Saturday, February 16, 2013

NETHERLANDS

Vlieland is one of the West Frisian Islands lying in the Wadden Sea, in the northern Netherlands. The Vuurduin Lighthouse is located at the Vuurboetsduin (Beaconfire Dune), the highest elevation (42 meters) on the island (53°17′45″N 5°03′30″E).
In November 1836 a light station was established in Vlieland, but in 1909 it was decided that the tower had to be replaced by a larger one. The present lighthouse was constructed using the upper portion of the 1879 IJmuiden Front Lighthouse. The upper 16 meters of the mainland tower were unscrewed and moved to Vlieland, to be placed on a new foundation. Simultaneously with the tower were also the optics and lamp which were first lit on March 22, 1909.  The 17 m round red cast iron tower is attached to an observation tower built in 1929. The site is open daily and is accessible by ferry from Harlingen. Bus transportation is provided on Vlieland since visitors cannot bring vehicles to the island.

JAPAN

Cape Ashizuri is the southernmost point of Shikoku island and is part of Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park. The cape is covered by subtropical plants and features gorgeous ocean views from stunning 80 m high granite cliffs. The Ashizuri Lighthouse is a round cylindrical concrete tower first lit on April 1st, 1914 (32° 43.0' N 133° 1.0' E). The 18m (59ft.) white lighthouse is peppered with bullet holes received from the U.S. navy toward the end of WWII. It is still active and the light reaches 20.5 nautical miles (about 38 km) far.

CANADA

The Queen Charlotte Islands (now known officially by the native name Haida Gwaii) lie off the northern coast of British Columbia, separated from Alaska to the north by the broad Dixon Entrance and from the British Columbia mainland to the east by Hecate Strait. Langara Island is the northernmost Island of the archipelago located approximately 45 km (28 mi) south of Alaska.
The Langara Point Lighthouse was built in 1913 and is located atop a scenic bluff on the northwest corner of Langara Island (54° 15' 23" N, 133° 3' 29" W). The 7.5 m (25 ft.) hexagonal concrete 6-ribbed tower is a manned lighthouse and the original light, still in use today, is a first-order Fresnel lens (the only one of its size still in service in Canada).  The station is actively involved in numerous scientific projects for the World Meteorological Organization (W.M.O), the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Vancouver Public Aquarium, as well as water sampling and tsunami warning for the Institute of Ocean Sciences (I.O.S). Provides marine and aviation weather as well as seismograph service. This station's remote location makes it particularly important for Search and Rescue and communications.

TAIWAN

The Matsu archipelago contains 19 islands located in the Taiwan Strait, far closer to China's southern coast than to Taiwan. Still, they are part of Taiwan politically. Matsu's geographical placement has necessarily made it a place first and foremost dedicated to military affairs, specifically defense of Taiwan from the People's Republic of China. Outside the military bases, Matsu is open to tourism.
Dongju (Dongjyu) Islet is 2.63 square kilometers and is at the southernmost end of the Matsu archipelago. Here it is the Dongjyu Lighthouse:  the 19.5 m (64 ft) round cylindrical granite tower constructed during the Ching Dinasty by English engineers. The lighthouse was first lit on August 8, 1872 and is located atop a hill on the northeastern point of the island.

GERMANY

Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the south-eastern corner of the North Sea, 46 kilometers (29 mi) off the German coastline, consisting of two islands:  Hauptinsel (main island) and the Düne.  In 1811, when Heligoland was under British rule, the first lighthouse on the island had been built by Trinity House. The construction of the new lighthouse had been ordered by the Prussian administration in 1902. This lighthouse was in service from 1902 until April 18, 1945, when the tower was destroyed by the Royal Air Force during a bombing raid.
The present lighthouse was actually built in 1941 as an antiaircraft observation tower; somehow it escaped the bombing and survived to be converted into a lighthouse in 1952. The 35 m (115 ft.) square 9-story steel and concrete building was first lit on May 24, 1952.  It features the strongest light on the German North Sea coast with a range of 28 nautical miles (52 km). The top of the building is also crowded with communications and radar antennas. The top of the building is also crowded with communications and radar antennas. The building serves as a ship traffic control center.  54°1054.6N 7°5256.5E

Thursday, December 27, 2012

SPAIN

One of the oldest and most historic lighthouses of Spain, this light was built in 1817 by the engineer Pery y Guzmán at the entrance to Malaga's harbor (36°42′50.93″N  4°24′52.47″O). The 37 m (121 ft) round masonry tower rises through the center of a 2-story keeper's house and is known affectionately as La Farola. It was damaged by an earthquake on Christmas Day 1884, and it was relit only in 1917 after a large reformation and refurbishment.  During the Spanish Civil War, on August 28, 1936, La Farola was deactivated by order of the Navy and received an earth-colored paint, with dark and light patches to camouflage. Nevertheless, it was seriously damaged during the war, because of which had to be rebuilt in 1939.

