Lighthouses of France: Northeastern Brittany

The old French province of Bretagne (Brittany) occupies a peninsula at the northwestern corner of France, separating La Manche (the English Channel) from the Golfe de Gascogne (Bay of Biscay). Like Wales, Bretagne is an ancient Celtic country that maintained its independence until the end of the fifteenth century. Today it is divided into four départements of the French Republic. This page includes lighthouses of the two departments facing north on La Manche: Côtes d'Armor and Ille-et-Vilaine.

The French word for a lighthouse, phare, is often reserved for the larger coastal lighthouses; a smaller light or harbor light is called a feu (literally "fire," but here meaning "light"). The front light of a range (alignement) is the feu antérieur and the rear light is the feu postérieur.

Aids to navigation in France were regulated for many years by the Bureau des Phares et Balises. This venerable agency has been absorbed as the office of Maritime Signalization (Signalisation Maritime) within Ecology, Infrastructure and Energy Ministry (Ministère de l'Écologie, du Développement Durable, et de l'Énergie). However, many of the lights are actually operated by the transport ministries or port authorities of the departmental governments.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. FR numbers are the French light list numbers, where known. Admiralty numbers are from volume A of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 114.

General Sources
Le Phare à travers le Monde
A large, well known site maintained by Alain Guyomard and Robert Carceller.
Les Phares de France
Another large and well known site, this one by Jean-Christophe Fichou.
Ministère de la Culture - Phares
Historical data on more than 180 French lighthouses, with photos of most of them.
Phares et Balises: Silhouettes
Photos and information posted by M. Mocquant.
Lighthouses of Bretagne
Excellent photos by Marc de Kleijn.
Leuchttürme.net - Frankreich
Photos and notes by Malte Werning.
Lighthouses in Côtes-d'Armor and Ille-et-Vilaine
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Lighthouses in France
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Online List of Lights - France North Coast
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Phareland, le Site des Phares de France
This comprehensive site has good photos and information about the major lighthouses.
Société Nationale pour le Patrimoine des Phares et Balises (S.N.P.B.)
The French national lighthouse preservation organization.
Französische Leuchttürme
Historic photos and postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.


Cap Fréhel Light, Plévenon, September 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Federico Lukkini

Héaux de Bréhat Light
Héaux de Bréhat Light, Pleubian, August 2013
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Crepi22

Côtes d'Armor Lighthouses

Note: Ar mor means "the sea" in Breton, so the name of the département means "coast of the sea."
Baie de Lannion Lighthouses
* Locquémeau Feu Antérieur
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); continuous red light. 19 m (62 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery and an enclosed equipment shelter in the base. Lighthouse painted white. Fichou has a photo, although he has the identifications of the two lights reversed, Trabas has a photo, and Google has a good street view and a satellite view. The 1-1/2 story house seen behind the skeletal tower may be the former keeper's house. Located on the Locquémeau waterfront on the south side of the entrance to the Lannion estuary 484 m (0.3 mi) northwest of the rear light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty A1794; NGA 7784.
* Locquémeau Feu Postérieur
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); red light, occulting three times, in a 2+1 pattern, every 12 s. 6 m (20 ft) square tower with a peaked roof; the light is displayed from a small platform. Tower painted white; the small lantern is red. Fichou has a photo (on the left), De Kleijn has a good photo, Trabas has a closeup, and the light is centered in a Google satellite view. Google also has a partially obscured street view. Located on a hillside in Trédoz-Locquémeau on the south side of the entrance to the Lannion estuary. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-770; Admiralty A1794.1; NGA 7788.
* Beg-Léguer (Beg-Léger, Bec-Léquer, Lannion)
1884. Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); white, red, or green light, depending on direction, occulting four times every 12 s. 8 m (26 ft) semicircular cylindrical stone tower attached to the front face of a 1-story stone keeper's house. The house is painted white with red trim; the large lantern, which apparently doubled as an observation room, is painted red. A photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup by Ronald Wöhrn, de Kleijn has an excellent photo, Guyomard and Carceller have photos by Benoît le Goff and Christian Asencio, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse is a sibling of the Pointe du Millier light on the Pointe du Raz in Southern Finistère. Located on the north side of the entrance to the Lannion (also called Léger) estuary, about 8 km (5 mi) southeast of Trébeurden. Site open, tower closed (the entrance is marked privé, private, but there doesn't seem to be any real obstacle to viewing the lighthouse). ARLHS FRA-193; Admiralty A1792; NGA 7780.
Beg-Léguer Light
Beg-Léguer Light, Lannion
Office de Tourisme de la Baie de Lannion photo

