Sant Carles lighthouse
The lighthouse was demolished to make way for military practices that were around.
This lighthouse stands at the mouth of the port of Maó within the military installations that also house the remains of the castle of Sant Felip (sixteenth century). Access is thus restricted. The original lighthouse was torn down in 1917 and was replaced by a 10-m-high concrete structure, with black and white bands. It stands 22 m above sea level and its lamp flashes twice every eight seconds. It can be seen 12 nautical miles offshore.
The original lighthouse of Sant Carles was opened in 1852 but was demolished because it obstructed the firing practice of the nearby military gun emplacement. Apart from being an obstacle for the guns, its situation also meant that the lighthouse-keeper and his family were in considerable danger. Thus, in 1912 its old lamp was turned off and was replaced by a moveable lamp that, with the help of a winch, could be folded away during military manoeuvres. Finally, in 1917 the old building was demolished and part of the rubble was used in the construction of the lighthouse at Favàritx. On 22 July 1918 the winched lamp was electrified for the first time and new houses were built around 100 metres away for the lighthouse-keepers.
Port of Maó
Given its strategic position, the Port of Maó has always played an important part in the history of Menorca. Its mouth is dotted with military installations. The lighthouse stands within the walls of the old castle of Sant Felip (sixteenth century) between this port and Cala Sant Esteve. From here there is an excellent view of the nineteenth-century fortress of La Mola standing on the other side of the port. In Cala Sant Esteve you will also find Fort Marlborough, built by the English during the eighteenth century.
How to get there
Castel of Sant Felip is 4.9 km from Maó on the road to Es Castell and 2.6 km from this latter town towards Cala Sant Esteve. There is a military control at the entrance to Castell de Sant Felip just before the road to Cala Sant Esteve and Fort Marlborough.
There is a regular bus from Maó to Es Castell. Check out bus times and frequencies. Check out bus times and frequencies (that vary according to the season).
Access to Castel of Sant Felip and the lighthouse is restricted as it is a military area. Tel. 971 362 100. More information.
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See all the lighthouses of Menorca
The lighthouses of Menorca
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