TAIWAN

The Chihou Lighthouse is one of the best known and most visited of all Taiwanese lighthouses and is located on the summit of Chihou Hill, at the north end of Cijin Island in Kaohsiung. The lighthouse was built by English technicians in 1883 during Ching Dynasty, after the port was opened to foreign trading. In 1916, the Japanese made an extensive renovation of the lighthouse as part of the expansion of Kaohsiung port. The lighthouse plays a crucial role in guiding ships since 1918 during night sailing. Chihou was one of the few major Taiwanese lighthouses to escape World War II undamaged. The 15 m (49 ft) octagonal cylindrical brick tower rises from a 1-story brick keeper's house. The light is still active and hosts a museum at the keeper's house.

USA

Pigeon Point Light Station stands on a rocky promontory about 5 miles (8 km) south of Pescadero, California (37°10'54"N 122°23'38''W) and has been guiding ships approaching San Francisco Bay from the south since 1872. Originally called La Punta de La Ballena (Whale Point), this headland was renamed Pigeon Point in memory of the Carrier Pigeon. The clipper ship Carrier Pigeon sailing from Boston to San Francisco and carrying 1,300 tons of cargo, wrecked near this point on June 6, 1853.
The 115 ft (35m) white conical brick tower was equipped with original first order Fresnel lens and first lit on November 15, 1872. In 1926 the lighthouse was provided with electricity. In 1972, the US Coast Guard mounted a 24-inch aerobeacon on the front of the tower and officially retired the Fresnel lens from regular duty. The station was automated in 1974. In 1980, the four light keeper’s houses were leased to American Youth Hostels and serves as a youth hostel for travelers.
The tower has been closed to the public since December 2001. At that time, two large sections of a brick and iron cornice located high atop the tower fell to the ground, prompting the closure of the tower and the area immediately around its base. In November 2011, the first order Fresnel lens was moved from the tower's lantern room to the fog signal building and is on display while the tower is restored. Restoration work began in the fall of 2011.

GERMANY

The Kiel-Holtenau Lighthouse is located at the end of the Thiessenkai, the quay on the north side of the Kiel Canal (Nord-Ostsee-Kanal), the busiest artificial waterway in the world, in Holtenau, about 12 km (7.5 mi) north of Kiel. The 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery rising from the front of a 2-story brick Imperial-style building was built in 1895. The building includes a memorial hall, the Drei-Kaiser-Gedächtnishalle, in remembrance of Kaisers Wilhelm I, who inaugurated construction of the canal in 1887; Friedrich III, who turned the first shovel of dirt here in 1888, and Wilhelm II, who laid the cornerstone of the lighthouse in 1895. It also houses a registrar's office where weddings are performed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TAIWAN

The Penghu Islands are an archipelago off the western coast of Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait consisting of 90 small islands and islets covering an area of 141 square kilometers.  Yuwongdao Lighthouse is located at the southwestern tip of the Yuwongdao Island near the village of Waian. The original light station was established in 1778 in a tower of a pagoda and the current lighthouse was built in 1875. The 11 m (36 ft) round cast iron tower was designed by the British engineer David Henderson and installed under contract to the Chinese Imperial government (Ch’ing Dynasty).

Friday, July 27, 2012

FRANCE

The French Mediterranean city of Sète is located in the in the Hérault department, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, in southern France. The port of Sète was built by Colbert in 1666, as the Mediterranean entrance of the Canal du Midi. The Môle Saint Louis, built in 1669, is the historic breakwater mole sheltering the port and the canal entrance.
The first light station in Sète was constructed by Vauban in 1684. In February 1861, a taller lighthouse was built in the breakwater and guided ships until August 19, 1944 when it was destroyed during World War II. The present 31m (101 ft) round masonry tower with lantern painted red was built in 1948. It is a copy of the 1861 lighthouse and can be seen in the foreground of the postcard.
Another lighthouse can be seen on the hill in the background: it is the Mont Saint-Clair Lighthouse, a 23 m (75 ft) octagonal masonry tower with a lantern painted green. Built by the engineer Hermann-Guiche during three years, the lighthouse was first lit on April 23, 1903. The lantern is located at 93 m (305 ft) above sea level and its light reaches 29 nautical miles.

GERMANY

The Amrum lighthouse is located in the southern part of the German island of Amrum, North Sea coast, very close to the Danish borderline (54°37′52.24″N 8°21′16.91″E). Built on a high dune, the red/white tower is 41.8 meters tall and its light reaches about 23.3 nautical miles. Constructions were taken up in 1873 and finished in November 1874. The Amrum Lighthouse was officially activated on January 1, 1875 and was the first German lighthouse to be erected in Nordfriesland. In 1936, the lantern was electrified and the tower got its red-white painting only in 1952, before that it was brown. The last keeper left the lighthouse in 1984 when it had become automated.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

USA

The Hudson River played a strategic military role in the American history: during the Revolutionary War important battles were fought on its banks. After the invention of the steamboat in 1807, the river witnessed an explosion in commercial shipping traffic and passenger transportation and became a vital artery in the development of New York State. Saugerties was a major port with daily commercial and passenger transportation and in 1869, a lighthouse was built on a circular pier offshore in the river (42°4′19.53″N 73°55′46.72″W).
The 46 ft (14m) square tower attached to Italianate 2-story red-brick dwelling received a sixth-order Fresnel lens. When electricity was extended to the lighthouse in the 1940s, the house was “modernized” with steam heat, plumbing and a phone. In 1954, the Guard automated the light and the building was closed up. The unoccupied building deteriorated rapidly and the Coast Guard planned to demolish the building.  A campaign mounted by local residents halted the demolition. In 1979, the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The lighthouse is currently managed by the non-profit Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy which purchased the lighthouse in 1986 and has restored it. The Coast Guard installed a Fresnel lens with solar-powered light and the tower was reactivated on August 4, 1990. The lighthouse is in use as a bed and breakfast inn, but it is also open to visitors and offers a small museum and a gift shop.