Perros-Guirec Lighthouses
Triagoz
1864 (Dujardin et Pelau). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); red or white light, depending on direction, occulting twice every 6 s. 30 m (98 ft) square pink granite tower with castellated gallery, incorporating keeper's quarters, rising from a large square stone base. The lantern was removed in 1981, when the lighthouse was converted to wind power and automated operation; this original lantern is on display in Lézardrieux (see below). Bretagne.com has a page for the lighthouse, Trabas has a photo, a historic photo shows the lighthouse with its lantern, and Wikipedia has an 1871 plan. The light marks the entrance to the Baie de Lannion. Located on a waveswept rock, la Roche de Guen-Bras, about 9 km (5.5 mi) offshore northwest of Trégastel. Accessible only by boat in rough seas. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-062; FR-0589; Admiralty A1790; NGA 7792.
* Sept-Îles (Île aux Moines) (3)
1952 (station established 1835). Active; focal plane 59 m (194 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 20 m (66 ft) semicircular cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery attached to modern 2-story keeper's house. Tower unpainted, lantern painted black. Trabas has a good photo, a 2007 photo is available, Wikimedia has a distant view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse replaced a light station destroyed by German troops in 1944; Huelse has a historic postcard view of the prewar lighthouse. One of the last staffed French lighthouses, this light has been powered by the wind since 1957. The Sept-Îles (Seven Islands), a group of islets about 5 km (3 mi) north of Ploumanac'h, have been protected as a bird sanctuary since 1912. Located on l'Île aux Moines, one of the highest of the islets. Accessible only by boat; tours available from Trégastel. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-042; FR-0588; Admiralty A1786; NGA 7796.
* Mean-Ruz (Ploumanac'h) (2)
1948 (station established 1860). Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); red or white light, depending on direction, occulting once every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) medieval-style square pink granite tower with castellated gallery and a small lantern. Tower unpainted, lantern painted red. Isabelle Puaut's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup, de Kleijn has a closeup, the Phareland site has many photos, Wikimedia has numerous photos, Huelse has a postcard photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Huelse also has a historic postcard view of the original lighthouse, a square cylindrical stone tower attached to a 1-1/2 story keeper's house. That lighthouse was destroyed during World War II, and the replacement was designed by architects Auffret et Odorico. Located on a rocky promontory at the northeastern entrance to the harbor of Ploumanac'h. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-351; Admiralty A1784; NGA 7800.
Phare de Mean-Ruz
Mean-Ruz Light, Ploumanac'h, March 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Isabelle Puaut

