Digest>Archives> Jul/Aug 2023

The First in the World


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Shown here is the magnificent 1st order Fresnel lens in the lantern of the Cordouan Lighthouse, off the coast of Le Verdon-sur-Mer, France. The three men standing on the outer deck of the 213-foot-tall lighthouse give you some perspective as to the immense size of the lantern and the lens.

The Cordouan Lighthouse, which is the oldest lighthouse in France, was the first lighthouse in the world to be built on the open ocean and the first lighthouse in the world to have a Fresnel lens.

The interior of the lighthouse is perhaps the most elaborate in the world and is now managed by SMIDDEST, who cares for the structure and give tours of the interior. In 2021, UNESCO, a division of the United Nations, designated the lighthouse as a World Heritage Site.

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2023 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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