Lighthouses have helped guide ships to safety for many years, they are engraved in our culture and a big part of mankind’s history. Lighthouses are included in some of the oldest literary works and historical tales, granting them a very mystical charm.
There was a time when someone worked every lighthouse, but today most are controlled electrically. Many things have changed since the early days, including using a combination of certain substances to create the light at the top of the tower–today we just use electricity.
Many of the lighthouses still in existence today are very old, and some even have spooky tales about long lost watch guards, residents, and sailers that haunt these ocean-ravaged towers.
Check out these breathtaking photos of old lighthouses that have withstood the test of time, providing scenic views and a peek into the past.
Porto, Portugal Lighthouse
Frozen St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse, Michigan, USA
Built back in 1898, the St. Joseph North Pier lighthouse gave off if its first light in 1906, today the light is still fully operational. Amazing to witness at any time of the year, but in the winter when the lighthouse freezes over it’s something else altogether.
Fun fact: Michigan has 391 lighthouses, that’s more than any other state in the US.
San Esteban De Pravia, Spain
Lighthouse Of Talacre, Wales, UK
Sometimes it’s not the actual lighthouse itself, but the magical way the photographer captures the image.
Andros Island, Greece
Something about those twisty steps, I’m ready to call this lighthouse my new home!
South Stack Lighthouse in Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales
This lighthouse is known as the most amazing South Stack Lighthouse throughout Wales.
Victoria Beach Lighthouse, Laguna Beach, California, USA
Built in 1926, this California coastal lighthouse is located on Victoria Beach, one of the most “private public beaches” in the area. It features stunning 16th century castle architecture. If you decide to stop in for a visit be careful of the strong rip current often present in the surrounding waters.
The Lange Nelle Lighthouse, Ostend, Belgium
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, USA
Kermorvan Lighthouse, Bretagne, France
Stangholmen in Lysekil, Sweden
This lighthouse appears smaller than others, uniquely stacked atop these smooth-surface rocks. It is one of many lighthouses found throughout Sweden.
Portland Head Light, Maine, USA
Mouro Island Lighthouse, Spain
Despite the constant force of water pounding against this stoic lighthouse in Spain, it has survived since it was first constructed back in 1860.
Old Scituate Lighthouse, Massachusetts, USA
Old Scituate is the 5th oldest lighthouse in all of New England and the 11th oldest in the entire US. Built back in 1810 this lighthouse is full of stories, one about a brave girl named Rebecca and her sister. The two girls were left terrified and alone in the lighthouse during the War of 1812.
Since Rebecca knew how to play military music well, her and her sister played as loud as they could so that British forces would believe American militants were stationed there. Be the story true or not, the British forces did back down and the girls were left unharmed that night.
Molnes Lighthouse, Norway
Gunnar Gestur calls this image of an Iceland Lighthouse, “before the storm.”
Phare du Petit Minou, Brest, France
Lighthouse of Fastnet Rock, Ireland
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
St. Mary’s Lighthouse, Bait Island, UK
Newhaven Breakwater Lighthouse, East Sussex, England
Lighthouse in Beagle Channel, Argentina/Chile
Vivalez, Asturias, Spain
Image Credits: Matthew Jones, Alexander Riek, Thomas Zakowski, Charles Anderson, Veselin Malinov, Dave Gaylord, Manu Diaz, Holger Schmitt,Iain McConnell, Mary Kay, Saghani, Joe Daniel Price, Skel Shizuko, Fergal O’Callaghan, Piet Flour, Ratul Maiti, Marina Cano, Henrik Aleborg, Steven Walden, Nicholas Rottiers, Peter, Yegor Malinovskii, Jokin Romero, Stefan Cruysberghs, Juan Carlos Ruiz, freeezzzz, Francisco Marty, Veselin Malinov, Gunnar Gestur