Saint-Quay-Perros and Louannec Lighthouses
* La Colombier (Passe de l'Est Feu Antérieur) (1)
1860. Inactive. 7 m (23 ft) 1-story stone keeper's house, painted white; the light was displayed through a circular window at the seaward end of the house. Trabas has a closeup photo, and Bing has a satellite view. De Kleijn's 2008 photo shows that the active light (focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white light, intensified on and near the range line, occulting four times every 12 s) has been moved to a small skeletal tower in front of the house. Below the lighthouse is a much older stone dovecote (colombier) that served as a day range mark until the lighthouse was built. Located above the waterfront in Saint-Quay-Perros. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-244; Admiralty A1774; NGA 7808.
* Kerprigent (Passe de l'Est Feu Postérieur)
1860. Active; focal plane 79 m (259 ft); quick-flashing white light, intensified on and near the range line. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with a conical roof, attached to 1-story stone keeper's house; the light is displayed through a window. Tower painted white. Trabas has a closeup photo, Wikimedia has a 2012 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Sibling of the Kerjean lighthouse. Behind the lighthouse is an old stone mill tower that served as a day range mark until the lighthouse was built. Located off the Chemin de Kerprigent, west of Saint-Méen, 2.9 km (1.8 mi) southwest of the Colombier light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-769; Admiralty A1774.1; NGA 7812.
* Nantouar (Passe de l'Ouest Feu Antérieur)
1860. Inactive since 1976. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) cylindrical round stone tower with a conical roof, attached to 1-story stone keeper's house; the light was displayed through a window. Tower painted white. Virginie Arnoux's photo is at right, Jacques Bruylands has an excellent 2005 photo, de Kleijn has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Google has a good street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse was deactivated when the rear light (next entry) was converted to a directional light. The building was sold at auction in 1994. Endangered by beach erosion, it is protected by a seawall and extensive riprap. Located on the coast east of Louannec. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS FRA-368.
* Kerjean (Passe de l'Ouest Feu Postérieur)
1860. Active; focal plane 78 m (256 ft); white, red, or green light, depending on direction, occulting three times, in a 2+1 pattern, every 12 s. 16 m (52 ft) round stone tower with a conical roof, attached to 1-story stone keeper's house; the light is displayed through a window. Tower painted white; upper portion of the tower painted black on the seaward side. Trabas has a closeup, de Kleijn has a photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Originally the rear light of a range, this lighthouse was converted to a directional light in 1976. Located on the Route de Kerjean about 1 km (0.6 mi) southeast of the Nantouar lighthouse. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be seen from the nearby road. ARLHS FRA-326; Admiralty A1770; NGA 7820.

Nantouar Light, Louannec, July 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Virginie Arnoux (no longer online)

Prévenan, Tréguier, and Pleubian Lighthouses
* Port-Blanc (Voleur)
1858 (not lit until 1889). Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); flash every 4 s, white, red, or green, depending on direction. 12 m (39 ft) round stone tower with a domed top, painted white; the light is displayed through a window midway on the tower. Trabas has a closeup photo, and the tower is centered in a Bing satellite view. This tower was built as a daybeacon in 1858. Located in Port-Blanc, the port district of Penvénan. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-407; Admiralty A1768; NGA 7824.
La Corne
1876. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); three flashes every 12 s, white, red, or green, depending on direction. Approx. 18 m (60 ft) round stone tower, upper half cylindrical and lower half conical, incorporating keeper's quarters, with gallery but no lantern. The north (seaward) face of the tower is painted white on the upper portion and red on the lower. De Kleijn's photo is at right, Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This tower originally had one more floor and a conical roof; it was patched up in a truncated state after its top was destroyed during World War II. Located in the northeastern entrance to Jaudy or Tréguier estuary. Some photos suggest that at low tide it is possible to walk fairly close to the tower. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-250; Admiralty A1760; NGA 7832.
* Port-la-Chaîne (Grande Passe Feu Antérieur)
1863. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white light, occulting once every 4 s, synchronized with the rear light. 5 m (16 ft) 1-1/2 story stone keeper's house; the light is displayed from a small platform in front of a dormer window on the second floor. The front of the house is painted white, the dormer red. De Kleijn has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller have a good photo by Benoît le Goff, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. This range guides ships into Port-la-Chaîne, a small port at the eastern entrance to the Jaudy or Tréguier estuary. The house is reported to be available for rental. Located in the village of Port-la-Chaîne, about 1.5 km (5 mi) north of Pleubian. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-425; Admiralty A1762; NGA 7836.
* Saint-Antoine (Grande Passe Feu Postérieur) (2)
1949 (station established 1863). Active; focal plane 24 m (112 ft); red light, occulting once every 4 s, intensified on the range line, and synchronized with the front light. 6 m (20 ft) stone tower, with the light displayed through what seems to be a dormer window of a keeper's house. De Kleijn has a closeup photo. From the sea, this light looks like the original lighthouse, which was very similar to the front light at Port-la-Chaîne, but as Fichou writes, there is pas de bâtiment derrière--no house behind the false front wall. Wall painted white; the false dormer at the top of the tower is painted red. Located in Pleubian 1.4 km (0.9 mi) southeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-472; Admiralty A1762.1; NGA 7840.
Feu de la Corne
La Corne Light, Pleubian, November 2008
photo copyright Marc de Kleijn; used by permission

