Thursday, November 17, 2016


Hercules tower - The oldest lighthouse in the world

When Julius Caesar came to Galicia, Spain in the year 61 BC, he understood the importance of this position. Then, the lighthouse was built to become the maritime signal, alert for vessels to avoid rocks or cliffs near the coast, as well as guide for the ships to pass through the Atlantic corridor.

Hercules Tower is located on a rocky hill Punta Euras, including 7-storey, 57 m high created by the Romans from the 2nd century; it was a sacred place of the pre-Roman tribes. Inspired by the lighthouse Alexandria, Hercules Tower is located in Port La Coruna, Galicia, northeastern Spain, the most famous and ancient lighthouse in the world.

The ancient documents indicate that the tower Hercules was built from late 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD and finished under the reign of Emperor Trajan. Archaeologists have discovered the gold inscription praising Shen War at the feet of lighthouse. Therefore, many people predict that the lighthouse also assumes the role of a defensive fortress during the war, protecting the Roman army before the invaders.

There are many myths and legends about the Hercules Tower. After three days and nights continuously battling with giant Geryon,the hero Hercules buried head of enemies with weapons into the ground, then ordered to build a city above, nowadays is La Coruna. The second legend was born at about the 11th century. The story said about King Breogán, the founder of the Galician Celtic nation and also the creation of the tallest tower in Galicia. After a period of living, he moved to Ireland to settle and became ancestry of Celtic people here.

However, Hercules tower also encountered many vicissitudes of history, when Galicia faced to the Norman invasion. Under the collapse of the Roman Empire, the lighthouses surrounding peninsula fell into looting, abandoned and became dilapidated. Only the Hercules tower still stood after the wars and became the most important part of the region. For over 2,000 years, the Tower of Hercules has lit for sailors passing. Later, numerous studies have shown that the excellent technique in construction of the new Roman is the main reason for the lighthouse is not damaged by the harsh environment of the ocean and the ravages of time.

However, in the 16th century, the Hercules Tower was regarded as a quarry to build new buildings in the city. Despite City Council tried hard to protect the tower, many sections of tower have disappeared during this period. Till the 17th century, the city began to carry out renovation of the tower to turn it into a solid fortress. In the late 18th century, La Coruña became one of the most important ports in northern Spain.

In 2009, the Hercules Tower is recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. During the 20th century, it became a symbol of immigrants to Latin American. Hundreds of Galicia thanks to the lighthouse to across the Atlantic safely to a new continent. Every year, Galicia attracts tens of thousands of tourists to admire this oldest lighthouse in the world./