Phare de Gatteville Lighthouse

Gatteville-le-Phare, France

Phare de Gatteville, also known as Pointe de Barfleur Light, is an active lighthouse. At a height of 75 m it is the third tallest 'traditional lighthouse' in the world.

Strong currents and many shipwrecks at the tip of Barfleur, the most famous of which being the White Ship, necessitated building a lighthouse at the location. In 1774 a cylindrical 25 metres granite lighthouse with a stone rectangular main building were built. The lighthouse was topped with a coal fire. It was first lit on November 1, 1775, and was originally called Phare de Barfleur (Barfleur Lighthouse).

In September 1780 the lantern was replaced with 16 oil lamps with a fire glazed glass lantern and Tourtille-Sangrain reflectors.

In 1825 an upgrade of the lens was planned, requiring raising the tower an additional 32 metres, but the building proved not to be wide enough. Thus, the architect Charles-Félix Morice de la Rue drew plans for the tallest lighthouse in the world for that time. It was built 60 metres from the old lighthouse. Building took place from 1829 to 1835 and the light was first lit on April 1, 1835. The smaller tower's lantern was removed, and it was turned into a semaphore. It remains on site.

Vegetable oil was used until 1873, when it was replaced by mineral oil. On May 20, 1891 the name of the lighthouse was changed to Phare de Gatteville (Gatteville Lighthouse). On January 17, 1893 the lantern was replaced with an electric lantern.

In 1944 the lighthouse was liberated without major damage and quickly returned to operation. In 1948 it was connected to the electrical network. The lighthouse remained open to the public until 1996, when it was closed for renovation. It reopened July 5, 1997, as a lighthouse museum.

The tower is cylindrical with a gallery and a lantern. Visitors can climb 365 stairs to reach the gallery. The current light is a 1600 watt xenon lamp. One lamp is lit on clear days and two on bad weather.

References:

    Comments

    Your name



    Details

    Founded: 1774
    Category:

    Rating

    4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

    User Reviews

    Mick Catala (3 months ago)
    Well worth the spin down the cul-de-sac for a look. Picturesque lighthouse on a headland surrounded by sea and marsh. Drive slowly, there are always walkers and dogs around.
    Jérôme Treboux (8 months ago)
    Amazing experience! Great view. Stunning to se the light bulb on the top!
    Mari Sa (9 months ago)
    Couldn't go upstairs because of strong winds...pity.
    Tam Le (9 months ago)
    Cool place to have an apero in summer. Parking available next to the lighthouse
    Louis Bailleul (10 months ago)
    Beautiful lighthouse that can be visited. The view from the top is amazing
    Powered by Google

    Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

    Historic Site of the week

    Heraclea Lyncestis

    Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

    Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

    The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

    Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

    In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

    The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

    The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.