Perhaps because the huge towers do not just send light to the sea, but give the sailors hope and help avoid death. Today we will talk about the five lighthouses with a difficult fate that can be visited when traveling in Europe and the USA.
Lighthouse height: 55 meters
Rock height: 57 meters
In the north of the city of La Coruna in Spain stands the oldest functioning lighthouse in the world. The tower on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean was built by the Romans at the beginning of the II century AD under the emperor Trajan. The architect was an engineer named Kai Serviy Lupo. If he had learned that after two thousand years his structure would remain the only working Roman lighthouse, he probably would have been very surprised.
In the Middle Ages, because of the endless wars, the Atlantic trade routes were empty, and the lighthouse ceased to perform signal functions and became a fortification. Archaeologists have found remains of walls around the tower. It is known that in 843, near the lighthouse, there was a battle between the army of the Asturian kingdom, led by Ramiro I and the Vikings, who were trying to land on the coast. That time the victory was left for the kingdom.
In the period from 1682 to 1791, the Spaniards made several attempts to restore the lighthouse: they added one floor, built a new staircase, made the lining. So the tower acquired its current appearance and was again used for its intended purpose.
The lighthouse is often called the Tower of Hercules. The reason is that the Castilian king Alfonso X in his book “Cronica General” created a legend as if the building was built by Hercules after his tenth feat. According to legend, at that time he defeated Gerion – a giant from the island of Trivia. The myth got accustomed and was actively promoted. So it turned out that the old Roman lighthouse bears the name of an ancient Greek hero.
Lighthouse Rubjerg Knud
Lighthouse height: 23 meters
Rock height: 60 meters
In the north of Denmark, the lighthouse Rubierg Knud has been standing for 116 years. His whole story is a struggle with the elements, but the sea has nothing to do with it. The main danger for the lighthouse was the wind. He brings sand from a cliff and falls asleep tower and several buildings around it.
Local authorities made several attempts to save the lighthouse. According to their decree, the area around them was planted with grass and bushes, and wooden fences of unusual shape were placed near the buildings. It did not help. Over the years, the sand around has become more and more. It got to the point that the sand dune blocked the path of the light from the lighthouse.
In early August 1968, the authorities surrendered. The wind was stronger. Mountains of sand appeared around the lighthouse; it became too expensive to maintain it. He stopped working but turned into a popular landmark. At one time, an exhibition for tourists and cafes even worked in the economic buildings next to the tower. It was so until 2002, after which it became impossible to use the premises.
Today, the lighthouse Rubierg Knud stands in a large pit surrounded by dunes. Sand is constantly cleaned. According to the calculations of scientists, if this is not done, then already in 15 years the tower will be completely brought.
Bishop Rock Lighthouse
Country: United Kingdom
Lighthouse height: 49 meters
Rock height: 2 meters
The Guinness Book of Records reports that Bishop Rock is the smallest built-up island on the planet. Its size is only 16 by 46 meters. For a long time, this rock was also considered the most western point of England, but then, five hundred meters west, they found another protrusion and passed the title to it.
The British authorities thought about the need for a lighthouse on Bishop Rock in the wake of a major shipwreck that occurred near the island on October 22, 1707. On that day, a military squadron under the command of Admiral Shovel returned to Portsmouth after the siege of French Toulon and ran into the rocks. The official reasons for the tragedy are the storm and navigation error. As a result of the disaster, four ships sank, another damaged ship was saved. Two thousand sailors and the admiral himself died.
It took 140 years after the death of the squadron before the lighthouse appeared on the island of Bishop Rock. Supervised the construction of the Scot James Walker. The first attempt failed. The engineer made a mistake in the calculations, so the storm washed the tower into the water. I had to start over. Walker completely reworked the project: redesigned, picked up other materials and strengthened the foundation with granite slabs. It worked. In September 1858, the Bishop Rock Lighthouse sent its first signal to the sea.
At first, the new lighthouse did not greatly change the situation on the coast. Already in 1875, a second major tragedy occurred nearby – the Shiller sailing ship crashed against the rocks. 335 people died.
In 1992, the lighthouse was fully automated. Now you can look at the tower in two ways: take an excursion by boat or by helicopter. The first option is cheaper, the second allows you to visit the interior of the lighthouse. Both excursion routes start from the cities on the Scilly archipelago.
Lighthouse Eileen More
Country: United Kingdom
Lighthouse height: 23 meters
Rock height: 85 meters
Lost near the coast of Scotland, the lighthouse is popular among paranormal hunters. All because of the strange story that happened here 126 years ago.
A year after the opening of the lighthouse on the Flann Islands, his staff was 4 people. Three were on duty in the tower on a small uninhabited island, and one superintendent at that time was resting in the nearest village.
It all started on December 15, 1900. On that day, the ship Arktor passed near the lighthouse. The crew found that the tower did not give a signal. Arriving at the port, the captain reported what had happened. There was no connection with the lighthouse. A storm rose at sea, so the first ship was able to reach the island only 10 days later.
Upon arrival, the team of inspectors found a strange picture: the island is empty, the doors are locked, the beds are made, the dishes are washed. All the raincoats in place. The only thing that caught my eye was an inverted table.
The last journal entry was dated December 15, 1900. According to the document, from 12 to 14 the number of storms raged around the island, which the rangers had not seen before. Only by the morning of December 15, the sea calmed down, as reported. The strangeness was that no meteorological station in the vicinity recorded bad weather at this time.
The bodies of the rangers have not been found. Naturally, rumors immediately spread. Different versions were put forward: from otherworldly intervention to collective suicide. The official commission suggested that the people were washed away by the wave, but this explanation did not seem convincing to all. Conspiracy theories associated with the disappearance of rangers in 1900, continue to occasionally appear in the press.
Statue of Liberty
Height of the lighthouse: 93 meters
Height of the cliff: 1 meter
The latest in our list is the most famous lighthouse in the world – the American Statue of Liberty. She stands on a small island 3 kilometers from Manhattan in New York. Ironically, like a lighthouse, a monumental sculpture has not justified itself at all.
In the first years, the US Beacons Management was responsible for the work of the statue. The sculpture served as a reference point for the incoming ships since every night the caretaker lit the light in her torch. So lasted 16 years. During this time, it became clear that the lighthouse from the Statue of Liberty was useless – the light was barely visible even from Manhattan. Engineers offered various options for improving the design: from installing new equipment to coating the Statue of Liberty with gold to make it shine brighter. The city authorities rejected all projects, largely due to lack of funds. There was even an initiative to transfer the sculpture to the mainland and install it near the Military Department, but then immigrants intervened. It turned out that since that time, the Statue of Liberty has acquired a symbolic meaning for many New Yorkers. The fact is that it was she who first met guests from the Old World. According to the recollections of immigrants, the view of the statue inspired hope for a favorable outcome of the move. Finally, the fate of the sculpture was decided by the end of the First World War. Agitators placed the Statue of Liberty on posters and leaflets, which enshrined its image in the minds of US citizens as visual visualization of American values.