"Beacon, beacon, lonesome on a hill-
Waves run aground, pound 'round, what a thrill!
Water water everywhere crashes,
Shore's not lazy for it mashes, bashes.....
Summer's when tourists traipse o'er to see you,
Offering to wipe-wash your dust and mildew;
Summer painters place you with dinghy and gull,
Historians have you as subject o'er which to mull."
― Mariecor Ruediger
From the shores of Australia to those of Europe, lighthouses, the mighty towers of guiding lights, can be found everywhere, even on the seemingly most inaccessible islands. These towering structures, many of which have withstood the ravages of time, testify the constancy of the symbiotic relationship between man and the sea. Today, many of these lighthouses have become popular tourist destinations. Some of them have even been turned into hotels or house restaurants and museums. In some, tourists can even climb up to the topmost level, and enjoy the beautiful view of the coastline and the sea.
We, at Buzzle, have compiled for you, a list of some of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world, which you can visit, and gain an experience of a lifetime.
Located on the Enoshima island in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan, this is a comparatively modern lighthouse which is impossible to miss for the visitors of the island. The stunning lighthouse cum observation tower was built in 2003, on the occasion of the centenary celebration of Enoshima Electric Railway. Also known as the Enoshima Sea Candle
, it is one of the largest beacons in Japan, shaped in the form of an inverted cone. The steel-framed tower is lit all through the night with lights that change color, thus, making it all the more attractive.
There are circular stairs that lead to the top, about 119.6m above the sea level. From its top, one can have a 360° panoramic view of the entire island, and also of its surrounding area. Though it is highly recommended to take the stairs, elevators are also available.
Green Cape Lighthouse
This is an imposing concrete tower, located at the tip of Green Cape in New South Wales, Australia. The lighthouse, second tallest in New South Wales, is square at its base, becomes slightly pyramidal as it rises, and finally goes on to become octagonal. It overlooks the Tasman Sea and a beautiful Australian bush beach, bearing an inescapable fragrance of eucalyptus. The tower was first lit in 1883, but was reconstructed in 1992. It has been a witness for a couple of wrecks―the most significant one was in 1886 when 71 sailors died, but the keeper managed to rescue about 15 of them.
The grounds are open for visitors on all days. Several guided tours of the tower are conducted on selected weekdays; however, it is highly recommended to book these tours in advance, in order to get a definite place. Moreover, there are two cottages of assistant keepers adjoining the tower, and up to six tourists can be accommodated in each of them at a time.
Perched on a rocky promontory and overlooking the lighthouse beach in Kovalam, Kerala, India is the old Vizhinjam lighthouse. The current tower is a relatively modern construction, commissioned in 1972 before which, it is believed that there was a beacon at the same spot, but there is no evidence now. The beach obviously gets its name from the mighty tower, and it is also one of the most visited beaches in Kerala.
Visitors can climb up to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy the enigmatic beauty of the beach, with its blue waters, white sand, and warmth of the sun. The tower is open to tourists, only for two hours each day, from 3 pm to 5 pm, as the lamp is switched on at 5.30 each evening.
Standing tall at a height of 33m, the Lindau Lighthouse overlooks Lake Constance in Lindau, Germany. It is the southernmost lighthouse in Germany, constructed between 1853 and 1856. In its initial days, the light was lit by an open oil fire, but from 1936 onwards, it has been operated by electricity. What makes this lighthouse stand apart from most others is the massive clock embedded in its façade that can be seen from the Lindau city.
The structure attracts numerous photographers who flock to it all through the day. It is open for public access, and there are also certain guided tours that provide information about local flora and fauna, as also about shipping in Lake Constance.
Also known as Leander's Tower
, perhaps mistakenly, this unique lighthouse is situated on a small islet of the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, Turkey. It was first constructed in the 12th century, and then restored and reconstructed several times until 1999, on account of wars and natural disasters. The tower has many myths and legends associated with it, and has also been featured in several films, such as the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough
Today, the tower is one of the most popular tourists attractions in the city of Istanbul. It now houses a restaurant on its lowest level and a café on the third floor. People can adore the beauty of Bosphorus, while savoring sumptuous Turkish cuisine. Private boats are available on hire, in order to get to the tower.
Constructed in 1871 and first lit in 1872, this brick lighthouse is located in the Marjaniemi village on the Hailuoto island of Finland. Standing tall at 25m, this brick tower is cylindrical in shape and bears three horizontal segments. The visitors of this lighthouse can enjoy the constantly blowing wind and the tumultuous crashing of waves.
Much like many other lighthouses around the globe, this one is also open for public access. In fact, its pilot station houses a hotel, where people can stay and experience the moods of the sea.
Neist Point Lighthouse
Neist Point is the most westerly point in the Isle of Skye, Scotland and a dreamland for bird and whale watchers. A lighthouse, that gets its name from its location, is situated there. It was constructed in 1909, when it was also first lit. It stands tall at 19m.
It is an adorable white tower built on a cliff, which can be walked up to; however, the adjoining keepers' cottages are under private ownership. The place around the lighthouse is the best place on the Isle of Skye to watch dolphins and whales.
Cape Neddick Light
This is by far, one of the most renowned lighthouses in the world. Commonly known as the "Nubble" lighthouse
, it is located in Cape Neddick, Maine, USA. As one of the most prominent man-made structures on earth, its photograph is included in those carried by the Voyager Spacecraft in space, in case it falls into the hands of the extraterrestrials. It was built in 1879 and is cylindrical in shape, standing about 27m tall.
Because it is located on an island that lies off the shore of Cape Neddick, it is not possible to be approached by the common public. However, one can have fantastic views of the lighthouse from the mainland.
Constructed in 1914, but first lit only in 1919 after World War I, this 33m high lighthouse is located near Kommetjie, a suburb of Cape Town in South Africa. When in 1909, SS Maori, a steamship, wrecked on the west coast of the Cape Peninsula near Cape Town, a need to have a beacon at the spot was felt. Owing to this, the Slangkop lighthouse was built.
Today, the cast iron structure is one of the major tourist spots near Cape Town. Even the Kommetjie village boasts of being a hub of several endangered and rare flora and fauna. Tourists can stay in the village and savor the taste of crayfish, a local delicacy, alongside visiting the lighthouse and experiencing the sea.
Tower of Hercules
This ancient Roman lighthouse and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tower of Hercules is the oldest functional lighthouse in the world. Known as Farum Brigantium
until the 20th century, this 55m high structure is said to have been based on the design of the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Located in Corunna, a city in Spain, it overlooks the Spanish North Atlantic Coast.
It is not surprising that the lighthouse is a major tourist attraction for people visiting the area. Tourists can even climb its stairs and walk around its open turret. The building offers spectacular panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
The ones which are mentioned above are just a handful of the thousands of awe-inspiring lighthouses around the world. These structures not only let you experience the sea and its different moods, but also give you a feel of history and culture of a place. Moreover, often there are also several interesting myths and legends associated with these structures―several romantic sagas and stories of haunting. But one thing is for sure―these structures will never ever disappoint you.