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The Lighthouse Family


The Phare de Ténès (1997 Algerian stamp above left) is the oldest lighthouse in Algeria. Built in 1861 on a rocky Mediterranean coastal site, the lighthouse rises to 57 meters above the sea. This lighthouse has withstood the two earthquakes that shook the region in 1954 and 1980. The other stamp shows the Phare du Cap Caxine, built 1868.

A six-stamp 1989 set from Mozambique above. It features (left to right) the Cabo Delgado, Vilhena, Ponta Caldeira, Macuti, Ilha de Goa and Pinda lighthouses.

In 2000 France issued the above stamp. On the right of the stamp – entitled ‘The Light at the End of the World’ – is a lighthouse, built in 2000 off the Pointe des Minimes on the south side of the entrance to the French port of La Rochelle as a Millennium project. It is a replica of a lighthouse on Staten Island, east of Cape Horn – the Faro de San Juan de Salvamento – which was the inspiration for the Jules Verne novel (Le phare du bout du monde) published in 1905.

On the 1964 Soviet Union stamp above, behind the sailor with a gun is the lighthouse of the port of Odessa. The text on the stamp reads: “20th anniversary of liberation of Odessa from Nazi invaders”.

On the left of the two 1986-issuued Republic of Ireland stamps above is the Kish Bank lighthouse, built in 1965 to replace a lightship. It is situated off the coast of Dun Laoghaire, 12 kilometers south of the centre of Dublin. The present Fastnet lighthouse shown on the right came into service in 1904. Fastnet is known as “Ireland’s Teardrop” because it was the last part of Ireland that 19th-Century Irish emigrants saw as they sailed to North America.

A combination set from Uruguay in 1997 featured lighthouses and birds of the country. From left to right we have  the lighthouses at Anchorena (built 1920), Farallon (1870), Jose Ignacio (1877), Santa Maria (1874) and 18th-Century Vigia. The birds on the stamps are, from left to right: White-rumped Swallow (Tachycineta leucorrhoa), Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea), Antarctic Tern (Sterna vittata), Band-tailed Gull (Larus belcheri) and the White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis).

Five stamps from 1975 issued by what was then the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)). They display the lighthouses of Timmendort (1872), Gellen (1905), Sassnitz (1954), Dornbusch (1888) and Peenemunde 1954.

New Zealand Post 2019, entitled ‘Lighthouse Perspectives’, a six-stamp set with an original take on lighthouse stamps. The stamps give a view from the towers looking out to sea, with an outline of the buildings in the bottom left-hand corner of the stamps. Top left to right are: Poutu, built in 1884 and NZ’s oldest wooden lighthouse, Manukau Heads and Baring Head (1935). Bottom left to right: French Pass, Nugget Point (also known as Tokata lighthouse) and Puysegur.

The south-west corner of the island of Jersey is the site of the Corbiere lighthouse. It was completed in 1873. Built on a rock 500 yards from the shore, it was the world’s first concrete lighthouse. In 2013 Jersey Post produced stamps featuring the lighthouse and a racehorse named Corbiere.

Corbiere was the winner of the English Grand National horse race in 1983. Corbiere was the first winner to be trained by a woman, Jenny Pitman.


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