Since the late 1st century AD, the Tower of Hercules has served as a lighthouse and a landmark at the entrance of La Coruna harbor in northwestern Spain. It has existed since the Romans constructed the Farum Brigantium.
The tower occupies a highpoint in the landscape as it is built upon a 57-meter high rock. It rises a further 55 meters, 34 meters of which correspond to the Roman monastery, while the remainder 21 meters were constructed under the orders of an architect known as Eustaquio Giannini in the 18th century. The architect augmented the ancient Roman core with 2 octagonal forms.
Adjacent to the majestic tower, you will find a small Roman building that is rectangular in shape. Other features within the site include the sculpture park featuring the carvings of Monte deo Bicos that come from the Iron Age and also from a Muslim cemetery.
A 1990s excavation was responsible for revealing the Roman foundations. There are many myths from the Middle Ages that surround the Tower of Hercules. The tower is a unique piece of monument in that it is the only lighthouse remaining from the Greco-Roman antiquity to have retained structural integrity and functional continuity.
The Tower is evidence enough to the use of lighthouses in the antiquity. It is also evidence to the continuity of Atlantic route since it was first organized by the Romans in the Middle Ages. The route would further be enhanced by the developments in sea trade during the modern and contemporary times.
One of the reasons that informed the building’s listing into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites is its retention of structural stability after so many years of continued functionality. The authenticity of its Roman core is not in doubt.
There is so much history in this seemingly simple lighthouse. It has seen the evolution of seafaring from the ancient oars- and paddles- powered canoes, to wind sails ships, to steam engine and to coal and to the current diesel/petrol-powered gigantic ships. You are well advised to pay a visit to this ancient lighthouse that has guided thousands of ships to the safety of the harbor.
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