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Torre de Belém, Belém, Lisbon

Lighthouse category:  coastal

Position:  38°41'30.00"N : 9°12'57.66"W

Status: inactive

Date:  tower constructed in 1520.  First light established 1847

Designer:  not known

Tower height:  98 feet

Construction: stone built, square, fortified tower

Colour scheme: unpainted

Focal plane height:  not applicable

Characteristics: not appicable

Foghorn:  not applicable

Google map view:  google map link

As you can probably guess from its appearance, the Belem Tower (or Torre de Belém) was part of the fortifications of Lisbon.  The tower itself dates from 1520 but the original light was established in 1847.  That light was replaced by a skeletal metal tower in 1886, that light being positioned in front of the tower itself.  Since sometime in the 1930s or early 1940s there has been no light on the site but I believe that the historical importance of the tower means that it is worthy of inclusion here as it is as much an icon for Lisbon as the Statue of Liberty (also formerly a lighthouse) is for New York.  The tower has served in several other roles down the years and for a time was a prison.  The photograph below was taken early in the morning of 22 April 2011 as Queen Elizabeth was entering the port of Lisbon.

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