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History

History

Was designed by Antonio López y Montalvo. Given the difficulty in building a lighthouse on this small island, the tender for construction was declared void and the work was undertaken by the Government. It was built between 1854 and 1856. At first the lighthouse used a stationary catadioptric 6th order lens, built by the Sautter firm and powered by an oil burning lamp. It was opened on the 1st May 1856.The low height of the tower meant that it was affected by the action of waves, affecting the transparency of the lantern’s panes of glass to such an extent that the light could not be clearly seen, a real hazard in the channel separating Ibiza and Formentera. For this reason in 1857 it was proposed to raise the lighthouse to the 4th order and the new light was opened on the 30th November 1861 keeping its pattern of a stationary white light. As part of this project, carried out by Emili Pou, the height of the tower was also raised by around 5m. The light pattern was later changed to produce occultations. The lighthouse keepers acted several times to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners. On one such occasion on the 11th February 1881, two lighthouse keepers heroically lost their lives trying to help the crew of the Flaminian, an English steamship sailing between Gibraltar and Genoa. Given the harsh living conditions suffered by the lighthouse keepers and their families, the only inhabitants of this small islet, the lighthouse at Els Penjats was the first to be automated through state of the art Swedish technology that used acetylene gas to power a series of lighting systems automatically lit by a sun valve. This meant that the lighthouse has been unmanned since 1929.