Digest>Archives> March 2009

Lost Lighthouse Image Rediscovered


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Jan van Griethuysen recently sent us this antique image of this lighthouse that she purchased at a jumble-sale. Marked on the back of the photo in pencil is the word “constans,” which was the clue to discovering the history behind the lighthouse.

We did a quick search in our files and the Internet under Constantinople, Germany and Romanian lighthouses, but did not come up with a similar image. However, in doing some further research, Jan came up with information that the lighthouse once stood on Lake Konstanz in Bavaria, Germany. During the redevelopment of the harbor in 1892 the lighthouse was demolished because of its state of disrepair. However, about 15 years ago a statue of “Imperia” was built on the remains of the foundation of the old lighthouse. In the outstretched hands of the statue are Pope Martin V and Emperor Sigismund the most important people at the Council of Konstanz (1414-1418) are seated. The statue is to remind people of this great medieval event, and with the noble Courtisan Imperia to illuminate the all too human side of this European religious gathering. Mounted on her head is a lamp to keep alive the tradition of the original lighthouse that once stood here.

This proves once again that old lighthouse photos all have a story to tell and help remind and teach us about the history of another era in time.

This story appeared in the March 2009 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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