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10 Beautiful Lighthouses to Visit Around the World

There’s a certain romance about lighthouses. They’re beacons to ships at sea, alerting mariners to potential danger or signalling safe harbour. Whether perched on soaring cliffs or standing next to the sea, they are lone sentinels that guide the way through the darkness.

Since the early days of maritime navigation, lighthouses have played a vital role. The Lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the first. Built in 280 BC to mark the entrance to the city’s port, it towered some 140 metres and remains one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was destroyed by earthquakes and its remnants were used to build other structures. Although some remains of its floor were found as recently as the 1990s.

In the early days lighthouses were manned. Light was produced by fires or candles. Then oil and kerosene lamps were used before most lighthouses switched to electricity.

Flashing and rotating lights not only help make lighthouses more visible, they help identify a particular lighthouse. Some lights use colours to mark dangerous waters. And most lighthouses have radar deflectors with unique signatures to help identify them. Foghorns are used when weather conditions obscure the light.

New technology, advances in marine navigation and automation are making people obsolete. Budget cuts don’t help. Will the lighthouse become obsolete, too? Maybe. These days many lighthouses are being decommissioned and left to crumble. But not all. Coastlines around the world are still dotted with these friendly beacons and, for now, many can be visited. Where is your favourite lighthouse?

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