The Tower of Hercules

11 Aug

HerculesWorld civilizations that had access to the sea and developed the seafaring, coastal towers built on top of which was a bright light – that the ships suitable for the beach, could navigate the night mist. These towers beacons built by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and many other nations.
From ancient times to the great civilizations of the past we were mostly ruins of lighthouses and memories of their former greatness. But the Tower of Hercules – the lighthouse in La Coruna (Spain) – Witness the might of the Roman era. He is the oldest surviving complete lighthouse in the world, and this is the only Roman lighthouse, which is the purpose so far.
Pyatidesyatipyatimetrovy lighthouse stands on a rocky peninsula overlooking the bay Betanzos in the Atlantic. Naturally, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with a small Roman building near the tower, with a sculpture park and a Muslim cemetery. This bizarre multiculturalism stems from the fact that Spain once traveled under the rule of several great civilizations. However, we do not know.
Prior to arrival of the Romans to the Spanish side of the Atlantic, there flourished the city-state Brigantia. It was then built on the shores of the Gulf of several watchtowers. After the arrival of the Romans in the II century AD, was built more serious, well-lighthouse – actually, it was the Tower of Brigantia (known to us by ancient and medieval sources). The tower was dedicated to the god of war Mars (it is not challenged because the inscription is carved on it at the foot of the tower on a massive rock).
In the V century AD, the Romans had left this area, and there arose another state – Galician kingdom. Beacon continued to perform its function properly. However, later he lost his “putevoditelnoe ‘mission and began to act as reinforcement. Strengthening is about 300 years served as a stronghold, but in the beginning of XI century, the territory captured Vikings, ravaged the city and the lighthouse, miraculously remained undefeated, was for a time forgotten.
In 1208 Gulf Betanzos, on the banks of which stood the lighthouse Brigantiysky, stopped taking the big ships and the port was moved to the city Kroon. After this became known as Lighthouse Castelo Vello (¬ęthe old castle”).
You may ask: why is “Hercules Tower”? This legend appeared at the end of the XIII century: it personally created the King of Castile Alfonso X. In his version, Heracles (Hercules), performing the feat of the 10th, on this site has won the giant Geryon, and put it in honor of the tower. Actually, since “Tower of Hercules,” so called.
In the XVII and XVIII centuries, the lighthouse was reconstructed, repaired, partially altered, but even in the modern interior of the tower remained serious in terms of value and cultural elements of ancient Roman construction.
The city of La Coruna supports the lighthouse in the manner honors this wonderful monument, and even has his picture in the center of his arm.

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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Historical


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