Shabla Lighthouse: the oldest lighthouse on the balkan peninsular

We are along the Black Sea coast, where there is a place that enjoys keen interests from tourists even in winter. This is Shabla Municipality, in the northernmost section of the Bulgarian coastline, a territory that have become the winter getaway of dozens of endangered bird species, including the entire world population of the Red-breasted Goose. During the cold months, when seaside resorts shut down, Shabla Municipality welcomes coaches with foreign tourists armed with cameras, binoculars and every kind of equipment. However, before heading to the wetlands, they make a…

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Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point

Built on the site of a 17th century fort known as ‘Fleetwood’ Fort, one of two built on Valentia Island around this time, Valentia Island Lighthouse at Cromwell Point, Ireland, has stood against sea and invader for hundreds of years. A standing stone, dating back to the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC) still marks the site at Cromwell Point where it was built and, still today, this gleaming white lighthouse on beautiful island looks out across some of the most spectacular sights along the Wild Atlantic Way. The outline of the…

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St John’s Point – the tallest onshore lighthouse on the Irish coast

If you are in Ireland, you can’t miss St John’s Point Lighthouse in gorgeous County Down. Its strikingly tall tower is marked with vibrant bands of yellow and black that distinguish it from other lighthouses. St. John’s Point, Rinn Eoin in Irish, is a cape at the southern tip of the Lecale peninsula of County Down Northern Ireland, separating Dundrum Bay from Killough Harbour, which forms its northern extremity. The cape is mostly surrounded by the Irish Sea and derives its name from a now ruined church dedicated to Saint…

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Cape Disappointment Light: the oldest functioning lighthouse on the West Coast

The Cape Disappointment Light is a lighthouse on Cape Disappointment near the mouth of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington. Starting as a small stream at the base of the Canadian Rockies, the Columbia travels more than 1,200 miles, merging with various rivers and streams, until it meets the Pacific Ocean. Its force flowing into the sea creates one of the most treacherous bars in the world as evidenced by the 234 identified ships that stranded, sank, or burned near its mouth between 1725 and 1961. On…

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Cape Bruny: the second oldest lighthouse in Australia

The Cape Bruny Lighthouse, that towers 114m, is an inactive lighthouse located at the southern tip of Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia. First lit in March 1838 and eventually decommissioned on 6 August 1996, It is the second oldest lighthouse in Australia. The project was commissioned by Governor George Arthur in 1835 after a series of shipwrecks south of Bruny Island. Cape Bruny, and in general southern coastlines, were feared by many early navigators and Tasmania had over 400 shipwrecks around its wild coastlines. The catastrophic wreck of the convict transport…

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Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse: the picturesque cliffside beacon that no longer calls to sailors but shines once a year in honor of a famous shipwreck.

The cliffside lighthouse is built on a 41-meters wall of rock overlooking Lake Superior. The structure was designed by lighthouse engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham and was completed in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service at a cost of $75,000, including the buildings and the land. It was built after the disastrous Mataafa Storm wrecked 29 ships in the area five years previous, and one of these shipwrecks, the Madeira, is located just north of the lighthouse. At the time of its construction, there were no roads to the area:…

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South Stack Lighthouse: one of Wales’ most visited and spectacular lighthouses

South Stack is one of Wales’ most visited and spectacular lighthouses. It is located about 2-3 miles west of Holyhead, on a tiny islet just off Holy Island on the North West tip of Anglesey. It has been a warning beacon for passing ships since it’s construction over 200 years ago, cautioning them of the deadly rocks below. The lighthouse helps guide shipping in the busy channel into the Mersey and is a waymark for local seafarers, but also for coastal traffic crossing the Irish Sea too and from the…

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How Blacksod lighthouse changed the course of the World War II

