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Top 10 Most Famous Lighthouses in the World

May 14, 2023


Lighthouses are iconic structures that have played an important role in maritime navigation for centuries. They were an essential tool for mariners to ensure safe passage through treacherous waters, preventing shipping disasters that could cause loss of life and merchandise. The unique design and picturesque locations of lighthouses have also made them a favored destination for tourists, photographers, and artists.

This article will introduce you to the top 10 most famous lighthouses in the world. These lighthouses are popular attractions that draw crowds of visitors every year. Each one has its unique history, design, and location that makes it an iconic landmark that people love to visit.

1. Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt

The Pharos of Alexandria is one of the ancient world's most iconic lighthouses, and it stood tall for over 1600 years before it was eventually destroyed. It was built in 280 BC and was approximately 396 feet tall, making it one of the tallest structures in the world at the time. The lighthouse was constructed on the Island of Pharos off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, and its light could be seen up to 50 kilometers away.

The Pharos of Alexandria was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and its influence can still be felt in architecture today. The structure was an inspiration for lighthouse construction everywhere and even inspired the design of the lighthouse in Rome, Italy.

2. Lindau Lighthouse, Germany

The Lindau Lighthouse is located in the Lake Constance region of Germany and was built-in 1856. The lighthouse is only 108 feet tall and is unique due to its peculiar location. The lighthouse is situated on the side of the entrance to Lindau Harbor. The tower's base is in the water, and the rest of the structure stands on an open outcrop of rock. It is great for photographs as the natural rock formations around it make for a stunning contrast.

3. Portland Head Light, Maine, USA

The Portland Head Light is located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It was built in 1791 and is considered the oldest lighthouse in Maine. The lighthouse has been a landmark for seafarers for over 200 years, having been in continuous operation since it was first lit in 1791.

The lighthouse is an iconic structure and is often included in artwork and photographs. It is a popular attraction for tourists and has been featured in several films and TV shows.

4. Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, Canada

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse is located in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, and is one of the most photographed lighthouses in Canada. The lighthouse was built-in 1868 and is an iconic symbol of the region. The lighthouse stands on the edge of huge rocks that have been shaped by the Atlantic Ocean's harsh waves. It is an ideal location for nature and photography enthusiasts.

5. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina, USA

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is located in North Carolina and has been in operation since 1803. The lighthouse is over 200 feet tall, making it the tallest brick lighthouse in the country. It was originally constructed around 1000 feet from the ocean, but with dune erosion and other natural phenomena, it was relocated to its present location, around 1600 feet from the water in 1999.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is an iconic structure and a popular tourist attraction. The structure is used to mark the Diamond Shoals, which is known to be a treacherous location in the Atlantic Ocean, making the lighthouse more important to maritime safety.

6. Tower of Hercules, Spain

The Tower of Hercules is located in Galicia, Spain, and was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD. It is one of the oldest lighthouses still in operation and has been guiding maritime traffic for over 2000 years. The lighthouse, which stands at 180 feet tall, was constructed from granite, and it is the tallest ancient lighthouse in the world.

The Tower of Hercules is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is an incredible landmark that is visited by thousands of tourists every year. The beautiful surroundings where the lighthouse is located make it a must-see attraction.

7. Hook Lighthouse, Ireland

The Hook Lighthouse is located on the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, Ireland. It is the oldest lighthouse in Ireland and has been in operation since it was first established by William Marshal, the Earl of Pembroke in the early 13th century. The lighthouse is approximately 80 feet tall and is made of local limestone.

The Hook Lighthouse has become a popular tourist attraction due to its picturesque location and fascinating history. It is also a popular spot for whale watching and is a beautiful place to explore.

8. La Jument Lighthouse, France

The La Jument Lighthouse is located off the coast of Brittany in France and is well-known for its incredible design. The lighthouse was built-in 1904 and is approximately 165 feet tall.

La Jument gained its widespread fame due to an iconic photograph taken by Jean Guichard in 1989 during a storm. The photo captured the lighthouse keeper, Théodore Malgorne, braving the storm as the waves crashed around him. The La Jument Lighthouse is a popular landmark for tourists and photographers.

9. Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, Denmark

The Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse is located in Northern Denmark and was built-in 1899. The lighthouse is situated on a 60-meter-high cliff that is continually eroding at a rate of 1.5 meters per year.

The Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse was in danger of being entirely swept into the ocean; therefore, in 2019, it was officially reopened to the public after a $2.8 million renovation process that involved relocating the building. It is now perched about 70 meters from the beach and is a popular tourist attraction, having drawn approximately 200,000 visitors in its first year.

10. Fastnet Rock Lighthouse, Ireland

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse is situated on a rock that juts out of the Atlantic Ocean, off the south coast of Ireland. The lighthouse was constructed in the mid-19th century and stands at an impressive 147 feet tall. The lighthouse has a unique design that has helped it withstand some of the harsh weather conditions in the area.

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse is one of the most famous lighthouses in the world and has played a significant role in maritime safety, guiding sailors through the treacherous waters of the Atlantic. It is also the location of the Fastnet Race, one of the world's most important yacht races.


Lighthouses are more than just navigational structures. They are symbols of history and architecture. These beacons have been guiding mariners for hundreds of years, and their purpose has never diminished, even with modern technology. These lighthouses offer insight into the past, and they have withstood time and the harsh elements of the sea. With their breathtaking views and fascinating histories, they will continue to be popular destinations for tourists for years to come.


I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality.
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