USA

The lighthouses of the beautiful and dangerous wilderness coast of Washington are some of the greatest engineering stories of the late 1800’s. Building lighthouses here required extraordinary ingenuity, courage and strength - this is an area of huge waves, high winds, towering cliff faces, rolling sand dunes and pounding surf. Whaling and fishing were major industries and provided some of the impetus for lighthouse building.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

FRANCE

La Vieille (“The Old Lady”) Lighthouse is located in the département of Finistère on the northwest coast of France (48°02′26″N 4°45′23″W). Built between 1882 and 1887 on the rock known as la Gorlebella, it illuminates and improves the safety of the strait Raz de Sein. Fierce tides limited the period in which building work could take place to less than half of each year. The 27m (89 ft) square granite tower was first lit on September 15, 1887 and is situated in a remote position in rough seas. During the World War II the light was extinguished, on 21 January 1944, and reinstated on June 1st, 1945. Although electricity was introduced in 1992, the generators installed were used only by the keepers; the light itself remained oil-powered until its automation on 14 November 1995. La Vieille became the penultimate French lighthouse to be automated, a process delayed due to the lighthouse keepers on the site refusing in protest to carry out the task.
On the left corner of the postcard, we see La Plate Lighthouse, also known as Petite Vieille (“Little Old Woman”), located on a submerged rock about 300 m southwest of La Vieille Light (48°02′21″N 4°45′35″W). The 26 m (85 ft) octagonal concrete tower painted yellow with a black horizontal band was lit in 1910 and is still active.

NETHERLANDS

The West Schouwen Lighthouse is located in Haamstede in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands (51°42′32″N 3°41′28″E). Designed by L. Valk, the tower’s construction started in 1837 and on March 25, 1840, the light was first lit. The 50 m (164 ft) round brick tower is one of the tallest lighthouses in the Netherlands. A stair of 226 steps, in stone and partially in iron, leads to the top. In 1934, the lighthouse was electrified and painted in the red-and-white spiral pattern as a warning to low flying aircrafts. On May 10, 1940 during World War II, the German Army destroyed the lens system and an auxiliary light was installed in the gallery in 1946. The current 2nd order Fresnel lens was installed on May 28, 1953.

SOUTH AFRICA

Green Point Lighthouse is South Africa's oldest lighthouse and is located at Western Cape Beach Road, in Cape Town (33°54’04’’S 18°24’02’’E). It stands close to the Green Point Soccer Stadium (2010 FIFA World Cup) and to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a popular tourist and shopping venue. The postcard shows the residential Sea Point suburbs, the greenish Signal Hill and the spire of Devil’s Peak in the background. 
The light was built by the German architect Herman Schutte and first lit on Monday evening, 12 April 1824. The lantern house was increased in height in 1865, when it was fitted with a circular plane and a cast-iron murette. The 16 m (52 ft) square brick tower, painted with diagonal red and white stripes, rises from the center of a keeper's house. Introduced in 1922, the present and active 3rd Order lens system produces a flash light visible in a range of 25 nautical miles. Since thick winter fog regularly obscures the land, a foghorn was installed in January 1926 in the light station. Useful and welcoming to the ships and noisy and disruptive to Capetonians, the foghorn was nicknamed “Moaning Minnie” or “Bellowing Bill” and was in operation until 1986, when was replaced by a nautophone.  Green Point Light was electrified in March 1929. Since June 1993, the lighthouse became the home of the Lighthouse Services Business Unit of the National Ports Authority and the light keeper’s house was converted into offices, visitor center and a small museum.

Friday, May 18, 2012

USA

Point Judith Lighthouse is located on the west side of the entrance to Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island as well as the eastern entrance to Block Island Sound (41°21′39.7″N 71°28′53″W). This was once one of America’s most heavily trafficked stretches of water and point of frequent shipwrecks.  The first wooden tower built here in 1810 was blown over by a hurricane on September 17, 1815.  It was the third lighthouse in Rhode Island. A 35-foot (11 m) stone lighthouse was erected the following year.
The present 51 feet (16 m) octagonal granite tower was built in 1857 and the lighthouse was originally attached to a 2-story keeper’s house by enclosed walkway. The upper half of the tower is painted brown, the lower half white and the lantern and gallery are black to make the light structure a more effective daymark for maritime traffic. The light was electrified in 1939 and the brick keeper's house was torn down in 1954, the same year the lighthouse was automated. The fourth-order Fresnel lens installed here before the Civil War remains in service. Point Judith Lighthouse is located on what is now the Point Judith Coast Guard Station. The grounds are open to the public, although the interior of the lighthouse, oil house, and fog signal building (seen on the postcard) are not.