Blacksod Lighthouse, Fód Dubh in Gaelic, is a lighthouse at the southern end of the Mullet Peninsula, Erris, County Mayo, at the entrance to Blacksod Bay, Ireland, where the catch of the day will always include wild Atlantic lobster. The area also boasts jaw dropping scenery and offers sanctuary for Irish whales & dolphins under supervision of the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group. The 150-year-old structure is made of local granite blocks, which are believed to have come from Termon Hill, a nearby isolated outcrop of high quality granite in…

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North Island Lighthouse: the oldest lighthouse in South Carolina ~

Heralding the entrance from the Atlantic Ocean into the shipping channel between North Island and South Island stands the oldest lighthouse in South Carolina. For two centuries, mariners have passed this lighthouse on their way to or from Winyah Bay and the Seaport of Georgetown, located 10 miles away. On a sunny, clear day, the North Island Lighthouse (or Georgetown Light, as it has sometimes been called) is visible from Belle Isle Marina as a tiny iridescent white column while, at night, it is discernible from the same vantage point…

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West Quoddy Head Lighthouse: this striped tower is the furthest east you can go in the United States!

A nondescript gravel road leads to a quaint old stubby lighthouse on the furthest point east in Maine and, indeed, the whole of the United States. West Quoddy Head is now a state park and small museum, but it has also served as a lookout on the coast of Maine since 1808. It is an easterly-pointing peninsula in southeastern Lubec, overlooking Quoddy Narrows, a strait between Lubec and Campobello Island, Canada, that provides access to Passamaquoddy Bay and harbors located on the St. Croix River and other rivers which the…

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Clare Island Lighthouse, an Ireland hidden gem

A visit to Clare Island Lighthouse, Ireland, is absolutely something different.First, you can leave your car behind at Roonagh Pier on the Mayo mainland and, journey across the water for a quaint visit on the Island. Clare Island lighthouse and its buildings have been restored and transformed into a luxury guesthouse, and the island itself offer a wealth of activity including walking, cycling, fishing, music and crafts. The original lighthouse was built in 1806 by the Marquis of Sligo, on the isolated northern tip of Clare Island. However, seven years…

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Grace Darling, the Lighthouse Heroine

Maybe not everyone knows her, but It would be wrong to describe Grace Darling as an unsung heroine: songs have been composed about her right up to 2017, but also books have been written, a choir has been named after her, and more than 200 years after she was born on this day, November 24, 1815, a website dedicated to her is still thriving. Grace was born in the town of Bamburgh in the North-Eastern English county of Northumberland. Her father, William, was the main keeper of the Longstone lighthouse…

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Saginaw River Lighthouse

Saginaw Bay lies between Michigan’s thumb and the rest of the state’s Lower Peninsula. As Michigan was preparing to become a state, it adopted a constitution in 1835 that encouraged internal improvements such as roads and canals. A project that was contemplated at this time was linking Saginaw River, which flowed into eponymous Bay, with Grand River, which flowed into Lake Michigan. The Saginaw River lighthouse stands about a mile from the mouth of the river. It worked in conjunction with a beacon closer to the mouth and, when sailors…

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Fanad Head: sandy beaches, epic views, whales and sunken treasure…

Standing between idyllic Lough Swilly, one of Ireland’s very few glacial fjords, and sandy Mulroy Bay, lies Fanad Head Lighthouse. With its location in the Donegal Gaeltacht, an Irish speaking area, on the eastern shore of windswept Fanad Peninsula, it’s little wonder that it is considered one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world. In addition, this area is regularly visited by creatures including whales, porpoises and dolphins. Fanad Lighthouse was proposed in response to a maritime tragedy, the wrecking of HMS Saldanha just in Lough Swilly. On the…

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Hook Lighthouse: one of the oldest operating lighthouse in the world

We are on Hook Head at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, in Ireland. Hook Lighthouse is an astonishing still-intact medieval lighthouse. Built 800 years ago, it continues to serve its original function and now boasts the award of the second oldest operating lighthouse in the world, after the Tower of Hercules in Spain. The lighthouse marks to entrance to Waterford harbour where the Barrow, Nore and Suir rivers meet. It operates with Tuskar Rock and Mine Head lights to provide coverage on the Ireland’s South East…