Lézardrieux (Trieux Estuary) Lighthouses
* Bodic (Trieux Feu Postérieur) (2)
1949 (station established 1867). Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); quick-flashing white light. Remarkable in appearance, this is a 23 m (75 ft) semicircular cylindrical stone tower flanked and surmounted by a huge stone wall daymark that presents the tower to approaching mariners as a gigantic arrow. Wall and tower painted white with unpainted stone trim; the triangle at the point of the arrow is green. At the rear, the lighthouse is attached to a 1-1/2 story stone keeper's house, which is occupied by a resident keeper. A 2009 photo is at right, Trabas has a great photo by Arno Siering, de Kleijn has a fine closeup, Wikimedia has numerous photos including a photo of the rear of the lighthouse, Huelse has a postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse is the rear light of a range, with the Phare de la Croix (see below) as the front light. Like other lighthouses in the area, the original lighthouse was destroyed during World War II. Located at the end of the Route de Bodic, on the west side of the Trieux estuary near Kermouster, 3.8 km (2.4 mi) southwest of the front light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-200; FR-0571; Admiralty A1748.1; NGA 7880.
* Coat Mer Feu Antérieur (2)
Around 1949 (station established 1869). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); continuous red or green light, depending on direction. 11 m (36 ft) square stone tower with a peaked roof; the light is displayed from a small platform near the top. Sides of the tower are painted white, but the front is unpainted. Marc de Kleijn has a closeup photo, Trabas has another closeup, and the lighthouse is centered in a Bing satellite view. The original lighthouse, destroyed during World War II, was a small keeper's house with the light displayed from a window; the present tower has no house but was designed to present a similar appearance to approaching ships. Located on the Pointe de Coat Mer, on the west side of the Trieux estuary about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) north of Lézardrieux. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-242; Admiralty A1752; NGA 7892.
* Coat Mer Feu Postérieur (2)
Around 1949 (station established 1869). Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); continuous red light. 8 m (26 ft) square stone tower with a peaked roof; the light is displayed through a small window near the top. The front of the tower is painted white. Édouard Morvan has a photo, De Kleijn has a great closeup photo, and Trabas also has a closeup, but the tower is hidden in shadow in Bing's satellite view. The original lighthouse, destroyed during World War II, was a small keeper's house with the light displayed from a window; the present tower has no house but was designed to present a similar appearance to approaching ships. Located in the Pointe de Coat Mer, on the west side of the Trieux estuary, 660 m (0.4 mi) south southwest of the front light and about 2.0 km (1.2 mi) north of Lézardrieux. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-242; Admiralty A1752.1; NGA 7896.
Feu de Bodic
Bodic Light, Lézardrieux, April 2007
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Clicsouris
* Les Perdrix
1869. Active; focal plane 5 m (16 ft); two flashes every 6 s, white along the channel and green in other directions. 11 m (36 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted green. De Kleijn's photo at right, Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This was the only Trieux lighthouse to escape damage during World War II. Located in the Trieux estuary at Lézardrieux. The light marks a narrow passage in the Trieux estuary. Accessible only by boat, but easily viewed from shore. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-588; Admiralty A1758; NGA 7900.
* [Triagoz (lantern)]
1864. Inactive since 1981. The original lantern of the Phare de Triagoz (see above) is on display at the entrance to the Parc des Phares et Balises, the former lighthouse depot grounds, in Lézardrieux. M.J. Brun has a 2012 photo, Jean-Claude Vincent has a closeup, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Site open.

Île de Bréhat Lighthouses

Note: The Île de Bréhat is actually two small islands, joined at low tide, lying just off the coast at Paimpol. The islands have a permanent population of about 400 and are a popular destination for same-day outings.
Les Héaux de Bréhat
1840 (largely rebuilt after World War II) (Léonce Reynaud). Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); white, red, or green light, depending on direction, occulting three times every 12 s. 57 m (187 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. Tower unpainted, lantern painted black. A 2013 photo is at the top of this page, a good 2007 photo is available, Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has distant views, and Bing has a satellite view. One of the tallest French lighthouses; building it on such an exposed site was a major engineering accomplishment in the 1830s. German troops attempted to destroy it during World War II and nearly succeeded; much of the tower had to be rebuilt after the war. The lighthouse guides ships bound for the Tréguier estuary to the west or the Trieux estuary to the east. Located on a rocky, waveswept ledge about 6 km (4 mi) north of Larmor-Pleubian. Accessible only by boat in rough seas; distantly visible from the shore. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-021; FR-0576; Admiralty A1738; NGA 7844.
La Croix (Trieux Feu Antérieur) (2)
1867. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 18 m (59 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with a castellated gallery but no lantern. The front face of the tower is painted white; gallery is red; rear face unpainted. A closeup is available, Guyomard and Carceller have photos by Laure Chappuis, Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has numerous photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The top half of the tower was destroyed during World War II and restored on the original plan after the war. (Note: There is another Feu de la Croix at Concarneau in southern Finistère.) Located on a waveswept rock off the entrance to the Rivière de Trieux. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-025; Admiralty A1748; NGA 7876.