FINLAND

Bengtskär Lighthouse is the tallest light in Scandinavia and is located on a small rocky islet at the North Baltic Sea, entrance of the Gulf of Finland.  Bengtskär is Finland’s southernmost inhabited island (59°43,4'N 22°30,1'E).  The construction of the tower commenced in early 1906 using granite quarried from Bengtskär itself.  The 46 m (151 ft) round granite tower was first lit on December 19, 1906 and its light could be seen for twenty nautical miles.
In 1914 during the World War I, all lighthouse keepers and their families were evacuated to the mainland, and the lantern was placed in storage. The lighthouse was shelled by two German ships but was not badly damaged. In World War II, Soviet troops attempted to storm the island on 26 July 1941, but they were driven off after a fierce battle. Soviet air raids damaged the keeper's house but spared the tower. After repairs, the lighthouse was reopened in 1950.
In 1968, the lantern was automated and the lighthouse keepers left the island. The building quickly started to turn into a ruin damaged by storms, wind and the invasion of vandals. In 1983, the lantern was converted to wind-powered electricity. Restored in the early 1990s, Bengtskär Lighthouse was opened to visitors on August 18, 1995 and nowadays is a popular touristic destination. The former 3-story granite keeper's house now hosts a lecture hall, a chapel, conference rooms, a café, a museum and post office.  It is also possible to book overnight accommodations and climb the 252 steps of the spiral staircase leading up to the reflector room.

NORWAY

Slettnes Lighthouse is located on the Barents Sea, at the Nordkyn peninsula, near the fishing village of Gamvik, Norway (71.05.03N  28.13.10E). It is considered the northernmost mainland lighthouse of the world. The 39 m (128 ft) round cast iron tower was first lit on September 15, 1905. During World War II the Germans used the lighthouse as an observatory position, but in October 1944, the German Army in full retreat, blew up the lighthouse station. The new station was designed by architects G.Blakstad and H. Munthe-Kaas and was completed in 1948. The new tower was painted red with two white horizontal bands, has 9 storeys and a spiral 139-steps staircase. Electrified in 1956 and automated in 2005 the lighthouse is protected by a 1998 cultural heritage act, and is situated in a nature reserve rich in migratory birds and Arctic vegetation. From the end of May to mid July, many tourists visit Gamvik to see the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun and it is possible to book accommodation at the Slettnes light station buildings.

RUSSIA

Murmansk is a city and seaport in the extreme north-west part of Russia, on the Kola Bay. A memorial in honor of the 85th anniversary of the city was opened near Lake Semyonovskoye in 2002. The memorial includes a 28 m (92 ft) hexagonal cylindrical tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands, the Lighthouse Monument. This lighthouse is not a genuine aid to navigation. There is a Memorial Hall in the basement part of the lighthouse; each wall of the hall is devoted to the memory of fishermen who perished at sea in peacetime, to sea transport workers, to military seamen, and to pilots of shipborne aviation. There is also a Memorial Book containing the names of those who did not return from the sea. These include the crew of the nuclear submarine Kursk, pride of the Northern Fleet, which sank with the loss of all 118 on board in the Barents Sea in 2000 - Russia's worst peacetime naval disaster and a tremendous blow to national pride.

JAPAN

Hinomisaki  is a port town located at the north coast of Shimane Prefecture  facing  the Sea of Japan. The Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse stands on a steep and rocky cape and is the tallest lighthouse in Japan. The construction of the tower stated in 1900 by the Scottish engineer Richard Brunton and the Japanese engineer Yoshihiko Aya. Aya designed a building structure known as “double shell” resistant to earthquakes and the  44 m (145 ft) round stone tower  was first lit on April 1, 1903 during the Meiji Period. The lighthouse survived to the Great Kantō earthquake in 1923, World War II air strikes and the Great Hanshin earthquake (or Kobe earthquake) in 1995. Electrified in 1918 and automated on March 31, 1974 the Hinomisaki Light receives many tourists daily attracted to the panoramic view of the Sea of Japan and the beautiful sunset seen from the upper gallery (over 150 steps). The former lighthouse keeper' cottage now houses a visitor center and a gift shop.

AUSTRALIA

Known for its treacherous reefs, rocks and weather, Cape Leeuwin is regarded by mariners as one of the most dangerous coastlines in the world. The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse was first lit on December 1, 1896 to safely guide ships travelling to Australia’s eastern ports. It is mainland Australia’s tallest lighthouse: the 39 m (128 ft) round limestone tower stands 56 meters (183 ft) above sea level and its light is visible for 26 nautical miles (or 48 km). 
Originally unpainted, the tower had the natural stone color of Tamala limestone, but was painted white in 2004. The lighthouse was totally manually operated until 1982 when it was converted to electricity replacing the clockwork mechanism & kerosene burner, one of the last in the world. It was automated in September 1992.
The lighthouse is located on the headland of Cape Leeuwin, the most south-westerly point on the mainland of the Australian Continent, near Augusta, in the state of Western Australia (34°22′27″S 115°08′09″E). It stands at the point where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. Guided tours are conducted daily at the lighthouse: after climbing 186 steps and seven floors on a metal spiral staircase it is possible to observe rock parrots, dolphins, fur seals and in season, whales. A visitor centre, café and retail shop are contained within the light station.

