A little history of Cordouan lighthouse

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The lighthouse - ©Yann Gwilhoù / CC-BY-SA The lighthouse - ©Yann Gwilhoù / CC-BY-SA
Cordouan lighthouse Lighthouse

Located in the Gironde's estuary, on Atlantic Ocean, our lighthouse was raised in the reign of king of France Henri III, in 1584. Finished in 1610, it was used as a church, a fortress and a royal dwelling! One of the room was called "King's apartments"... The lighthouse was built on 2 000 pillars; 200 workers worked on it.

Before the lighthouse, we found a medieval tower, called "Black Prince's tower" that the architect Louis de Foix transformed into the current building in the 16th century. 200 years later, they added 3 storeys on the Renaissance basis.

On the ground floor, we found a store, a kitchen, rooms and a forge. On the second floor, the chapel. The engineer Teulère heightened the lighthouse in the 18th century, which is now 60 metres high (20 metres, before).

By the way, did you knew Cordouan lighthouse was the first building, with cathedral Our-Lady of Paris, listed as Monument Historique in 1862?


And also!