Les Perdrix Light, Lézardrieux, November 2008
photo copyright Marc de Kleijn; used by permission
* Rosédo (2)
1948 (station established 1860). Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) semicircular cylindrical stone block tower with gallery but no lantern, attached to a 1-1/2 story stone keeper's house. The front of the tower is painted white with unpainted pink stone trim. Keeper's house occupied by a resident caretaker. Trabas has an excellent closeup by Arno Siering, Fichou has photos and historical information, and Bing has a satellite view. As in the case of so many lighthouses in this region, the original lighthouse was destroyed during World War II. A prominent sémaphore (signal station) is located about 800 m (1/2 mi) west of the lighthouse and is sometimes mistaken for the light. Located at the northwest point of the Île de Bréhat, which is accessible by ferry from L'Arcouest. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-463; FR-0569; Admiralty A1742; NGA 7864.
Le Paon (Île de Bréhat) (2)
1947 (station established 1860). Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); continuous light, white, red, or green depending on direction. 12 m (40 ft) semicircular cylindrical stone block tower with gallery but no lantern. The front of the tower is painted white with unpainted pink stone trim. A 2008 photo is at right, Guyomard and Carceller have many photos by Marc Impens, Trabas has a photo by Ronald Wöhrn, Wikimedia has several photos, a view from the sea is available, Huelse has a postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. The original lighthouse, a square stone tower attached to a 1-1/2 story keeper's house, was destroyed during World War II. The replacement tower is built on the original stone foundation. Located on a rocky promontory at the northeast point of the Île de Bréhat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-382; Admiralty A1740; NGA 7860.
La Horaine
1897. Active; focal plane 13m (43 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black bands. No closeup photo available. Fichou provided the history of the station: by his account there were at least seven earlier but unsuccessful efforts to place a beacon on this dangerous rock; none lasted through the first serious storm. Located on a rock about 5.5 km (3.5 mi) east northeast of the Île de Bréhat. Accessible only by boat in generally rough seas. ARLHS FRA-316; Admiralty A1726; NGA 7856.
Le Paon Light
Le Paon Light, Île de Bréhat, August 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by J. Pline

Paimpol and Plouézec Lighthouses
* Pointe de Porz-Don (Paimpol)
1880. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red or white light, occulting twice every 6 s; white light is shown only along the preferred approach direction from due east. 8 m (26 ft) 1-1/2 story stone keeper's house, the light being displayed through an upstairs window at one end of the house. Guyomard and Carceller have an excellent photo by Benoît le Goff, de Kleijn has a good photo, Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The house is occupied. Located on the north side of the entrance to Paimpol, about 1.5 km (1 mi) southeast of Ploubazlenac. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-441; Admiralty A1722; NGA 7904.
Lost-Pic (L'Ost-Pic)
1894. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting once every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) square stone tower with gallery, incorporating 3-story keeper's quarters; the light is displayed from a short mast. Lighthouse painted white with gray trim, mast painted red. Guyomard and Carceller have photos by Laure Chappuis, de Kleijn has a very good photo, Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has distant views, Huelse has a historic postcard photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse is perched on a rock at the eastern entrance of the Baie de Paimpol. The tower was damaged and the lantern destroyed during World War II. Located about 7.5 km (4.5 mi) east of Paimpol but only 1.5 km (1 mi) off the coast northeast of Plouézec. Accessible only by boat, but there should be good views from shore. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-039; Admiralty A1714; NGA 7924.

