Saturday, March 26, 2011

GERMANY

This beautiful tower is one of the best-known lighthouses of the German North Sea coast. Located in the northern part of the peninsula of Eiderstedt in Schleswig-Holstein state, the tower was built in 1906 and first lit on May 26th, 1908. The 40m (131 ft) round cast iron tower is painted with red and white horizontal bands and is flanked to either side by two keeper's cottages. It is such a popular site for weddings that one of the keeper's cottages is a registrar's office and the other is a national park office. Tourists can climb to the light gallery during the summer season and appreciate the overall stunning view of the peninsula.

NETHERLANDS

Urk Lighthouse is located on a promontory in the town of Urk, in the Flevoland province in the central Netherlands. Urk, once an island in the Zuiderzee, has been joined to the mainland since the 1930s, and the lighthouse now stands on the east shore of the IJsselmeer. The important economic pillar of the village is the fishery. The 18.5 m (61 ft) round brick tower was first lit on May 18th, 1845 and was attached to 2-story keeper's house. The station was electrified in 1920 and automated in 1989. The lighthouse was restored in 1972 and was declared a national monument in 1981. Former lighthouse keeper Koert Bakker leads school groups and tourists to visit the lighthouse.

TAIWAN

Liouciou (Liuchiu Yu) is a coral island located in Pingtung County, in Southern Taiwan. The island is a popular beach resort and lies 15 km (8 nautical miles) southwest of Tungkang. The Liouciou Lighthouse is an 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower at the highest point on the southeastern coast of the island.  Constructed in 1929 during the Japanese occupation by the fishermen’s association, it guides ships in Taiwan Strait and the Bashi Channel and also the local fishermen. The white tower was deactivated in 1944 due to the damage in World War II, but it was rebuilt in 1952 and equipped with a fifth-order acetylene flashing light. The station was electrified in 1980 and in recent years, the lighthouse has also become one of the most popular wedding album shooting spots and tourism attractions.

NORWAY

 Lyngør is a village area on a group of small islands in the municipality of Tvedestrand in Aust-Agder County, off the southeast coast of Norway. The village is accessible only by boat, has no cars, and is known for its scenic harbor and charming wooden houses. It is recognized as one of the best-preserved communities in Europe. Lyngør Lighthouse stands on a small islet at the entrance to Lyngørfjorden, about 8 km (5 mi) southwest of Risør.
 The lighthouse is an early example of concrete construction in Norway, and several of the original installations are preserved, including the original 3rd order Fresnel lens with its rotating mechanism. The 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower attached to the front of a 2-1/2 story keeper's house was first lit in the autumn of 1879. The lighthouse station includes an engine house, two oil houses, and a boathouse and was automated in 2004. The keeper’s house was completely refurbished and is available for vacation rental.

USA

Pensacola is Florida’s second oldest city, has the deepest bay on the Gulf Coast and an important harbor. In 1824, a 40-foot (12 m) tower was built at the south entrance to Pensacola Bay, but the light was considered too dim and it remained in service until 1858. A new and taller tower was constructed one-half mile west of the original lighthouse by John Newton of the Army Corps of Engineers. The new and current 150 ft (46 m) brick tower is the tallest lighthouse on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast and was first lit on New Year’s Day, 1859. The lighthouse has the upper two thirds painted black and the lower third white and is attached to a 2-story brick keeper's house. The station was electrified in 1939 and automated in 1965.
The lighthouse is located on the grounds of Naval Air Station Pensacola across from the Naval Aviation Museum and is maintained by Pensacola Lighthouse Association. The keeper's house has been renovated and offers exhibits on the history of the lighthouse and the Naval Air Station.

NEW ZEALAND

The Cape Reinga lighthouse stands on a spectacular site overlooking the meeting of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, at the northern extremity of New Zealand. First lit in 1941, this lighthouse replaced the Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse built in 1879 on nearby Motuopao Island. The 10 m (33 ft) octagonal concrete tower with black lantern roof was originally powered by diesel-generated electricity. The station was automated and the last keeper was withdrawn in 1987. In April 2000, the light was powered from battery banks charged by solar panels. Approximately 10,000 people visit the Cape Reinga lighthouse each year.

EGYPT

This is the tallest lighthouse in Africa, built in 1886 by the French architect François Coignet, who used reinforced concrete at the 59 m (194 ft) octagonal tower. It is located in downtown Port Sa'id, on the west side of the entrance to the Suez Canal. Nothing of original Port Said remains except for the lighthouse pushed to the interior of the city and rendered useless through the gradual silting of the port.  Inactive since 1997 the lighthouse of Port Said has been officially registered as a monument in January 2011.

EGYPT

Also known as the Grand Phare, Ras el Tin Lighthouse was constructed in 1842 by the engineer Mohamed Mazhar Pasha, and was first lit in 1848. The 55 m (180 ft) round cylindrical stone tower is located at the tip of the Ras El Tin peninsula and marks the entrance to the western harbor of Alexandria. This early photo shows a tower built with exposed stones which, during the renovation of 1919, was plastered and painted in horizontal black and white stripes. In 1954 it was converted to electricity and in 2000 an elevator was installed to reach the lantern room.  The lighthouse is located within the headquarters of Egyptian Navy as well as the presidential palace of Ras el Tin, which are restricted areas accessed only by a special security permission.

CANADA

Cape Spear is traditionally considered to be the easternmost location in North America, located about six miles from St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. In 1836 a lighthouse was built here at the entrance to St. John's Harbor: it was the second light to offer aid along the Newfoundland's coast.
After 119 years of service the old light was decommissioned and a new concrete building was built to house the light in 1955. The 11m (35 ft) white octagonal concrete tower is the current active lighthouse on the postcard. It is located about 180 m (200 yd) northeast of the original lighthouse. Cape Spear's location also makes it a great place to watch for birds, whales and dolphins.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

SPAIN

The Isla de Arosa, or Illa de Arousa in Galego, is a substantial island, about 7 km (4 mi) long, on the eastern side of the Ría de Arousa, in the province of Pontevedra ,in Galicia, Spain.  The Punta Caballo Lighthouse was placed on the rocky northwestern tip of the island: the works began in April 1852 and the tower was first lit on October 19th 20, 1853. The 5 m (16 ft) octagonal stone tower is attached to the front of a square 1-story keeper's house. The building, with rectangular form, housed two rooms, one for each lighthouse keeper, and a common kitchen. The rest of covered surface was occupied for a warehouse and an aisle of distribution.

SOUTH AFRICA

Slangkop Lighthouse means ‘snakehead lighthouse’ when it is translated directly into English and also is commonly referred to as the Kommetjie lighthouse. This is the tallest cast iron tower on the South African Coast, located near the village of Kommetjie, about 30 km (20 mi) south of Cape Town. The 33 m (108 ft) white round cast iron tower marks a dangerous promontory on the west side of the Cape Peninsula, facing the open Atlantic. It had been the site of numerous shipwrecks over the years, so the lighthouse was first lit on March 4th, 1919. The station includes several buildings, one of them a modern conference facility and another used as a visitor center and gift shop. The lighthouse is open to guided visits and it is also a popular site for weddings. Kommetjie is also one of the best spots for seabird watching and the Slangkop Lighthouse area falls into the Table Mountain National Park’s Marine Protected area.