Wohhh !!! It is almost 1900 years old, and is the oldest Roman lighthouse still used !!! And you can see it FOR FREE !!!!
The Tower of Hercules (Galician and Spanish: Torre de Hércules) is an ancient Roman lighthouse on a peninsula about 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the centre of La Coruña, Galicia, in north-western Spain. It is 55 metres (180 ft) tall and overlooks the North Atlantic coast of Spain.
The Tower of Hercules is a National Monument of Spain and since 27 June 2009 is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The tower is known to have existed by the 2nd century, built or perhaps rebuilt under the roman emperor Trajan (he was a spanish …), perhaps over an ancient one.
At its base is preserved the cornerstone with the inscription MARTI AUG.SACR C.SEVIVS LUPUS ARCHTECTUS AEMINIENSIS LVSITANVS.EX.VO, permitting the original lighthouse tower to be ascribed to the architect Gaius Sevius Lupus, from Aeminium (present-day Coimbra, Portugal) in the former province of Lusitania, as an ex voto dedicated to Mars.
The tower has been in constant use since the 2nd century and considered to be the oldest existing lighthouse in the world. Originally it was constructed with an ascending ramp encircling its sides, for oxen to bring cartloads of wood to keep the light fueled at night. In 1788 the original 34 metres (110 ft), 3-storey tower was given a neoclassical restoration. We can see with this “dress” today.
Through the millennial many mythical stories of its origin have been told. According to a myth that blends Celtic and Greco-Roman elements, the hero Hercules slew the giant tyrant Geryon after three days and three nights of continuous battle. Hercules then—in a Celtic gesture— buried the head of Geryon with his weapons and ordered that a city be built on the site. The lighthouse atop a skull and crossbones representing the buried head of Hercules’ slain enemy appears in the coat-of-arms of the city of La Coruña.
Another legend embodied in the 11th-century compilation Lebor Gabala Erren— the “Book of Invasions”— King Breogán, the founding father of the Galician Celtic nation, constructed here a massive tower of such a grand height that his sons could see a distant green shore from its top. The glimpse of that distant green land lured them to sail north to Ireland. A colossal statue of Breogán has been erected near the Tower.
All this is history and legend. But the Tower of Hércules is much more. To come to this place, we can use the car, which we will be able to park at to his feet. But, if the time accompanies, I suggest to do the walk from the city of La Coruña on foot or in bicycle. We will go, little by little, feeling the sea, his force, his smell… to come to the tower after having enjoyed a marvelous walk!!!
Intention to the whole world to know this monument and the scenery that surrounds it!!!