Written by SoudipOctober 6th 2014
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Tower of Hercules Historical Facts and Pictures
Overlooking the North Atlantic shoreline of Spain, from a Peninsula, which is 1.5 miles away from central Corunna, the Tower of Hercules is a National Monument of the country. Popularly known as “Farum Brigantium” until the 20th century, this 55-meter high tower is the second tallest lighthouse in Spain. The inscription at the base implies that, the primary architect of the tower is Gaius Sevius Lupus, it also suggests that it was built in 1st century CE during the reign of Trajan. The lighthouse is accompanied by a rectangular Roman building at its base, along with a sculpture park that houses Monte dos Bicos rock carvings and a Muslim cemetery.
Architecture and Construction
Functioning since late 1st century AD, the Tower of Hercules is considered as the most ancient lighthouse in the world. Throughout the history, it has undergone several restoration works. The original 3-storey Roman structure embodied Phoenician designs, resembling the Lighthouse of Alexandria. In 1788, during the reign of Charles III of Spain, the tower conformed a neoclassical restoration under the instructions of naval engineer Eustaquio Giannini. This new structure has witnessed the addition of a 21-meter high fourth storey.
Interior of Tower of Hercules
The interior section of the tower consists of three levels, containing four chambers at each level. A helical staircase of 234 steps runs from the bottom to the top, which was used for the transportation of fuel to light the lantern.
Three mythical tales surround the history of the tower’s construction – the Greco-Roman legend of the demigod Hercules, who slew the tyrant giant Geryon; the Celtic-Irish myth of king Breogán; and the story of Trecenzonio. Due to its rich historical, as well as mythical values, this sublime specimen of Roman architecture had been deservedly enlisted among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2009.