Lighthouses stand as beacons to warn mariners of the dangers of the sea. As Lighthouses Around the World 2020 shows, in remote and dangerous coasts around the world countries have designed distinctive and beautiful structures to confront the ocean’s challenges. Lights featured in 2020 include: Hiddensee in Germany, Fanad Head in Ireland, South Stack in Wales, Nordland in Norway, Battery Point in California, and more. Brilliant!
Lighthouses featured in the 2020 calendar include:
The Phare du Petit Minou is one of two lights that form a navigational range for mariners making for the channel through the Strait of Brest to the harbor of Brest, France. Petit Minou was lit in 1848 and automated in 1989. The granite cylindrical tower is 72 feet (22m) tall with a focal height of 105 feet (32m). The light has a range of 19 nautical miles and it occults at 10 second intervals white or red depending on direction.
Faro Mangiabarche marks the dangerous rocks near the channel between Sant’Aantioco Island and the Isola di San Pietro off the coast of Sardinia in Italy. The round stone 36-foot (11m) tower was constructed in 1935. The light has a focal height of 39 feet (12m), focal range of 11 miles and flashes white every six seconds.
Built in 1874 on a sea-swept rock about 2.5 miles (4km) from Porspoder, France, Le Four light marks the northern entrance to the Chenal du Four, the route frequently taken when sailing between the English Channel and ports in western France. The round stone tower with lantern and gallery has a focal height of 92 feet (28m) and presents 5 white flashes at 15 second intervals.
Perch Rock light on the Wirral peninsula in Liverpool, England originally consisted of a simple timber tripod supporting an open fire that served as an aid to ships navigating past the peninsula or into the River Mersey toward the Port of Liverpool. The current tower, 94 feet (28.5m) tall and officially known as New Brighton Lighthouse, was begun in 1827 using interlocking blocks of Anglesey granite. The light was decommissioned in 1973. Now privately owned, it has been resurrected using LED lights that flash inland and replicate the light’s original characteristic two white flashes followed by a red flash.
Point Betsie Light marks the entrance to the Manitou Passage at Frankfort, MI. The beacon was first lit in 1859 and Point Betsie was the last manned light on Lake Michigan in 1983 when the Fourth Order Fresnel lens was replaced by a Vega VRB-25. The light was also the location of one of the earliest life-saving stations built in 1875. Built of Cream City brick, the tower is 37 feet (11m) tall with a focal height of 52 feet and a range of 23.9 nautical miles.
South Stack light warns ships away from the rocky seas around Holy Island in Anglesey, Wales. The island is along the sea route between Dublin, Holyhead, and Liverpool. South Stack is the first light along the northern coast of Anglesey for east-bound ships. The light was built in 1809 and is a tapered, cylindrical, white stone tower and is illuminated by a 1st order rotating six-panel catadioptric. South Stack is 92 feet tall with a focal height of 200 feet (60m). The beacon flashes white every 10 seconds with a range of 24 nautical miles.
The Megalo Emvolo (Great Point) lighthouse marks the eastern edge of the entrance to the Bay of Thessaloniki near the village of Angelochori, Greece. The light is thought to have been built in 1864 by German engineers on behalf of the Ottoman Empire. The lighthouse looks out toward Mt. Olympus, the Thermaikos Gulf, and the Agean Sea. This dramatic sunset was photographed on World Day of Lighthouses in 2018. The 35-foot (10.5m) tall cylindrical brick tower with a lantern and gallery rises from a corner of the square single-story keeper’s house. The light has a focal range of 98 feet (30m) and it occults at 10 second intervals flashing red or white depending on direction.
Congress appropriated funds to build the light on Battery Point in Crescent, CA in 1855. The light is actually built on a tiny islet that is connected to the point by an isthmus that can be crossed on foot at low tide. The original Fourth Order Fresnel lens was lit in 1856 and was replaced by a 14.8-inch lens when the light was automated in 1953. Decommissioned in 1964, the light was relit in 1982 and listed as a private aid to navigation. The brick tower on the roof of the granite keeper’s house is 45 feet (14m) tall with a focal height of 77 feet (23m) and a range of 12 nautical miles.
Originally an island of fishermen and thatched-roof cottages, Hiddensee is now a car-free part of Germany’s national park system. Leuchturm Dornbusch warns ships away from the northern edge of the island and also guides mariners sailing for the Port of Neuendorf. The original brick tower was completed in 1888 and forty years later was fitted with a reinforced concrete shell. The light is 92 feet (28m) tall with a focal height of 312 feet (95m). The light flashes white and red every 10 seconds and has a range of 24.9 nautical miles (white), but 21.3 nautical miles for red.
Fanad Head light in County Dongal, Ireland marks the entrance to Lough Swilly, one of three glacial fjords in Ireland, but also warns mariners in the North Atlantic away from Irish coast. The light was built in response to the wreck of the HMS Saldanha in 1812. Originally lit in 1817, the current masonry tower was completed in 1886. The light measures 72 ft (22m) with a focal height of 128 feet (39m). With a range of 18 nautical miles, the light flashes white and red every 20 seconds.
Where the Grand River joins Lake Michigan at Grand Haven, MI two long piers were constructed as navigational aids in the 1800s. In the early 1900s a fog signal building was moved to the head of the South Pier and a lantern and Sixth-order Fresnel lens were added to the outer gable. In 1922 a concrete superstructure resembling the prow of a ship was added to the building as wave protection. The pier-head light and the tower at the shore end of the pier were decommissioned in 2009 however the buildings have been preserved by the Grand Haven Lighthouse Conservancy.
This pier light is an aid to navigation in the harbor of Reine, a village on the island of Moskenes, part of the Lofoten archipelago in Norway. Located off the northwestern coast and north of the Arctic Circle, Lofoten has been a commercial fishing center that is now attracting tourists. The light is part of an extension of the harbor’s pier. The 23-foot (7m) tall tower is a concrete post painted with a black horizontal band. It has a focal height of 26 feet (8m) and the light occults three times every 10 seconds shining green, red or white depending on direction.