What is it.. about a lighthouse?
What is it that makes a lighthouse somewhat of an icon in our culture?
Of course we know, that many no longer serve, or at least – aren’t manned. They’ve either been automated, or simply aren’t needed anymore, as we now have all manner of satellite and GPS technology.
Is it the bygone era? Is it the romanticism of heroic acts?
Is it the ability to snatch men and women from the clutches of the sea? Nothing like a real or symbolic saving light in the darkness, to stir the soul…
We find them, where the land and sea connection was always its most dangerous and violent – a threat to human life, as we began to expand more and more across the seas.
Who hasn’t seen pictures, of Brittany’s great lighthouses – and the attempt by the sea to swallow them, completely?!
The Atlantic and Pacific coastlines abound with these oft-times beautiful architectural structures – isolated on their stunning rocky outcrops and peaks. What a picture!
Perhaps the queen of them all – is Cordouan, at the mouth of the Gironde Estuary, near Bordeaux. Also known as the Versailles of the Sea because of its sheer scope and grandeur, it was built under Louix XIV’s reign, and is the oldest lighthouse in France.
Yes, you can visit it, by boat – and it’s most definitely worth it! This active lighthouse, is also a museum. There are three departure points for the ferry, not far north of Bordeaux. This is an adventure, not a walk in the park – shall we say! Check with us for details.
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The best part?
Some lighthouses have been retired from ‘active service’, however they have been put into service – (lucky us!) – as rental holiday cottages or bed and breakfast style guesthouses. Watch for our next article on this topic – to find out where!