Saint-Quay-Portrieux and Binic Lighthouses
Le Grand Léjon (2)
1881 (station established 1862). Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); five white flashes every 20 s; red flashes are shown over sectors to the southeast and southwest. 25 m (82 ft) round stone tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands, originally incorporating keeper's quarters. Karl Blohm's photo is at right, Trabas has the very distant view from shore, and Huelse has a historic postcard view. This waveswept lighthouse guards the entrance to the Baie de Saint-Brieuc. Located on an isolated rock 16.5 km (10 mi) northeast of St.-Quay-Portrieux. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-018; FR-0550; Admiralty A1716; NGA 7920.
Le Grand Léjon Light
Le Grand Léjon Light, La Manche, August 2005
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by Karl Blohm
Île Harbour (Îles Saint-Quay)
1850. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white, red, or green light depending on direction, occulting twice every 6 s. 13 m (43 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower rising from the front of a 2-story masonry keeper's house. Lantern removed; the light is displayed from a short mast atop the watch room. House and tower painted white with gray trim, watch room and mast painted red. Werning has a good photo, Guyomard and Carceller have a distant photo by Laure Chappuis, Trabas has a distant view, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. The Îles de Saint-Quay are a group of rocky islets blocking direct access to Saint-Quay-Portrieux. Located on the northwesternmost of the islands about 2 km (1.25 mi) northeast of the harbor of St.-Quay-Portrieux. Accessible only by boat, but there are good views from shore. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-020; Admiralty A1714; NGA 7924.
* Saint-Quay-Portrieux (2)
1867 (Gustave Eiffel). Station established 1853. Active; focal plane 11.5 m (35 ft); green flash every 2.5 s. 12 m (39 ft) octagonal round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern and gallery green. Werning's photo is at right, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Sophie Muzerelle, Trabas has an excellent photo, Jean Michel Daoudal has a nice closeup, and Google has a distant street view and fuzzy satellite view. This historic little lighthouse is a prototypical tourelle, similar to hundreds of small cast iron lighthouses built in France for installation throughout the country and around the world. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for ease of assembly and relocation, it was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1867. It was relocated in 1879, when the mole was extended. Located at the end of the north mole at Saint-Quay-Portrieux, at the northwestern corner of the Baie de St.-Brieuc. Accessible by walking the mole. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-500; Admiralty A1712; NGA 7928.
Phare de Saint-Quay-Portrieux
Saint-Quay-Portrieux Light, Saint-Quay-Portrieux
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission
* Binic (Môle de Penthièvre)
1853. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white light occulting three times every 12 s. 12 m (39 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. North side of the tower painted with a long white bar, south side unpainted; lantern painted green. Werning has a fine photo, Trabas has a photo by Klaus Kern, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Benoît le Goff, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view across the harbor, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the mole in Binic, about 13 km (8 mi) northwest of Saint-Brieuc. Accessible by walking the mole. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-198; Admiralty A1710; NGA 7936.

Saint-Brieuc, Pléneuf-Val-André, and Erquy Lighthouses
* Le Légué (Pointe-à-l'Aigle, St.-Laurent-de-la-Mer)
1857. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); very quick-flashing green light. 12 m (39 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. North side of the tower painted white, south side unpainted; lantern painted green. Werning has a good photo, Trabas has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Benoît le Goff, Google has a street view, and Bing has a distant satellite view. This lighthouse is located off the Rue du Phare in Le Légué, on the end of a short, narrow jetty at the west side of the entrance to the river Gouët, which leads to Saint-Brieuc. It isn't clear if the jetty is open (it may be too narrow to walk safely), but the light can easily be viewed from shore. Tower closed. ARLHS FRA-484; Admiralty A1708; NGA 7940.
Dahouët (La Petite Muette)
1896 (tower built 1886). Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); flash every 4 s, white, red, or green depending on direction. 17 m (56 ft) round cylindrical stone tower on a broadly conical base, painted white with one green horizontal band. Lantern removed. Trabas has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller have good photos by Guy le Péchon, Wikimedia has a photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The stone tower was built in 1886 and used as a daybeacon until the light was added ten years later. Located in the entrance to the harbor of Dahouët in Pléneuf-Val-André, about 20 km (13 mi) northeast of St.-Brieuc. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-392; Admiralty A1704; NGA 7948.
* Erquy Jetée Intérieur
1896. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 2.5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern and gallery red. Roar Pettersen's photo is at right, a 2007 closeup is available, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Benoît le Goff, Trabas has a photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view from the waterfront, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the inner jetty at Erquy, on the east side of the Baie de Saint-Brieuc. Accessible by walking the jetty. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-273; Admiralty A1702; NGA 7956.

