Phare Cordouan

 © Herver Roussy  

28 January 2024  |  UNESCO

Cordouan Lighthouse

The Cordouan lighthouse stands on a shallow rocky plateau in the Atlantic Ocean located at the mouth of the Gironde estuary in New Aquitaine, in a dangerous and inhospitable environment.

Built with white limestone blocks between the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century. A masterpiece of maritime signaling, the monumental tower of Cordouan is decorated with pilasters, columns, modillions and gargoyles.

The lighthouse has served since the 16th century as a signal to ships trading between Bordeaux and the world. It rises on eight levels, 67 meters above the sea. The lighthouse was designed as a true monument, both in terms of its program and its stylistic expression as in the engineering deployed.

Unesco World Heritage

Created in 1945 after the Second World War to avoid a new international conflict, it aims to establish peace in the world through education, science and culture.

Given the scale of the destruction caused by the two world wars, saving certain monuments around the world is becoming a priority. In 1972, the Member States of UNESCO adopted a Convention concerning the protection of world heritage. This is the birth of the notion of universal heritage, going beyond national borders and belonging to all. Heritage becomes a common heritage and this Convention brings together the international community to protect certain cultural and natural heritage assets of exceptional interest.

Cordouan is the only French lighthouse still inhabited: four keepers take turns, two by two, to ensure operation, maintenance, but also visits to the building, both a utilitarian work of art and a historical monument.

Its universal and unique value

The Cordouan lighthouse is an architectural masterpiece built in the open sea. It was designed both as a maritime signaling work and as a monument worthy of the ancient Wonders of the World.

The lighthouse also testifies to the revival of coastal lighting. It responds both to the development of maritime trade and the desire to symbolically mark borders.

Visits to the Cordouan lighthouse

A visit to the Cordouan lighthouse is an exceptional moment for most of our visitors. The specificities of this lighthouse at sea require organising well in advance so that the experience of this unusual visit is optimised and unforgettable.

Schedules and reservations

Find all the timetables and information here:

Prices and tour packages:

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Amélie Roca

I am a Community Manager for Pure France as well as the host of Pure France TV, presenting high quality rental homes all over France.

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