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Cordouan Lighthouse

Cordouan Lighthouse
The Lighthouse of Cordouan rises up on a shallow rocky plateau in the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Gironde estuary, in a highly exposed and hostile environment. Built in white limestone dressed blocks at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, it was designed by engineer Louis de Foix and remodelled by engineer Joseph Teulère in the late 18th century. A masterpiece of maritime signalling, Cordouan’s monumental tower is decorated with pilasters, columns modillions and gargoyles. It embodies the great stages of the architectural and technological history of lighthouses and was built with the ambition of continuing the tradition of famous beacons of antiquity, illustrating the art of building lighthouses in a period of renewed navigation, when beacons played an important role as territorial markers and as instruments of safety. Finally, the increase of its height, in the late 18th century, and the changes to its light chamber, attest to the progress of science and technology of the period. Its architectural forms drew inspiration from ancient models, Renaissance Mannerism and the specific architectural language of France’s engineering school École des Ponts et Chaussées.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Le phare de Cordouan
Le phare de Cordouan s’élève sur un plateau rocheux peu profond de l’océan Atlantique situé à l’embouchure de l’estuaire de la Gironde, dans un environnement dangereux et inhospitalier. Construit avec des blocs de calcaire blanc entre la fin du XVIe siècle et le début du XVIIe siècle, il fut conçu par l’ingénieur Louis de Foix et remanié par l’ingénieur Teulère à la fin du XVIIIe siècle. Chef-d’œuvre de la signalisation maritime, la tour monumentale de Cordouan est décorée de pilastres, de colonnes, de modillons et de gargouilles. Il représente les grandes phases de l’histoire architecturale et technologique des phares et fut construit avec l’ambition de perpétuer la tradition des phares célèbres de l’Antiquité, témoignant de l’art de la construction des phares pendant une période de développement de la navigation, quand les phares avaient un rôle important en tant que marqueurs territoriaux et dispositifs de sécurité. Enfin, son exhaussement à la fin du XVIIIe siècle et les modifications apportées à sa lanterne témoignent des avancées scientifiques et technologiques de l’époque. Ses formes architecturales se sont inspirées des modèles antiques, du maniérisme de la Renaissance et du langage architectural spécifique de l’institut de formation d'ingénieurs français, l’École des ponts et chaussées.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

منارة كوردوان
تنتصب منارة كوردوان فوق هضبة صخرية تقع في المياه الضحلة للمحيط الأطلسي عند مصب الجيروند، في بيئة غير مؤاتية إلى حدٍّ كبير ومعرَّضة بشدة للعوامل الجوية. وقد بُنيت بالأحجار الجيرية البيضاء المنحوتة في نهاية القرن السادس عشر وبداية القرن السابع عشر، حيث صمَّمها المهندس لويس دي فوا وأدخل عليها تعديلات المهندس جوزيف تولير في أواخر القرن الثامن عشر. ويعتبر برج المنارة الضخم من روائع التشوير البحري، تزينه الأعمدة الجدارية الناتئة والمقرنسات. وتجسد المنارة المراحل الهامة للتاريخ المعماري والتكنولوجي للمنارات، إذ بُنيت بغية الاستمرار في التقليد المتَّبع في بناء الفنارات المشهورة في العصور القديمة، لتكون مثالاً على فن بناء المنارات في فترة تجددت فيها الملاحة، وأدَّت فيها الفنارات دوراً هاماً كنقاط علام على اليابسة وكأدوات للسلامة. وأخيراً، تشهد زيادة ارتفاع المنارة في أواخر القرن الثامن عشر والتغييرات التي أُدخلت على حجرة الضوء فيها، على التقدم الذي طرأ على العلوم والتكنولوجيا في ذلك العصر. وقد استلهمت في أشكالها المعمارية من النماذج القديمة ومن الأسلوب المتكلِّف لعصر النهضة ومن النمط المعماري الخاص بالمعهد العالي للجسور والطرق في فرنسا.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

科尔杜昂灯塔
科尔杜昂灯塔耸立在大西洋中吉伦特河口的一块礁石平台上,其所处环境高度暴露且十分恶劣。灯塔于16和17世纪之交以白色石灰石砌成,由工程师德福瓦(Louis de Foix)设计。在18世纪末,工程师特莱尔(Joseph Teulère)主持了改造工作。灯塔塔身饰有壁柱、立柱托饰和滴水嘴,是海事通信的杰作。它体现了灯塔建筑和技术史上的伟大阶段。建造者意欲延续古代著名灯塔的传统,在灯塔作为重要领土标志和安全工具的新航海时期展示灯塔建筑艺术。18世纪末灯塔加高和照明设备的更换展示了这一时期科学技术的进步。其建筑形式借鉴了古代范式、文艺复兴时期的风格主义,以及路桥学院特定的建筑语言。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Кордуанский маяк

