Maó – Mahón – Sant Carles lighthouse

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Technical data
Latitude N 39.865216000000
Longitude E 4.306914000000
Nominal range 13 nautical miles
Height above sea level 22 m.
Light pattern Groups of isolated flashes every 7.5 seconds.
Daytime appearance Black and white striped tower with a white base. Height 10m.
This lighthouse was opened in 1852-03-20 at the same time as the light at Na Pòpia with a 6th order catadioptric lens and a fixed light. Was designed by Antonio López y Montalvo. The peculiarity of it being located close to a coastal battery led to protests by the military command because the lighthouse was directly in the line of fire. The lighthouse keepers were also often terrified because the projectiles often passed right through the building, putting both their lives and those of their families at risk, even though they were warned to leave the lighthouse when shooting practice was planned. This finally meant that the light was turned off in 1912 and substituted by a portable light situated on a metal boom on the clifftop, emitting a light pattern consisting of groups of four occultations every 15 seconds though a nine-ringed catadioptric lens and a single wick petrol-fuelled Maris lamp. Whenever the cannons were to be fired the boom would be taken down leaving a clear field of fire. It had a range of 9.5 nautical miles in average atmospheric conditions. However, the lighthouse itself was not demolished until 1917 with some of the material being used in the construction of the lighthouse at Favàritx. On the 22nd July 1918 the light on the boom was converted to run on electricity. In the same year also were electrified the lighthouses at la Creu, Cap Gros, Ciutadella, Botafoc and Portopí. At the same time new cottages were built for the lighthouse keepers 100m from the old lighthouse; they are still in service today. The concrete tower now in place was built where the boom used to be.
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