Unusual Lighthouses Around the World

jeddah light

The most popular board on the Lovesail Pinterest account is the one entitled Lighthouses Around the World.  When I created it I had no idea just how many lighthouse there were in the world (18,600) and how beautiful and unusual some of these could be.  So here is a collection of just a few of these wonderful lighthouses.

Black Nore Point Lighthouse, Portishead, UK

Black Nore Light

Let’s start with one in my home country, the Black Nore Lighthouse.  This white metal lighthouse was built in 1849 by Trinity House and was used to guide vessel along the Seven Estuary into the port of Bristol, a very important trading port in the mid-1800s.  It was originally run on gas and had a clockwork mechanism which the local farmer would wind every day.  At the outbreak of WWII, it was converted to electric and continued to warn vessels until it was decommissioned in September 2010.

Middle Bay Lighthouse, Mobile Bay, Alabama, US

mobile bay

Also called the Mobile Bay Lighthouse this hexagonal shaped lightkeepers house sits atop seven screwpiles and started life in 1885.  The original lantern room sat upon a pyramidal roof but was replaced by a pole and lights in the early 1900s.  This light guided vessels safely into the port of Mobile until 1967.  An extensive renovation programme restored the lighthouse in 2002 and it is now protected under the National Register of Historic Places.

Jeddah Light, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

jeddah light

The Jeddah Light is a must to be added to the list of unusual lighthouses.  It is situated on the Outer Pier on Jeddah’s modern harbour and stands at a towering 133m.  It claims to be the tallest lighthouse in the world but some believe it is not a true lighthouse in the navigational sense of the word.  If it fails the brief then Yokohama Marine Tower in Japan is the tallest at 110m.

Bronze Seahorse Lighthouse in Miri, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

seahorse lighthouse

There isn’t a lot of information to find on this wonderful looking lighthouse.  Suffice to say the seahorse is the city emblem of Miri, so why not have a seahorse inspired lighthouse.

Jeongja (Chongja) Hang North Breakwater, Ulsan, South Korea

whale light

South Korea seems to be the home of many an unusual lighthouse so it was difficult to pick one.  I’ve settled for this whale sculpture which has the navigational light perched on the whale’s nose.  Standing 11m high this lighthouse was chosen after a public competition.  Ulsan was once a whaling port but has now become a whale-watching base instead.

Low Lighthouse, Burnham-on-Sea, UK

low light

Another lighthouse overlooking the Seven Estuary (it’s a treacherous spot!) is the Low Light which was first constructed in 1832.  This nine-legged wooden structure was built to complement another lighthouse that was built but found to be too low for vessels to actually see.  It was once voted in the top 10 of most beautiful lighthouses in the world and it still operational today.

Kermorvan lighthouse, La Conquet, Brest, Finistère, France

kermorvan lighthouse

Built in 1849, the Phare de Kermovan helps to guide ships along with three other lighthouses.  It helps to provide safe passage through the Chenal du Four. the Chenal de la Helle and also protects the harbour of La Conquet.  It looks more like a defensive fort than a guiding light.

Tourlitis Lighthouse, Andros, Greece

tourlitis lighthouse

You would think the Tourlitis Lighthouse has been standing on its perch for centuries with its rocky foundation gradually eroding away.  Not so.  The lighthouse we see today was rebuilt in the 1990s to replace the structure that was destroyed during WWII.  Previously a lighthouse had stood on the rock since 1897 and it’s recent rebuild copied the original design.

Tower of Hercules, La Coruña, Spain

unusual lighthouse

Last to be included on the unusual lighthouse list is the Tower of Hercules.  Considered to be the oldest surviving lighthouse in the world, the tower is believed to have been build in the 1st century AD.  Renovated in the late 1700’s it is still operational today and is on the UNESCO world heritage list.  The tower is 68 metres tall and the light is visible for 32 miles out to sea.

Related Articles:  Trinity House  Eddystone Lighthouse Grace Darling


Images courtesy of: Worldwide Lighthouses; Lighthouse Directory; Sarawak Tourism; Burnham-on-Sea.com; ibiblio.org; Greek Lighthouses; UNESCO.  Featured image of Jeddah by Vadym Gavrykov (no longer online).

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