1312 Tower of Hercules – 2009



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The has served as a lighthouse and landmark at the entrance of La Coruña harbour in north-western Spain since the late 1st century A.D. when the Romans built the Farum Brigantium. The Tower, built on a 57 metre high rock, rises a further 55 metres, of which 34 metres correspond to the Roman masonry and 21 meters to the restoration directed by architect Eustaquio Giannini in the 18th century, who augmented the Roman core with two octagonal forms. Immediately adjacent to the base of the Tower, is a small rectangular Roman building. The site also features a sculpture park, the Monte dos Bicos rock carvings from the Iron Age and a Muslim cemetery. The Roman foundations of the building were revealed in excavations conducted in the 1990s. Many legends from the Middle Ages to the 19th century surround the , which is unique as it is the only lighthouse of Greco-Roman antiquity to have retained a measure of structural integrity and functional continuity.

Brief Synthesis

The is the only fully preserved Roman lighthouse that is still used for maritime signaling, hence it is testimony to the elaborate system of navigation in antiquity and it provides an understanding of the Atlantic sea route in Western . The was restored in the 18th century in an exemplary manner, which has protected the central core of the original Roman monument while restoring its technical functions.

Criterion (iii):

The is testimony to the use of lighthouses in antiquity. The Tower is also proof of the continuity of the Atlantic route from when it was first organised by the Romans, during a large part of the Middle Ages, and through to its considerable development in the modern and contemporary eras.

Integrity and Authenticity

The architectural integrity of the property, in the sense of a structurally complete building, and its functional integrity are satisfactory. While the authenticity of the central Roman core is certain, the authenticity of the building only makes sense when judged from the point of view of a technological property that has required numerous renovations and functional adaptations.

Management and protection requirements

The conservation of the property is monitored to a good scientific level. In the final analysis, all the measures and projects presented form an acceptable management plan. The role of the Tower Management Plan Monitoring Committee needs to be upgraded by virtue of its being the coordinating authority for the management of the property.

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