USA

Petit Manan Lighthouse is the second tallest light tower in Maine and is located on a small island off Petit Manan Point, near Milbridge (44°22′03″N 67°51′52″W). Locally known as 'tit Manan, the 119 ft (36 m) round granite tower was built in 1855 and its light has a range of 25 nautical miles.  The light station has a charming Victorian wood keeper's house, a brick fog signal house, an oil house, a boat house and an engine house.
Petit Manan Light was electrified in 1938 and automated in 1972. The light was out of service for two months in 2001 after a nor'easter damaged its submarine power cable; as a result it was converted to solar power later that year. The light station is part of the Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge, managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is not open to the public.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

UKRAINE

Vladimir Grigoryevich Shukhov was a Russian engineer and architect renowned for his pioneering works on hyperboloid towers. The Adziogol Lighthouse is one of his remarkable structures designed on 1910 and first lit on June 14th, 1911. Also known as Stanislav Range Rear Light, the 64 m (210 ft) round skeletal steel tower is the tallest lighthouse in Ukraine. Its light can be seen for up to 17 nautical miles (31 km). It is located on a concrete pier on an islet off the mouth of the Dnepr River delta, about 30 kilometers (19 mi) from Kherson (46°29′32″N 32°13′57″E).
The main structure is a light circular steel web, tapering through a curve to the small beacon housing. Slender vertical members wrap around the column in a hyperbolic paraboloid, forming an open helical mesh. At the center of the web is a steel stair tower, giving a sense of solidity to the otherwise delicate structure.

RUSSIA

The Tokarevsky Lighthouse was built in 1910 to guide ships safely to the main Vladivostok harbor, in Russian Far East. The 12 m (39 ft.) white stone tower is located at the end of the mole at the southwestern tip of the Egersheld Peninsula.

NETHERLANDS

The Eierland Lighthouse is located on the northernmost tip of the Dutch island of Texel, near the village De Cocksdorp (53°10′55″N 4°51′19″E). Eierland was formerly a separate island, but it has been joined to Texel since 1630 by construction of sea dikes. The lighthouse construction began in July 1863 on a sand dune and it was first lit on November 1, 1864. The 35m (114 ft) round brick tower is painted red with the lantern and the watch room painted white. In the course of time the red color faded to pink, but in 2004 it was repainted in the original bright red. 
Electrified in 1927, the tower suffered heavy damages in April 1945, after one of the last WW II battles in Europe. The event known as the Georgian Uprising of Texel occurred when Georgian prisoners of war rebelled against their German captors and a bloodshed and destruction spread throughout the island. The tower was extensively repaired in 1948-49 and a new brick wall surrounded the damaged original. In this process the lighthouse lost two of its original nine floors and was reopened on March 24, 1950. The Eierland Light is almost year-round daily open to visitors and after climbing the 153-steps staircase (seven floors), one has a magnificent view over the Wadden and North Sea, the nearby island of Vlieland and Texel.

Friday, December 2, 2011

USA

On September 1, 1858 a 32 ft (10 m) round brick lighthouse was built on Mount Desert Island, Maine to mark the entrance to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Harbor (44° 13’ 19”N  68° 20’ 14”W).  The cliffside Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse stands 56 ft (17 m) above sea level and its red light is visible for thirteen nautical miles. The 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house is used as a residence for Coast Guard personnel. Making part of the light station there are a boathouse, a pyramidal bell tower, a brick fog signal building, an oil house and a barn.  Electrified in 1949 and automated in 1974, the lighthouse is not open to the public.

FRANCE

For lighthouse enthusiasts like me, Brittany (Bretagne) is the paradise! The peninsula situated in the northwest of France, alongside the Atlantic Ocean has a rugged coastline, granite cliffs, dunes, white sandy beaches and numerous islands. All these natural landscapes are home of historic and wonderful lighthouses.
On the postcard four beautiful lighthouses of the Finistère Department: the black and white Phare du Créac'h at the northwestern tip of the Île d'Ouessant; the round stone Phare du Four located on a rock near Argenton; the red and white Phare des Pierres-Noires on an islet southeast of Île Molène; the square granite Phare de la Vieille on the rock of Gorlebella, in the strait Raz de Sein.

CROATIA

By the 19th century the Austro-Hungarian Empire had erected 48 lighthouses in the islands of the Adriatic Sea, locating them near strategic shipping lanes. Sveti Ivan na pučini (St. John out in the sea) Lighthouse is located on a rocky islet about 4 km (2.5 mi) southwest of Rovinj, on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula 45° 02" 39' N   13° 36" 47'  E. Built in 1853, the 15 m (49 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower is attached to a 2-story stone keeper's house. Making part of the light station there are a depot, an engine room, a wharf, a boat hoist and a boat shelter. The cream-colored stone tower was automated in 1983 and is supplied by 24 V DC solar modules or electric generator. Its white flash light has a range of 24 nautical miles. After its independence in 1991, Croatia refurbished several of the lighthouses and assigned them double-duty as inns. Today, 11 Croatian lighthouses, including Sveti Ivan, are available for vacation rental.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

