The oldest lighthouse in the Canary Islands stands proud in Tenerife


  • Canarian Weekly
  • 28-05-2024
  • Travel
  • Photo Credit: Puertos Tenerife
The oldest lighthouse in the Canary Islands stands proud in Tenerife

Perched on the Tafada Mountain in Roque Bermejo, the Faro de Anaga is a historic gem in the Canary Archipelago. Constructed between 1861 and 1863, this iconic lighthouse, designed by engineer Francisco Clavijo y Plo, holds the distinction of being the oldest in the Canary Islands.

According to Puertos de Tenerife on Facebook, it is also the only first-order lighthouse in the region, and since its first illumination in 1864, it has guided countless ships safely to the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Originally, the lighthouse operated using cold-pressed olive oil, with its flame maintained by a cylindrical cotton wick. Though basic, this system provided crucial light across the dark expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1932, the lighthouse underwent modernisation, switching to petroleum, which significantly increased its luminous power and range, further enhancing its ability to guide ships.

Technological advancements continued, and in 1990, the Faro de Anaga transitioned to solar power with the installation of 46 panels of 75W each. This shift not only improved energy efficiency but also demonstrated a commitment to sustainability, ensuring that this historic structure met the demands of the 21st century while preserving its original essence.

A legacy of lighthouse keepers

The first lighthouse keeper of Faro de Anaga, Bernardo López Balboa, began his service in 1864. Alongside his family, and later with the family of his assistant Rafael Alvarellos, they lived at the lighthouse, forming a small community that maintained the beacon's vital operations.

The Faro de Anaga remains a testament to the maritime history of the Canary Islands, symbolising both the advancements in navigational technology and the enduring human spirit that has kept its light burning through the ages.

Visitors and locals alike continue to be captivated by this historic beacon, which stands as a proud monument to Tenerife's rich heritage.

The oldest lighthouse in the Canary Islands stands proud in Tenerife

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