The World’s Most Iconic Lighthouses

Published April 29, 2013
Updated February 9, 2018
Iconic Lighthouses

Source: Messer Smith

Madang Lighthouse, Papua New Guinea

Also known as the Coastwatchers’ Memorial, this imposing lighthouse was built in 1959 to pay homage to the brave coast watchers of World War II, or the men stationed on remote Pacific islands with the task of observing enemy movements. The 90-foot high alabaster structure is designed to resemble an everlasting torch, and yet it is the building’s four fins that transform the lighthouse into a crucifix in memory of those who lost their lives during the war.

The Most Iconic Lighthouses: Low Lighthouse, UK

The Low Lighthouse is one of the smallest lighthouses in the world. Standing proudly despite its modest nine-meter height, the striking red and white structure was built in 1832 to aid ships trying to enter the UK port of Bridgewater, Devon. Its subtle stature has leant it the charming sobriquet of the ‘lighthouse on legs’. Very much in tune with this “moving” structure, the lighthouse flashes a different colour every 7.5 seconds, depending on the angle from which angle it is viewed.

The World's Most Iconic Lighthouses

Source: Flickr

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, U.S.A.

When anyone thinks of lighthouses, it’s inevitable that peppermint sticks conceived from brick and white paint form the basis of the vision. What that person might not realize, however, is that they are simultaneously thinking of Cape Hatteras. At an astonishing 210 feet tall, Cape Hatteras is the largest lighthouse in the United States. Built from 1.25 million bricks, the stately lighthouse looks out across the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, also known as the Diamond Shoals, which was designed to stop ships from running into the ground and stranding sailors at sea.

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Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.