters.
Secret characteristic: a site of some of Poland’s legendary weddings.
The name ‘Kolobzeg’ literally means ‘by the shore’ in Polish. In World War II, it was blown up by German engineers as it was a good look-out point for the Polish artillery. This lighthouse was primarily used for signalling ships instead of protecting them from the coastline.
Cape Hatteras:USA- Built: 1803, Height: 64 meters
Secret characteristic: the tallest brick lighthouse.
This lighthouse guards the treacherous waters where two major ocean currents collide- Labrador Current and the Gulf stream.
Europa Point: GIBRALTAR- Built: 1841, Height: 20 meters.
Secret characteristic: constructed with the aid from Freemasonry.
It guards the coastline, aiding ships as they pass through the Strait of Gibraltar between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. ‘Fresnel Lens’ invented in 1822, enabled sailors to produce unlimited number of flashing combinations and intensified the light so that it could be seen at a greater distances.
Les Eclaireurs: ARGENTINA- Built: 1920, Height: 11 meters
Secret characteristic: the lighthouse at the end of the world.
Its operations is remote controlled, automated and electricity is supplied by solar panels. Though inhabited and not open to public, it is a popular tourist attraction. The people who study lighthouses are called ‘Pharologists’.
Slettnes: NORWAY-Built: 1905, Height: 39 metres
Secret characteristic: top of Europe
It was heavily damaged during the World War II by German troops, painstakingly restored after the war. It is now listed as a Heritage site. “ Wickey” was the nickname given to the lighthouse keepers before the days of electricity.
Statue of Liberty:USA- Unveiled: 1886, Height: 93 metres
Secret characteristic: first lighthouse to use electricity.
This symbol of Freedom was used as a lighthouse between 1886-1901. Before electricity different fuels were used to illuminate the lamps- wood, coal, candles, whale oil, lard oil & kerosene.