Idea #314 – Visiting the lighthouse of Gatteville in la Manche
The Lighthouse of Gatteville is situated in the bay of Barfleur, in Manche. In the XVIIIth century, because of the current of the point of Barfleur, and numerous noticed wrecks – whose most famous are doubtless the one of the Blanche-Nef – the construction of a lighthouse seems inevitable. In 1774, the Chamber of Commerce of Rouen thus decides to make build a first lighthouse in granite, of 25 meters. In its summit, a fire of wood and coal burned constantly, fed in men’s back. In 1780 the coal-based fire was replaced by a system of streetlights constituted by 16 oil lamps in a glazed lantern.
This lighthouse finally was too small to receive modern lenses, and insufficiently strong structure to be able to be heightened with 32 meters, it was decided, in 1825, to set up a new tower. The architect Charles-Félix Morice de la Rue, under Charles’s reign X, also designer of the lighthouse of La Hague, designed the plans of the highest lighthouse of this time. The settle of the central stone took place on June 14th, 1828 and the works will last until 1835, date of its first ignition. 74,75 meters high, counting 365 steps, was since dethroned by the lighthouse of the Island Ile Vierge, but rest the highest second lighthouse of Europe.
Automated in 1984, the light reachs 53 km. The former lighthouse, situated in its foot, was since preserved and transformed into semaphore. It is registered as historic monuments by order of May 11th, 2009, whereas the lighthouse and the annexes are classified in the same way by order on the next June 19th.
Where is it ?
Gatteville lighthouse, Manche, France