Cordouan Lighthouse, Royan, Charente, France
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A beacon in the golden light. Cordouan Lighthouse, France
Built in 1611, the Cordouan Lighthouse is a maritime marvel. It stands on a base of massive limestone blocks near the mouth of France's Gironde estuary. Designed by engineer Louis de Foix and later remodelled in the 18th century, this lighthouse is known as the Versailles of the Seas because it is a palace, fort, and cathedral, all in one.
Currently, the Cordouan Lighthouse is the only guarded lighthouse on the coast of France and the oldest functional lighthouse in the country. A visit to this historic landmark will take you on a journey to a bygone era, concluding at the lighthouse's pinnacle where you can enjoy a commanding view of the surrounding sea and land.