Sunday, October 31, 2010

SPAIN

This postcard shows the old and inactive and the new and current active  Sa Creu Lighthouses. Located on a promontory on the east side of the harbor entrance at Port de Sóller, the 9 m (30 ft) round unpainted stone tower was built in 1864. It did not take much to see that occasional hurricane winds and huge waves would cause intense tremors in the building and the lighthouse would be completely enveloped in the spray caused by the columns of waves which could reach altitudes of over 15 meters above its cupola. Plans were made in 1923 for a new tower on a nearby point and it was completed in 1932. But the new lighthouse did not start operating until 6 June, 1945.The new 13 m (43 ft) round masonry tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands, has a 2-story modern keeper's house nearby.

FRANCE

 Le Four Lighthouse (Phare Le Four) is located on a wave swept rock about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Argenton, in Bretagne in north-western France. Built between 1869 and 1874, it was lit on March 15th, 1874 marking the northern entrance to the Chenal du Four, the shipping route between the Île d'Ouessant and the mainland. The 28 m (92 ft) round stone tower was hit by a Portuguese ship, the “Esprosende” on November 14th, 1917 and needed extensive repair. Rebuilt between 1920 and 1922 the lighthouse is still active and accessible only by boat.

PORTUGAL

Aveiro Lighthouse, also known as Barra Light, is a 62 m (203 ft) round stone tower that rises from the center of a 2-story keeper's house and is the tallest Portuguese lighthouse. The lighthouse was built between 1885 and 1893 and is located on the south side of the entrance to the Aveiro River, in Barra, the seaside neighborhood of Aveiro. The tower is unusual in having an elevator, installed in 1958, that rises through the middle of a 291-steps spiral stairway. Automated in 1990 the tower is open to the public by arrangement.

RUSSIA

Vasilievsky Island is the largest island in the Neva River delta near the Gulf of Finland, in St. Petersburg, Russia.  One of the distinctive features of St.Petersburg skyline, the imposing 32 meters high (104ft) Rostral Columns were designed in 1810 by the French architect Thomas de Thomon and inaugurated as lighthouses one year later. The two beautiful ornate red columns were built in front of the Old Stock Exchange building, as the symbol of the naval supremacy of the Russian Empire and in honor of the Russian fleet victories. The columns are decorated according to the Roman tradition with protruding six ships’ prows (“rostra” in Latin) and images of anchors. In the 19th century the oil lamps in these gigantic lighthouses were replaced by gas torches and still lit on ceremonic occasions, for instance for Navy days and other water festivals.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

USA

The Ludington Lighthouse is a 57 ft (17.5 m) square pyramidal steel tower located at the end of the breakwater in Ludington, Michigan. The building was mounted on a prow-shaped concrete base designed to break the force of storm waves. The first wood tower was established in 1871 at the end of the south breakwater, but the present light was first lit in 1924 at the north breakwater and it is presently operational. The white tower with a black lantern was automated in 1972 and the Fresnel lens was removed from the lantern in October 1995.  It was replaced by a Tidelands Signal 300 mm acrylic optic. In 2006, the Ludington Breakwater Lighthouse was opened to the public for the first time in its history. The lighthouse is open to the public a few days each summer in calm weather for climbing tours.

SPAIN

Portocolom is a small port on Majorca's southeast coast in Spain and the harbor is nearly enclosed by a rocky peninsula. Located at the tip of the peninsula the lighthouse in Portocolom is called Far de Sa Punta de Ses Crestes and was built in 1863 by Emili Pou. In 1918 the tower was raised 6.5m in order to reach a greater geographical range. In 1965 the signal was electrified and the height of the tower was increased again:  the current 25 m (82 ft) round cylindrical tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands and adjacent to a 2-story keeper's house. The lighthouse emits two white flashes every 10 seconds and the signal range extends to 10 nautical miles.

