The Tower of Hercules in A Coruña

30 October, 2012 0 Comments

Hercules Tower

The Tower of Hercules is located in the city of A Coruña, in the province of the same name and within the autonomous community of Galicia, in Spain.

There is a legend that says that the Tower of Hercules, the oldest working lighthouse in the world that today is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it was built in the place where Hercules buried the head of the giant Geryon. He won after three days and three nights of battle. After the contest, Hercules ordered to be built there a city, which became the Roman Brigantia, and later in A Coruña.

But there is another legend that says that was Breogán, warrior of the Celtic mythology, who founded this city. Then he ordered to build a tower that he called the Tower of Breogán. Near the lighthouse there is a statue of King celtic Breogán.

This legend also says that her son Ith, looking from the top of the tower, saw the distant and green shore of Ireland and decided to conquer it.

But the most credible version tells us that its construction took place in the second century, during the reign of Emperor Trajan, on a small hill that is located between the Orzan Bay and the Artabro Gulf. Cayo Sevius Lupus was the architect, an engineer of the old Roman Aeminium, today Coimbra, in Portugal, who dedicated the tower to Mars, the Roman god of war.

The oldest written reference that exists on Tower of Hercules dates from the year 417, and is located in a work of the historian Paul Orosio. The lighthouse was active throughout the Roman period, and was also used as a fortress during the Middle Ages.

Its first restoration was performed in 1682 by the Duke of Uceda. Its outer cover is built under the reign of Charles IV and was placed by the Italian architect Eustaquio Giannini. This cover was completed in 1791, when it was also added a fourth floor. In 1861 it was added a great platform for granite that surrounds the base of the tower.

The Tower of Hercules is one of the tallest buildings built by the Romans in Spain.  It is 58 meters hight and it is located at a height of 105 meters above sea level. You have to climb 242 steps to reach the top. Its lighthouse can be seen at a distance of 23 nautical miles, with four white flashes every 20 seconds.

Coat of Arms of A Coruña, Galicia, Spain

The Tower of Hercules is part of the Coat of Arms of A Coruña since the fifteenth century and today it’s a symbol of the city.

Photo Source: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez

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