This lighthouse was designed by Emili Pou when the Penjats lighthouse was considered insufficient to guide ships in the Freu Gran, the hazardous straits between Ibiza and Formentera. Although it was originally to have been of the 3rd order, the Lighthouse Commission finally decided that it should be of the 4th order, like the Penjats lighthouse with a fixed white light alternating with 3 red flashes every three minutes in order to distinguish it from the light at La Mola that also had a fixed light pattern .
It was opened on the 15th March 1864. The lens was purchased from the firm of Henri Lepaute of Paris for 11,079.45 francs. Soon after its construction the lighthouse started to suffer from its close proximity to the sea. Waves would often sweep through the lighthouse keepers’ cottages, soon causing serious damage, exacerbated by the use of soft local sandstone known as “marés”.
In 1897 Pedro Garau proposed that the building be demolished and that separate housing be built on higher ground further away from the shore, using hard-wearing Santanyí stone, famed for its resistance to erosion. At the same time an underground gallery was built connecting the tower to the new dwellings, given that during big storms waves would often wash right over the small islet. This meant that the lighthouse keepers could reach the tower without any risk. However the new buildings didn’t prove to be secure as in 1913 a freak storm tore off the roof and blew down the partitions, leaving only the supporting walls standing. The lighthouse keepers were forced to seek refuge on the neighbouring island of S’Espalmador and the whole structure had to be rebuilt.
This was the second lighthouse to be automated after Els Penjats using an acetylene gas powered lighting system lit by a sun valve in 1935.
Penjats (1 + 2 occulting every 14 sec.)
Espardell beacon (3 Fl. every 8 sec.)
Botafoc (occulting every 7 sec.)
Es Vedrà (flashing every 5 sec.)
Tagomago (2 + 1 Fl. every 30 sec.)