NORWAY

Lista Lighthouse is the last lighthouse in Norway before the North Sea, near to the southernmost point of Norway. Lit is located about 800 m (1/2 mi) west of Vestbygd, a village in the municipality of Farsund. The first light station was established in the prominent cape in November 1836. The actual 34 m (112 ft) round granite tower was built in 1853 and its light reaches 17.5 nautical miles out to sea. A well-preserved 2-story keeper's house, a fog signal house and garage flank the unpainted dark gray stone tower. Approximately 60.000 visitors come to Lista Lighthouse all the year round, where the attractions include an information centre, a meteorological and an ornithological station, art exhibitions and small concerts. The tower is open daily over the Easter weekend and in June, July, and August.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SPAIN

Cap de Formentor is a spectacular bluff, located on the northernmost point of the Spanish Island Majorca and forms the eastern end of Formentor peninsula. A rather dramatic but extremely panoramic road climbs steeply uphill affording sensational views of the countryside below, bay and beaches. The imposing  22 m (72 ft) round masonry tower, attached to a 1-story keeper's house stands at the end of the road: Cap Formentor Lighthouse. The construction of this lighthouse was the most complicated one in all of the islands. The main problem was to transport materials by sea and after that by mule on a crooked trail. The lighthouse was first lit in 1863, converted to electric power in 1962 and today it operates on solar power.

DENMARK

The Limfjord in Denmark is a network of broad sounds and narrow channels that extends all the way across the northern end of Jylland (Jutland), connecting the North Sea at Thyborøn to the Kattegat at Hals. It is approximately 180 kilometers long and of an irregular shape with several bays, narrowings, and islands.
The Grisetåodde Lighthouse is located on a spit of land marking the east entrance to the Oddesund strait in Oddesund Syd. Built in 1909, the 8 m (26 ft) round cast iron tower painted with red and white horizontal bands is still active nowadays.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Donaghadee is a small town and quiet seaside resort in County Down, Northern Ireland, situated on the east coast, about 18 miles (29 km) from Belfast. Donaghadee is probably best known for its lighthouse and harbour. The tower was built in 1836 of cut limestone, fluted, and in its early days was unpainted in natural grey colour. Today the 16 m (53 ft) tower, including the lantern and dome, is painted white with a black plinth.
A serious fire damaged the optic and lantern on the 12th May 1900 and a temporary light had to be shown whilst a new optic was obtained and the damaged lantern repaired. This was completed by September of the same year. In October 1934 the light was the first in Ireland to be converted to electric power.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

GERMANY

Cape Arkona is the most prominent and dangerous cape on Germany's Baltic coast, located on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Here are located two of the most beautiful lighthouses of the Baltic Sea. The oldest tower was inaugurated in 1828: a 21 m (69 ft) square 3-stage brick tower. It became inactive in 1902, when the new tower was built side by side. The 35m (115ft) conical brick tower with double gallery is still active.

GERMANY

Hiddensee is a barrier island in the Baltic Sea, located west of Rügen on the German coast. The famous Dornbusch Lighthouse is built on a 72m high hill covered with thorn bushes, for which the light is named. The original tower was a round brick building built in 1888, but it was strengthened with a concrete jacket in 1927 and got the present 12-sided outer wall. The 28 m (92 ft) round masonry tower, painted white with its red lantern roof is a landmark on the northern end of the island. After the German reunification, the tower was restored and opened it to the public in 1994.

ITALY

Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and is the largest city on the island. It is a thriving and modern city located just a short distance from some of the most mesmerising beaches in Europe. Calamosca is a popular and fabulous beach in Cagliari and place of the traditional Faro di Sant'Elia (Sant’Elia Lighthouse). The 21 m (69 ft) round masonry tower painted with black and white horizontal bands is attached to a 2-story masonry keeper's house. It stands on a promontory on the southeast side of the city, at the end of the Via Faro. The lighthouse was built in 1860 near a late medieval watch tower.