POLAND

Świnoujście is a city and seaport on the Baltic Sea located in the extreme north-west of Poland, close to the German border.  Stawa Młyny is one of the symbols of Swinoujscie, as part of the official logo of the city. The 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical brick tower is a navigation beacon in the shape of a windmill. Built in 1873, it is located at the end of the west breakwater at the mouth of the Świna River.  The front (seaward) side of the white tower has four large white windmill vanes, but they do not turn in the wind. LAT: 53° 56.0' N  LON: 014° 17.0' E

Monday, November 14, 2011

GERMANY

The Isle of Fehmarn lies in the Baltic Sea, off the eastern coast of Schleswig-Holstein, between Germany and Denmark, separating the Kiel Bay and the Mecklenburg Bay.  The Fehmarn-Belt-Waterway had been one of the most important shipping routes in the Baltic Sea in the last few centuries and still has great importance in our days for the passage from the Baltic Sea to the North Sea. Fehmarn, which belonged to the Danish Kingdom in the 19th century, has an area of nearly 180 square miles and the Danish, and later the German built lighthouses at all corners of the island.
Three lighthouses face the German mainland: the tallest Flügge Light (54°26.456'N/11°01.060'E) lies at the southwestern tip of the island; the “little white” Strukkamphuk Light (54°24.562'N/11°05.736'E) stands near the Fehmarnsund Bridge and the Staberhuk Light (54°24.155'/ 11°18.651'E) is located on the southeastern point of Fehmarn.
The Westermarkelsdorf Light (54°31.641'N/11°03.484'E) shines in the northwest of the isle marking the western entrance to the Fehmarn Belt. The old and the new Marienleuchte Lights (54°29.698'N/ 11°14.293'E) stand at the island’s northeastern corner near the ferry terminal at Puttgarden, where ferries link Fehmarn to Denmark.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

BELGIUM

Nieuwpoort is a Belgium city located by the sea close to the Dutch border, in the province of West Flanders. In Nieuwpoort, the Yser River flows into the North Sea. The first light station in Nieuwpoort dates back to 1863, but this tower was destroyed in World War I. A second lighthouse was commissioned in 1926 and had the same fate being destroyed on September 7, 1944 during World War II. The current 29 m (95 ft) conical concrete tower with red and white bands was first lit on March 21, 1949. A 2-story keeper's house is attached to the tower and both stands at the eastern side of the mouth of the Yser (51°09.300' N 2°43.900' E). The double gallery tower was automated in 1986 and its red flash light has a range of 16 nautical miles.

IRELAND

Old Head is one of the major lighthouses on the South Irish coast and also serves as a guide to the entrance of Kinsale Harbor. It is located at the end of a narrow, rocky peninsula about 20 km (12 mi) south of Kinsale (51°36.287' N  08°32.018' W). The 31 m (100 ft) round masonry tower was first lit on October 1, 1853 and painted white with two red bands. The color scheme was changed to black with two white bands during the summer of 1930. The light source was a multi-concentric wick oil lamp at the focus of a first order dioptric lens with a range of 21 miles (33km). The light station had 2-story keeper's houses and other buildings enclosed by a stone wall.
The light was converted from vapourised paraffin to electric on April 25, 1972 and the intensity of the light was increased giving a range of 25 nautical miles.  On April 1, 1987 the Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse was converted to unwatched automatic operation and the keepers were withdrawn.
In the 1990s a golf club, the Old Head Golf Links, was built on the Old Head; the light station now stands behind the green of the fourth hole, which is called the Razor's Edge.  Since the golf course opened, access to the Old Head of Kinsale has been restricted to golfers and guests only, and there has been a long-running campaign for the restoration of public access. The Old Head's lighthouse/golf matter has been controversial, but the Irish Supreme Court has confirmed the golf club's right to close access through its property.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

FINLAND

Remmarholmen Lighthouse is located on Reimarisaari, a small island off the southwestern tip of the larger island of Vallisaari, about 3.5 km (2 mi) southeast of Helsinki (60° 7'52" N  24°59'38" E). The 5 m (17 ft) round concrete tower lies beside the main ship route into the harbor of the Finnish capital.

GERMANY

Pellworm is one of the North Frisian Islands on the North Sea coast of Germany. The landscape of the south side of the island is dominated by the 41 m (135 ft) round cast iron tower, painted red with one white horizontal band. Built in 1907, the lighthouse was assembled from 600 individual steel components and held together by 16,000 bolts. This tower is practically identical to two other lighthouses in North Friesland: the Hörnum on Sylt and Westheversand, on the Eiderstedt peninsula). Since it was first commissioned in 1907, Pellworm lighthouse has been electrically powered and was automated in 1977. In August 2002, the original Fresnel lens has been replaced by a modern light cannon with a six-time-changer, whose halogen bulbs burn for 2000 hours. The 2-story keeper's house is used as a registrar's office; this lighthouse, like Westheversand, is popular for weddings. During the summer season, the lighthouse is open for guided tours when you can ascend the 140 steps to the double gallery (54° 29' 46'' N 008° 39' 57'' E).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

