The Cordouan lighthouse
Yesterday we were in the Medoc area. The Medoc is a small region located on the southern side of the Gironde estuary. Near the mouth of the estuary, there is a still active lighthouse, called the Tour de Cordouan, located 7 kilometres at sea. At a height of 68 m (223 feet), it is one of the tallest lighthouse in the world. Moreover, it is by far the oldest lighthouse in France (built from 1584 to 1611), and, I should add, the most beautiful. It is a Renaissance masterpiece, an amalgam of royal palace, cathedral and fort. It is also extremely useful: it was built to reduce navigation hazard, and specifically to support the Bordeaux wine trade! It was made a historical monument in 1862, at the same time as Notre-Dame de Paris. Although now fully automated, it is still occupied full time by two lighthouse keepers.