Farol History

Passing Cape St. Vincent has always been a challenge for vessels from the Levant , due to the confluence of the different regimes of wind and currents that occur there. For this reason , we have considered the need to point this site browsers .

In the sixteenth century , one of the obligations that the monks of the Convent Cape had , in exchange for the actual donation of houses and strength , was to maintain a beacon on the tower , " to rescue and guide those who come to Cape St. Vincent , " as requested by Don Manuel I. The first lighthouse was definitely a fire protected and installed in the tower , as the earliest forms of maritime signaling devices , often maintained by fishing communities.

The gradual need to reach a greater distance was followed by technological development , and headlights utilize power increasingly powerful light. In 1819 , Augustin Fresnel developed lenticular devices consisting of concentric prismatic lenses that allowed the rays of light refracted and irradiated in the prisms are assembled into a single powerful beam . Later focal length lenses were built , which means that the light beam sent arrive at a greater distance . These lenses of large aperture and short focal distance are the larger ones ever built , installed only about two dozen large coastal lighthouses worldwide.

The current lighthouse of Cabo de San Vicente is named after Don Fernando I. It was commissioned by Dona Maria II and in 1846 became operational, this fact was inscribed on a tombstone that says: " This lighthouse was built by order of Mrs. Dona Maria II and Dir of the Kingdom of the headlights is Brigadier General ACCP Furtado in October 1846. " For many years the lighthouse was abandoned and even reached a deplorable state. In 1897 , given the precarious conditions of the lighthouse and the consequent low yield of the light, you started work on the dismantling of the existing flashlight, and were it made ​​profound works of improvement and restructuring of the tower, which was amended and increased by 5.70 meters high .

The works were completed on March 25, 1908 . The lighthouse became operational with the Fresnel unit which replaced the previous , apparatus or third-order reflection catóptrica only six mile range , which was used in the lighthouse Montedor in Vila Praia de Ancora . The device installed, a Fresnel lens with a focal length of 1330mm , is currently the largest optical headlight headlights all that exist in Portugal and one of the ten largest in the world. It consists of three optical panels 8 square meters and 3.58 meters high, floating over 313 kg of mercury. The light source that was originally installed in this unit was a candlestick constant oil level with five wicks and later was replaced by incandescent lamps oil vapor . The optical rotation was made by a mechanism similar to the cuckoo clock . In 1914 it was placed a beep and in 1926 the lighthouse was electrified , connected to the mains for power . In 2001, installed a programmable device for optical rotation.

There are only nine Fresnel optical devices that operate worldwide . The lighthouse of Cabo de San Vicente is 28 meters high , with a range for air traffic over 86 meters high, and a range of horizontal distance for navigation of 32 miles. Since 1927 belongs to the Directorate General of Lighthouses , an agency of the Directorate General of the Maritime Authority Service at the Ministry of National Defence of the Portuguese Navy .