Кордуанский маяк возвышается на мелководном скалистом плато в Атлантическом океане в устье Жиронды, в крайне враждебной и подверженной высокой степени риска среде. Построенный из блоков белого известняка на рубеже XVI и XVII веков, он был спроектирован инженером Луи де Фуа и реконструирован инженером Жозефом Тёлером в конце XVIII века. Шедевр морской сигнальной системы, монументальная башня Кордуана украшена пилястрами, модиллионами колонн и горгульями. Маяк воплощает великие этапы архитектурной и технологической истории маяков и был построен с целью продолжения традиции знаменитых маяков древности, иллюстрируя искусство строительства маяков в период обновленной навигации, когда маяки играли важную роль в качестве территориальных маркеров и инструментов безопасности. Наконец, увеличение его высоты в конце XVIII века и изменения в его световой камере свидетельствуют о прогрессе науки и техники того периода. Его архитектурные формы были вдохновлены древними образцами, маньеризмом эпохи Возрождения и особым архитектурным языком французской инженерной школы École des Ponts et Chaussées.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Faro de Cordouan
Este faro se yergue en una meseta rocosa plana del Océano Atlántico, situada en el estuario de Gironda. Diseñado por el ingeniero Louis de Foix, fue construido con sillares de piedra caliza, entre finales del siglo XVI y principios del XVII, en un medio natural inhóspito y muy expuesto a intemperies y mareas. A finales del siglo XVIII fue remodelado por el ingeniero Joseph Teulère. Ornamentada con pilastras, columnas, modillones y gárgolas, la torre monumental de Cordouan es una obra maestra de la señalización marítima muy representativa de la historia arquitectónica y tecnológica de los faros. Continuadora de las famosas almenaras de tiempos pasados, esta torre es ilustrativa del arte de construir faros en una época en que las técnicas de navegación se habían modernizado y las almenaras seguían desempeñando aún una importante función de demarcadores territoriales y dispositivos de salvamento. Además, la elevación de la altura de la torre y la modernización de su farola a finales del siglo XVIII son un vivo testimonio de los importantes avances científicos y tecnológicos ya logrados en esa época. La arquitectura del faro de Cordouan se inspiró en la de los faros Antigüedad clásica, así como en el manierismo renacentista y en el peculiar estilo arquitectónico de la Escuela de Puentes y Caminos de Francia.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

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The Lighthouse when the sea level is going low © DRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Erected in the open sea on a rocky plateau where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gironde Estuary, in a highly exposed and hostile environment that is hazardous for shipping, which is also its raison-d’être, Cordouan Lighthouse has been a beacon for ships engaged in trade between Bordeaux and the rest of the world since the 16th century.

Its monumental tower in limestone dressed blocks, decorated with pilasters, columns and sculptures, has 8 levels that rise to a height of 67 metres above sea level. It is the result of two complementary construction campaigns in the 16th and then the 18th century to enhance the technical capacities of the lighthouse, which is still in use today. The Cordouan Lighthouse was conceived from the outset as a monument, both in its stylistic features and expression, and in the engineering techniques employed.

Initial construction was undertaken in 1584 by engineer Louis de Foix, at the behest of the king of France, Henri III. Henri IV, eager to stress his legitimacy, commissioned original and unexpected features at the frontier of his kingdom: apartments for the king and a chapel. A concrete expression of political will intended to impress all the European sea powers and local communities, the Cordouan Lighthouse thus became a monumental lighthouse dedicated to the affirmation of the king’s power. The height of the lighthouse was raised in 1788-1789 by engineer Joseph Teulère, who remained true to the original conception and remodelled the lighthouse in keeping with the architectural form invented in the 16th century by Louis de Foix.

Not only is the form exceptional, but also the quality of the style. The tower of Louis de Foix clearly reflects the influence of antiquity and Italy, evoking in the open sea the forms of Roman mausoleums, and the domes and most elegant features of Renaissance mannerism. Joseph Teulère, to his credit, achieved a masterpiece of French stereotomy in the language of late-18th century neoclassicism.

Cordouan Lighthouse, in its intentional monumentality, is a grandiose and unique creation, in which the human genius is not only architectural, stylistic and technical, but also symbolic and conceptual.