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Ballycotton Lighthouse, one of only two black lighthouses in Ireland

Built in the late 1840s, Ballycotton Lighthouse sits atop the unspoilt eponymous Island, in Ireland. On January 16, 1847 the paddle steamship Sirius, the first vessel to cross the Atlantic ocean completely under steam, was sailing from Glasgow to Cork via Dublin, but shipwrecked here in dense fog. The disaster claimed the lives of 20 passengers and crew but, luckily, around 70 people lived to tell the story. The lighthouse was built as a result, and it was first lit in 1851. Families of the lightkeepers lived on the island…

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When was the lighthouse invented? 👀

Guiding ships for countless centuries, as well as looking spectacular on the horizon, every lighthouse boast at least one of fascinating story. From humble beginnings as primitive flames to their automation today, these flashing lights have come a long way. Did you believe? The earliest from of lighthouses was probably just bonfires on the beach and, since raising the fire would improve the visibility, placing it on a platform became a practice that led to the development of our modern beacons. Lighthouses historic beginnings stretch right back to Egypt, where…

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Barra Head: the highest lighthouse in UK that shines from an abandoned island

We are in the island of Barra Head, the southernmost in the Outer Hebrides, an island unprotected from the ravages of ocean storms. In the fall of 1833, on October 15, the Barra Head Lighthouse lighted on for the first time, meant to help sailors near the island’s cliffs deal with the incredible waves. The lighthouse identifies the southern entrance to The Minch, a strait in north-west Scotland, separating the north-west Highlands and the northern Inner Hebrides from Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. The 18-metre stone tower stands…

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Isle of May beacon: a short white tower is all that’s left of Scotland’s first permanently manned lighthouse.

We are on the Isle of May, an island about five miles from the north shore of the Firth of Forth, now a national nature reserve famous for its abundant bird life. Looking at all that’s left of the first permanently manned lighthouse in Scotland, now it’s hard to believe the squat white structure was important enough to require three keepers at all times! The Beacon is Scotland first (and oldest) lighthouse and was considered at the time to be one of the best in existence. It was built in…

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Point Reyes Lighthouse | Inverness | California

The Point Reyes Lighthouse was built in 1870 due the extremely high winds and dense fog that descend from the Gulf of Farallones onto Point Reyes, 31 km from the nearest town of Inverness California. It was assigned to Point Reyes in 1855, but its construction was delayed for fifteen years because of a dispute between the United States Lighthouse Board and the landowners over a fair price for the land. The 11 m tower, first lit on December 1, 1870, spends the majority of the year wrapped in a…

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The frozen lighthouse of Cleveland, Ohio

In Cleveland, Ohio, there is a lighhouse that is placed so close to Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes of the Midwest, that a wonderful weather phenomenon takes place. Each winter, in fact, the West Pierhead Lighthouse is literally fully encrusted with ice. It started during the winter of 2010, when local Cleveland news stations began reporting on a gorgeous natural phenomenon: an ice sculpture rising from the waters of Lake Erie. But this wasn’t a work of art, but the lighthouse encased entirely in ice, looking like a…

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The leaning Lighthouse of Puerto Morelos, Mexico

We are in Puerto Morelos, located about halfway between the Riviera Maya hubs of Cancún and Playa del Carmen. Believe it or not, the small seaside town has had a troubled history when it comes to its lighthouses.The first lighthouse dates back to 1905, although it seems it was little more than a light atop a metal pole. The second, almost 10 meters tall, was built out of cement in almost the same location, right on the beach, in 1946. Painted white with blue trim, this second light was hit…

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Roosevelt Island Lighthouse: a little lighthouse in New York surrounded by mysterious stories of insanity-driven construction

Built in 1872 and known then as the “Blackwell Island Lighthouse”, the 15-meters-tall stone lighthouse at the northern tip of Roosevelt Island was constructed, if the legends can be believed, by the deranged occupants of a nearby insane asylum. But what’s not in doubt is that it was built by the city as a navigation aid for boats avoiding the rocks in the so-called “Hell Gate” waters. Historically, for nearly two centuries, Blackwell was the name that identified the island that lies in the East River just off Manhattan. For…

