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Phare d’Eckmühl, France. One of the tallest in the world.

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The Eckmühl Lighthouse, is located in Penmarc’h, Finistère department, in Brittany region of France. With his height of 65 m, it is one of the tallest lighthouses in the world. It is located at the port of Saint-Pierre, on Point Penmarc’h, on the southwestern corner of Finistère and the northwestern entrance to the Bay of Biscay.

His tower was built following a decision on April 3, 1882 to modernize the coastal lighthouses and raise the focal height of the Penmarc’h lighthouse, built in 1835, 60m high. However, engineers said that the old tower could not support the extension, so in 1890 it was decided to build a new lighthouse.

The old lighthouse

Funding came unexpectedly on 9 December 1892 when Adélaïde-Louise Davout, Marquise de Blocqueville, left substantial funds for the new tower in her will, provided the lighthouse was dedicated to the memory of her father, the general Louis Nicolas Davout, who was “Prince d’Eckmühl”, a title he won after the Battle of Eckmühl. In fact, while the majority of Napoleon Bonaparte’s army pursued the Austrians towards Landshut, Marshal Davout was to follow what was believed to be the smaller body of enemy troops towards Eckmuhl. The brilliant marshal had been sent into danger’s way with poor imperial intelligence. His 20,000 men found themselves up against 75,000 Austrians under the extremely capable Archduke Charles. Davout’s men defended soundly but were being forced back by the overwhelming odds. Riders came in to Davout informing him that Marshal Lannes was near with 30,000 fresh soldiers and so an immediate assault was ordered to tie the Austrians down. The fighting was brutal, but the extra troops allowed two of France’s best marshals to smash Austrian wings. Davout became Prince of Eckmuhl for his efforts.

Battle of Eckmuhl, public demain

The new lighthouse was inaugurated on October 23, 1897, and now the tower is open to the public. Is possible reaching the top climbing 307 steps, 227 stone steps and then an iron staircase.

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Phare d’Eckmühl during construction in 1895. Wikipedia.

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