Criterion (i): The Cordouan Lighthouse is a masterpiece of maritime signalling, which has remained in use from the 17th century until today. Since it was first built, this lighthouse has represented a symbolic endowment to the glory of the King of France of the time. In the 18th century, Joseph Teulère heightened and strengthened the lighthouse. The masterly application of the stereometry and stereotomy has allowed for a superb integration between the existing fabric and the new addition, which confirmed also its symbolic function. The aggressive natural environment it was erected in consolidates the status of this building as an eminent example of artistic, technical and technological human ingenuity.

Criterion (iv): The Cordouan Lighthouse embodies in an outstanding manner the great stages of the history of lighthouses. It was built with the ambition to continue the tradition of famous beacons of antiquity and illustrates the art of building lighthouses in a period of renewed navigation between the 16th and the 17th centuries, when beacons played an important role as territorial markers and as instruments of safety. Finally, the increase of its height, in the late 18th century, and the changes to its light chamber, attest to the progress made by science and technology of the period. Thanks to its fame, the Cordouan Lighthouse witnessed several experiments to improve lighthouses’ capacity to assist navigation.

Integrity

The conditions of integrity of Cordouan Lighthouse are very good. The monumental nature of its appearance has, in line with the conception of Louis de Foix, always guided the architectural and technical interventions necessary for its maritime signalling function. The raising of the height of the frustoconical tower in the 18th century by engineer Joseph Teulère, although it changed the original outline, respected the conception of the initial lighthouse by maintaining the symbolic significance of its guiding principles, with the chapel and the king’s apartments. Its monumentality in isolation is a key element of the integrity of Cordouan Lighthouse.

Authenticity

Cordouan Lighthouse is structurally authentic and continues to be used for its original function. Its authenticity cannot be understood without taking into account its geographical situation in an extreme maritime and meteorological environment, which makes constant renovations essential. Its authenticity must also be assessed in the light of its role as an active maritime signalling unit, requiring regular technical adaptations. Similarly, the restorations in the 19th and 20th centuries have had only a slight impact on the authenticity of the lighthouse with the addition of the annular buildings and the restoration of the interior spaces. The monument has thus retained its strong visual and symbolic presence, while undergoing a process of technical modernisation in order to maintain its activity.

Protection and management requirements

Classified as a Historic Monument since 1862, Cordouan Lighthouse, a state property, is supported by conservation measures funded and directly implemented by the Ministry of Culture. The property is thus protected under the Code du Patrimoine, Code de l’Environnement and Code général de la propriété des personnes publiques (Environment and Heritage Codes, and General Code on Public Property). Maintaining and managing the functional elements of the lighthouse are the responsibility of the Inter-Regional Directorate of the Mer Sud-Atlantique. The whole of the property – except for Cordouan Lighthouse itself – is located in the Parc Naturel Marin de l’Estuaire de la Gironde et de la Mer des Pertuis and is thus covered by the natural park’s management plan. Lastly, the Domaine public maritime inside which the property is located (except for the lighthouse itself) is protected by a principle of non-constructability, and only small-scale works may be carried out, subject to authorisations relating to the use of public property.

The property buffer zone on the land is covered by various conservation, protection, enhancement and planning measures (Coastline law, Historic monuments, Classified and inscribed sites, Outstanding heritage sites, SCoTs and PLUs) which contribute, under the terms of the Heritage Code and Environment Code, to the preservation of the environment and landscape of the property. The development of a landscape plan is stated in the management plan. The parts of the buffer zone in the sea are covered by the same measures as the natural elements located within the boundaries of the property.

The lighthouse is today the responsibility of the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity-based Transition, while the natural elements of the property form part of the maritime public domain. The SMIDDEST (Syndicat mixte pour le Développement durable de l’Estuaire de la Gironde) has developed a project for the management, tourist enhancement and promotion of the Cordouan site, and organises paid visits to the lighthouse, to the spaces included in the project, and to the plateau surrounding the site. The SMIDDEST is also required to ensure that the site is guarded, to prevent any vandalism or damage to the built structure, and any damage to the fauna and flora of the natural elements.

The management framework revolves around an envisaged Local Commission for World Heritage, which is expected to supersede the pilot local commission set up for the nomination. The efficiency, effectiveness and good results of the Management Plan depend on a constant, strong and continuously-tuned coordination among all the involved authorities, organisations and technical bodies. The role of the “Commission locale du patrimoine mondial”, and in particular of SMIDDEST is thus essential. A management plan has been developed on the basis of objectives and actions planned by all key actors: a formal commitment by all relevant parties to implement its provision will strengthen the management system in place.