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Stiff lighthouse: the oldest lighthouse in Brittany that is still working

“Further west than the west”, Ouessant is the westernmost island in Finistère, a department of France in the extreme west of Brittany. The island is well known for its treacherous seafaring heritage and for its indigenous sheep. It’s also a land of many legends, including the story of Lampaul Bay and the clash between Saint Guénolé and Saint Gildas, which led to the creation of the great rock (or grande roche) right in the middle of the two coastal points. Ouessant is regarded as the entrance to the English Channel,…

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Souter Lighthouse | England

We are in the village of Marsden in South Shields, Tyne&Wear, in Northern England. The story of Souter Lighthouse began in 1871, when it was constructed on Lizard Point. The visibility from Lizard Point was very good, as its cliffs are higher than those at nearby Souter Point, but the lighthouse was named after Souter so it wouldn’t be confused with the already existing Lizard Lighthouse in Cornwall. Interestingly, Souter was the first lighthouse in the world to be actually designed and built specifically to use alternating electric current, the…

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Saint-Louise – Sète’s historic Lighthouse

This lighthouse proudly stands at the end of Le Môle Saint-Louis, Sète’s pier. The jetty, 650 metres long, was the first structure to be built when the city was founded in 1666. Walking to the pier, you can still spot portraits of seafarers, painted by the German artist Klaus Dauven during the Escale à Sète in 2018. Eventually, these portraits will fade away and, interestingly, they are something like reverse graffiti. More clearly, instead of spray painting the portraits on the wall, the artist etched out murals on dirt-encrusted surfaces…

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Tourlitis Lighthouse: The magical Greek Lighthouse

We are off the coast of the Greek port city of Andros. Rising up out of the islet of Tourlitis, a weather-worn stone spire opposite the harbor at Chora, on Andros island, Tourlitis Lighthouse looks like something straight out of a fantasy novel. The beacon was first built in 1897 just off shore from a castle in Andros. The stone column on which it was built had been shaped by millennia of natural erosion into the perfect pedestal for a coastal beacon. Unfortunately the original lighthouse was short-lived, and was…

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Svörtuloftsviti – Skálasnagaviti: a lighthouse in Iceland that boasts magnificent coastal views

Svörtuloft (or the Black Ceiling) is a ruggedly beautiful place to visit. Despite the name sounds ominous, it stems from the cliffs being formed of pitch black lava, like in so many other places in this area. Here the lava flow didn’t stop until it reached the cold sea and the surf has eroded the pitch black lava through the centuries. Interestingly, there are at least 14 places in Iceland by this name, Svörtuloft, and here the lava looks like it has been cut and made into a massive, sheer…

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Saint Mathieu Lighthouse | France

Located on Pointe Saint-Mathieu in Plougonvelin, around Brest in Finistère, Saint-Mathieu lighthouse was built in 1835 among the ruins of the ancient Abbaye Saint-Mathieu de Fine-Terre. The Abbey gives the cape its name, and It was dedicated to Saint Matthew the Evangelist, whose skull it housed. It was a Benedictine abbey, but was revived and reformed by the Maurists in the mid-17th century. According to legend the first abbey here was founded in the 6th century by Saint Tanguy, chosen for its isolated location among the lands he had inherited.…

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Fort Gratiot Lighthouse: Michigan’s oldest lighthouse

Fort Gratiot was built in 1814 during the War of 1812 to guard the juncture of the St. Clair River and Lake Huron. Named after the engineer who supervised construction, Charles Gratiot, Fort Gratiot would be occupied on and off until 1879. However, with a surge of vessel traffic on Lake Huron in the early 1800s, the need for a Light Station to guide vessels through the water way became very important, and in 1823 Congress approved the funds to build the first lighthouse in Michigan and the second oldest…

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