NETHERLANDS

Egmond aan Zee is a village on the North Sea coast in the Dutch province of North Holland. Due to the treacherous sea near Egmond and several shipwrecks along that coast, King William I ordered the construction of a lighthouse in Egmond. Built in 1834/1835, the 28 m (92 ft) round brick tower was first lit on September 30, 1835 and was declared a Dutch memorial to Lieutenant Jan van Speyk.  Jan Carolus Josephus van Speijk blew up his own ship to prevent it from falling into the hands of Belgian revolutionaries at Antwerp on February 5, 1831. The tower was electrified in 1922 and completely renovated in 1968 after being declared as a rijksmonument (National Heritage Site of the Netherlands).  The lighthouse is open to public visits by appointment and is located on the seaside boulevard at the foot of Van Speijkstraat in Egmond aan Zee (52°37′8″N 4°37′18″E).

AUSTRALIA

Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian Continent, in the state of Western Australia. The first known ship to have visited this area is the Leeuwin ("Lioness"), a Dutch vessel that charted some of the nearby coastline in 1622. The 39 m (128 ft.) round limestone tower was first lit on December 1, 1896 and is one of Australia's best known lighthouses. It stands at the end of a narrow peninsula with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean to the north and the Southern Ocean to the south.
The light was totally manually operated until 1982 when it was converted to electricity replacing the clockwork mechanism & kerosene burner, one of the last in the world. Automated in September 1992, it also serves as an important automatic weather station. Originally unpainted, the tower had the natural stone color of Tamala limestone and in 2003, after being completely renovated, was painted white. Guided tours are conducted daily at the lighthouse and visitors can climb the 186 steps and seven floors to achieve the gallery and a wonderful view of the cape.

GERMANY

The island of Sylt is located on the German North Sea coast, in the area known as North Frisia, near the Danish border. North Frisia is part of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany's northernmost state. This area was ruled by Denmark until 1864. There are three surviving lighthouses established under Danish rule on the island of Sylt.  The List West Lighthouse is one of these lighthouses built in 1858 by the Danish government to guide ships through the channel between Sylt and the adjacent (and still Danish) island of Rømø. The 11 m (36 ft) white cast iron tower is the northernmost lighthouse in Germany and also the oldest lighthouse on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein. Automated in 1977, the light is located at a long sand spit which is a protected natural area, at the northwest corner of the island.   55° 03` 10" N  008° 24` 05" E

FRANCE

The Batz Island Lighthouse is located is located towards the western tip of the island (48° 44' 46" N  04° 01' 39" W) and was built between 1832 and 1836. The 43 m (141 ft) round stone tower rises from the center of a 1-story stone keeper's house and was inaugurated on October 10, 1836. Electrified in 1939 and automated in 1995, the lighthouse offers an extraordinary panoramic view after climbing up its 198 steps to the balcony. Its lantern is located at 67 meters (219 ft) above sea level and has a range of 42km (23 mi).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

ISLE OF MAN

The Isle of Man is a large island in the Irish Sea very roughly equidistant from southwestern Scotland, northwestern England, and northeastern Ireland. Port Erin is a quiet seaside resort in the south of the island popular for those seeking a relaxed holiday with superb coastal scenery and many fine walks. The Port Erin Range Front Lighthouse is an 11 m (36 ft) octagonal concrete tower painted white with a single red horizontal band. It is located on the waterfront in Port Erin, at the southwestern corner of the island. Lat 54 05.3 N Lon 04 46.3 W

FINLAND

Åland is an archipelago lying off the southwestern corner of Finland and stretching across the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia from the Baltic Sea. The great majority of the residents are Swedish by language and heritage (the islands were part of Sweden until 1809). Åland is an autonomous province of Finland, has its own national flag and issues its own postage stamps.
Åland Postal Service issued on June 6, 2008 four lighthouse stamps and their respective maximum cards. The Kökarsören Lighthouse was a square skeletal tower built in 1906 and located atop a small island about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of the city of Kökar.  In 1983, the lighthouse had deteriorated to such a degree that it had to be demolished and replaced by a modern lighthouse. The postcard depicts the original skeletal lighthouse and the engraved stamp brings in its background a map and the position of the tower (59 46,1 N 21 01,3 E)

USA

The Absecon Light is a coastal lighthouse located in the north end of Atlantic City, New Jersey overlooking Absecon Inlet. The station’s name, Absecon, honors an Indian tribe that at one time lived on the New Jersey coast. The 169 ft (51.5 m) brick tower was first lit on January 15, 1857 and is the third tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States. Electrified in July 1925, the light station still retains its original first order fixed Fresnel lens. The lighthouse succumbed to what is often described as progress: by 1933 Absecon could no longer be distinguished from the lights of Atlantic City. It was deactivated on July 11, 1933 and remained inactive 64 years. A major restoration of the tower was completed in 1998 and the keeper’s house was reconstructed and opened in October 2001. Nowadays the lighthouse is privately maintained and open to the public: after ascending the 228 steps of the tower amazing views of the Atlantic City skyline wait for you.

