Some roman lighthouses in the Atlantic

Lighthouse of Gades

The ancient lighthouse of Gades was built, according to the chronicles, by Hercules from a quadrangular plan temple with a height of some 100 “codos” (89.22 m). According to the existing sources, this lighthouse was crowned by a statue of great dimensions and was destroyed in 1146 by the Arab armies of Ibn Isa Maymum. Due to the early date of its destruction, no graphic representation has survived.

Lighthouse of Chipiona, formerly the Turris Caepionis

In the 2nd century B.C. the Turris Caepionis was built on the place where the lighthouse of Chipiona currently rises. It was built by order of Proconsul Quintus Servilius Capion with the purpose of keeping ships away from the coast to prevent them from running aground at the reefs of River Guadalquivir, which posed a serious risk. It was described by Estrabo who considered it one of the best lighthouses known. Unfortunately, nothing has survived from this important building.

Tour d'Ordre or Turris Ardens (France)

The Tour d’Ordre was commissioned by Caligula at about 40 A.D. to commemorate an imaginary victory. The tower was erected on the sheer French cliffs, in the vicinity of the mouth of River Liane. The troops of Julius Caesar had set up their camp there and Claudius had used this port as his base for the conquest of Britannia. Between 43 and 296 A.D., the Roman navy of the Atlantic for the Northern provinces had its base in Bononia or Boulogne. In this city, important remains of the time have survived such as some fragments of the wall that demarcated the Roman camp or a crypt from a destroyed building.

Roman lighthouse at Dover or Turris Dubris (England)

The Roman Lighthouse at Dover, in the county of Kent, England, is across the English Channel. It was one of the two lighthouses marking the mouth of the port of Dover. It was probably commissioned by Caligula when the Tour d’Ordre was erected at about 50 A.D. It was built on the sheer white cliffs which dominated the port. Its strategic location made that in the Middle Ages it was used as a watchtower, thus becoming the origin of Dover Castle, of which it is part now. It is 62-foot high (18.6 m), of which only 43 (12.9 m) correspond to the Roman building while the rest corresponds to the refurbishment made during the reign of Henry VIII. For centuries, the derelict walls were used to build the belfry of the Chapel of St. Mary.

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