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Most of the many ancient lighthouses are in ruins. However, the Tower of Hercules, located in A Coruna, – this is a rare exception. It is considered the world's oldest fully preserved lighthouse, as well as the only Roman lighthouse still in use.
The height of this lighthouse is 55 meters. It stands on a small peninsula just above Betanzos Bay. Together with the nearby Muslim cemetery, a park of sculptures and a Roman building, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Before the Romans came, the state of Brigantia was located on this coast. During its existence, watchtowers were built here. When the Romans came here in the second century AD, they built a lighthouse here that was known as the Tower of Brigantia, dedicated to Mars, the god of war. At least that's what the inscription says, which is carved in stone at the foot of the lighthouse.
In the fifth century, after the Romans left this place, the Kingdom of Galicia was formed here. For some time, the lighthouse still performed its main functions, but later it began to be used as a fortification. For 300 years it was a citadel, but after the capture of the territory by the Vikings (in the 11th century), the city was ravaged, and a miraculously preserved lighthouse – abandoned.
The name"Tower of Hercules" originated from a legend created in the 13th century by the king of Castile, Alfonso the Tenth. According to this legend, Hercules, that is, Hercules, it was here that he defeated the giant Geryon. After that, he erected this very tower here in honor of such a significant event.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the lighthouse was reconstructed and renovated, it was even partially altered, but significant elements of the ancient Roman design.
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Topic: Tower of Hercules (Torre de Hercules) in Spain.