USA

The cold Labrador Current and the warm Gulf Stream oppose each other just off Cape Hatteras, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina coast.  This current forces ships into a dangerous twelve-mile long sandbar called Diamond Shoals. Hundreds of shipwrecks in this area have given it the reputation as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. The first lighthouse (95 ft/29m) in Cape Hatteras was lit in October of 1803, but it was considered unsatisfactory during haze or low fog. In 1854, it was extended to 150 ft (48 m) and was fitted with a new first order Fresnel lens. But this first light station was never considered adequate and the construction of the current Cape Hatteras lighthouse began in 1868.
The new 200 ft (61 m) round brick tower was first lit on December 1, 1870 and is the tallest U.S. lighthouse. Mounted on an octagonal red brick base the light received a distinctive black and white spiral pattern and its light can be seen for 24 miles (39 km) out at sea. Due to erosion of the shore, once almost a third of a mile from the Atlantic, the Cape Hatteras Light teetered at the very edge of the tides by the late 1990s.  In 1999, a $12 million relocation and restoration project moved the entire light station 2900 ft (885 m) southwest in 23 days. For lighthouse enthusiasts like me, Cape Hatteras still stands 208 years after its construction and we can climb the 248 steps to the gallery and the lantern. The lighthouse is located just off Route 12, near the village of Buxton, and is part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 35°1502N 75°3143.7W

Saturday, September 17, 2011

FINLAND

Rönnskär Lighthouse is the second oldest light in Finland and is located on a small island at Kirkkonummi, 30 km (19 mi) from Helsinki. The original tower was built in 1800 by Sweden and destroyed during the war between Sweden and Russia in 1808-09. The second light, built on the same plans under Russian rule in 1814, was significantly heightened in 1828. The current lighthouse is a 27 m (89 ft) two-stage tower: the lower half is square cylindrical unpainted rubblestone, and the upper half is round cylindrical cut stone, painted white (59°56’23”N 24°23’10”E). In 1928, Rönnskär was replaced by the Porkkala lighthouse located 7.5 km (4.5 mi) north. The lantern was removed and radar and communications equipment was mounted atop the tower. Despite being decommissioned, the tower is in good condition.

ISRAEL

Eilat Lighthouse is located on a bluff on the west side of the Gulf of Aqaba, about 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) southwest of the port of Eilat, Israel and 1.2 kilometers (0.75 mi) northeast of the Egyptian border (29° 30' 00" N 34° 55' 00" E). It is a 9 m (30 ft) round 5-legged skeletal tower painted white with black trim and a black band around each of the legs.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

GERMANY

Silt is the largest German island in the North Sea, occupying an area of about 38 square miles. When Sylt belonged to the Danish realm in 1853, King Frederick VII ordered the construction of a lighthouse on Sylt's highest elevation, the red cliff, in the northern third of the island (54.946197°N 8.340836°E). The 40 m (131 ft.) round stone tower was first lit on June 4, 1856 and originally constructed using yellow stones from the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.  The tower was reinforced with iron rings in 1875 and still bears the royal crest of Frederick VII of Denmark. Until 1953 the lighthouse used to be greyish-yellow when the current black and white pattern was applied. The light station was electrified in 1929 and automated in 1977. The lighthouse was called by its Danish name Rotes Kliff (red cliff) until 1975, when the name was changed to Kampen, the name of the nearby village. In 2006, Kampen celebrated the 150th anniversary of its famous lighthouse after being completely renovated and freshly painted.

GERMANY

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a federal state in northern Germany facing the Baltic Sea with steep bluffs, beaches with fine sand dunes and islands such as Rügen and Usedom. From the end of World War II until the reunification of Germany in 1991, it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Mecklenburg includes the western portion of this coast (the Wismar, Warnemünde, and Rostock areas), while Vorpommern (Lower or Western Pomerania) includes the eastern section from the Stralsund area to the Polish border. The postcard features eight beautiful lighthouses (“schöne leuchttürme“) of the German northeastern coast.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NORWAY

Feistein Lighthouse is situated on a flat island near Klepp, southwestern coast of Norway and was lit for the first time in 1859 - when it was simply mounted in a tower on top of a house. The current 25 m (82 ft.) round cast iron tower was first lit in June 1915. The red and white lighthouse is attached to a 2-story keeper's house and connected to another keeper’s house by a raised walkway. The lighthouse was automated in 1989 and the keeper’s houses are available for overnight accommodations. The buildings that remain today, the lighthouse tower, lighthouse keeper's residence, the annex, boatshed and a smithy are preserved as cultural heritage buildings.

USA

Just offshore on Florida’s southwest coast, 12-mile long Sanibel Island today is regarded as a vacation paradise by lovers of white sand, turquoise water, fresh seafood and plentiful seashells. Located on the eastern tip of the island, the Sanibel Island Lighthouse is a 102 ft (31 m) square pyramidal skeletal tower first lit on August 20, 1884. A central metal-walled cylinder provides access to the lantern via a winding staircase of 127 steps. Two nearby keeper’s house were built on piles to protect them from storm-driven high waters. This lighthouse was the first of a class of skeletal lighthouses built in many parts of the country, especially in Florida. In April 1949, the light station was automated (fed from acetylene gas) and only in 1962 was electrified.