Europa Point

Europa Point Lighthouse
Europa Point
Current Version Built:
Height (ft):
Trinity House

Europa point lighthouse stands at the southernmost point in Gibraltar and is the only Lighthouse outside of Great Britain to be operated by Trinity House. From here you can see Ceuta, a Spanish city-state on the African continent, with some of Morocco's mountains also visible across the strait. Mainland Spain can be seen both to the East and West, with the Mediterranean Sea Eastwards and the Atlantic Westwards.

The Lighthouse was established at Europa Point in 1841 and the original structure was a smooth unpainted stone tower with an older style of lantern made up of square glass panes, topped by a conical roof and ball vent finial.

In 1894 the tower was heightened and the original lantern was replaced with the one that is seen today, a more modern type with triangular and diamond shaped panes of curved glass. A new eight wick oil burner was installed, increasing the power of the light, and an explosive fog signal was established, giving two quick reports every five minutes.

In 1905 a single mantle petroleum vapour burner was installed, which remained in place until the lighthouse was converted to electric operation between 1954 and 1956, at which time a revolving Fresnel lens was also installed; It was at this time that the light adopted a 10 second isophase character of 5 seconds on, 5 seconds off, with a red sector covering pearl rock, which displayed 5.8 seconds of light followed by 4.2 seconds of darkness - this sector light, displayed from the main lantern was also doubled-up with a fixed red light shone over the same arc from a window lower in the tower. These extensive upgrades to the light station also saw the explosive fog signal replaced with a set of supertyfon horns that sounded once every 20 seconds during reduced visibility.

In 1994 the light was made fully automatic, monitored remotely from Harwich in the UK, and maintained by a local attendant. The Fresnel lens remained in place until 2016 when the light was replaced with a bank of LED lights and the fog signal was discontinued. The new LEDs did not include a red sector, and instead displayed a white light all around, although the red fixed sector light lower in the tower was retained. The old lens was donated to the University of Gibraltar, where it is now on display.