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24/10/2009

Phare de la Vieille, Pointe du Raz, Brittany, France


This is a photo of the Phare de la Vieille (Vieille lighthouse), a lighthouse located in Brittany, France. Built between 1882 and 1887 on the rock known as la Gorlebella (Breton for "the farthest rock"), it illuminates and improves the safety of the strait Raz de Sein, across from the companion lighthouse Tourelle de la Plate.
The so-called "hell" of this lighthouse is due to its remote position in rough seas. Furthermore, it has a rich past: between the first feasibility studies and its first lighting, nearly ten years were necessary. In 1995 it became the second to last French lighthouse to be automated, a process delayed due to the lighthouse keepers on the site refusing in protest to carry out the task.
The architecture of the Vieille was designed to be aesthetically pleasing, and also chosen to minimise confusion with the nearby tower Tévennec. Thus the lighthouse's shape is a squat quadrilateral, with slight crenellations. The tower is square and semi-cylindrical on the north face, broadening towards the base. The structure of the lighthouse was constructed from grey granite quarried from the Ile de Sein, while the tower and the corners of the building were built from coated cinder blocks of blue granite, from Kersanton.
In the background, one can see the big lighthouse of Ile de Sein (Sein Island), constructed between 1950 and 1951.

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