Farol de Cacilhas

Almada, Portugal | C.1886

Photo Credit: Charlotte Chastagnaret

While most lighthouses have worked to guide sailors and travelers for centuries, not many can claim to have gone on an adventure themselves. Located across the Tagus River from the capital city of Lisbon, this humble light only just returned from its journey in the Azores to the Portuguese mainland–with a brand new look. 

First lit on the eve of 1886, the Farol de Cacilhas lighthouse was designed to combat the immense fog that can cover the Lisbon region’s harbors. Originally fueled by gas, the 40 ft high tower also featured a bell to provide further navigational aid to sailors in intense fog. 

By 1983, the lighthouse was considered obsolete thanks to  modern sailing’s technological improvements. While beloved by locals in Almada and Cacilhas, it was moved to Teceira Island in the Azores to replace a lighthouse that had been destroyed in an earthquake. Serving as an interim structure while island officials designed and built a new lighthouse for Teceira, it would be over 20 years before the landmark lighthouse would be returned to the communities in Almada. In 2009, it would rise once again on the Tagus River, on a modern pier not far from its original location. While its only duty was to serve as decoration, the structure was the subject of much celebration and ceremony upon its return from the long journey abroad.

After its long sojourn to Portugal’s islands, the lighthouse picked up a new look along with its new physical location. Like a brunette going fully blonde, the lighthouse was back with a new look. Originally known for its distinctive green color,once back in Lisbon’s harbors it instead featured red paint. Starting a mild controversy in the Lisbon area due to the new paint color, the prodigal son-esque lighthouse may have returned, but it appears it may have kept the rebellious nature associated with that biblical character. 

Written By: Seamus McMahon

One thought on “Farol de Cacilhas

  1. sea-grape says:
    April 13, 2023

    Portugal has got to be one of the top countries for AWA locations. So beautiful.

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