Lighthouses are sailors’ best friends, both those of the past and today: their light cuts through the darkness and indicates the safe way so that the shipowner can sail in complete safety.
As well as performing this fundamental task that allows night sailing, lighthouses are also fascinating constructions that stimulate the observer’s imagination.
For these reasons, many European lighthouses are popular destinations for tourists and sea lovers. Here are the most beautiful, unique, and fascinating ones in Europe.
Starting from Italy, we immediately meet the Victory Lighthouse of Trieste, which, in addition to acting as a guide for Trieste’s shipowners, is a monument to the First World War victims at sea, topped by a statue of a Winged Victory.
Remaining in Southern Europe, in Greece, we find the Tourlitis Lighthouse, built on a rock isolated from the mainland: the solitary structure, which stands out against the splendid Cycladic sea, was destroyed during the Second World War, but faithfully rebuilt in 1990.
In Croatia, the Porer Lighthouse stands on a small island in the south of Istria, with its light-colored rock surrounded by the deep blue sea. This lighthouse is not only a tourist destination but also a holiday resort, as it offers two habitable flats, perfect for lovers of tranquillity and diving.
In Spain, we find the Tower of Hercules, a lighthouse of Roman origin still in use today.
Moving north, we find the French lighthouses of Pointe du Squewel and Pointe des Poulains, both located in Brittany, to guide sailors along the region’s jagged coastline. The former is made of red stone and blends in perfectly with the surrounding landscape of rocks of warm colors and hypnotic shapes; the latter is a low structure, with the lighthouse rising like the bell tower of a church, immersed in the greenery of the peninsula.
In Germany, Roter Sand was the first building to be built directly into the sea, with the result that the red and white lighthouse emerges from the surface of the water, repeatedly lapped by the waves.
Great Britain is another rich area in lighthouses, given its coastline’s insidious nature, including the Low Lighthouse and the Bishop Rock Lighthouse. The former is more like a pile dwelling and stands on nine wooden columns submerged by the sea at high tide. The second holds the Guinness Book of World Records for being the smallest island with a building, which seems to rise directly from the solitary rock.
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