Erquy Jetée Intérieur Light, Erquy, June 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Roar Pettersen

Plévenon (Cap Fréhel) and Roches-Douvre Lighthouses
* Cap Fréhel (2)
1702 (Siméon Garangeau) (station established 1650). Inactive 1847-1945 and since 1950. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round stone tower with gallery and watch room; lantern removed. Mocquant has a great closeup photo, de Kleijn has a fine photo, another closeup is available, and a photo of both Cap Fréhel lighthouses appears at the top of this page. The tower is a sibling of the famous Phare du Stiff on the Île d'Ouessant in Northern Finistère. The original lighthouse was a round masonry tower about 15 m (49 ft) tall. The Marquis de Vauban, Louis XIV's chief engineer, visited the station in 1694 and ordered a new, fortified tower to be built. Accordingly, the robust tower includes quarters for the keepers and for a small force of soldiers. Following World War II, a temporary light was mounted atop this venerable tower while the new lighthouse was under construction. The Phare de Cap Fréhel is the traditional landfall light for Saint-Malo. Located on the cape, about 7 km (4 mi) northeast of Plévenon. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-228.
**** Cap Fréhel (4)
1950 (station established about 1650). Active; focal plane 85 m (279 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 33 m (108 ft) square stone tower with castellated stone gallary, topped by a circular watchroom, lantern, and a second gallery, attached to a U-shaped stone keeper's house. Federico Lukkini's photo of both Cap Fréhel lighthouses appears at the top of this page, Giulio Marziale has a good photo, Mocquant also has a good page for the lighthouse, Trabas has an excellent photo by Arno Siering, Wikimedia has a portfolio of photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This grand lighthouse replaced the 1847 lighthouse, which was an octagonal stone tower attached to a 2-story keeper's house; Huelse has a postcard view. Yves Hémar's design for the present lighthouse reflects the historical significance and continuing importance of this light station, which has guided returning French ships for 350 years. Resident caretaker on site. Located on the cape, about 7 km (4 mi) northeast of Pléhéral-Plage-Vieux-Bourg. Site open, tower open daily during the summer; group tours by appointment at other times. ARLHS FRA-085; FR-0547; Admiralty A1698; NGA 7960.
Roches-Douvres (2)
1954 (station established 1868). Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); white flash every 5 s. 65 m (213 ft) round stone tower rising from a 5-story elliptical stone keeper's quarters. Lighthouse unpainted, lantern painted black. Clément Delafargue's photo is at right, Graham Rabbitts has a view from the sea, and Fichou has the history of the station. The Roches-Douvre are rocks forming a very dangerous reef in La Manche (English Channel); the rocks are completely covered at high tide but exposed at low tide. The original lighthouse here was a 58 m (190 ft) cast iron tower, one of the tallest such towers ever built. Tapering to a mere 4 m (13 ft) in diameter at the top, the lighthouse swayed alarmingly in storms, but it stood until it was destroyed during World War II. After the war, it took six years to build the present massive stone lighthouse. It is claimed that this lighthouse is farther from the mainland than any other waveswept European lighthouse. Located about 30 km (19 mi) off the French coast and about 42 km (26 mi) west of Jersey in the Channel Islands. Accessible only by boat in very rough seas. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-457; FR-0558; Admiralty A1734; NGA 7848.

Grand Phare des Roches-Douvres, August 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Clément Delafargue

Ille-et-Vilaine Lighthouses

Note: The coast between Cancale and Cap Fréhel is called the Côte d'Émeraude (Emerald Coast).
Dinard and Saint-Malo (Saint-Malo Harbor) Lighthouses
Les Courtis
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 4 s. 21 m (69 ft) round multistage stone tower, painted green. Trabas has a photo by Thomas Philipp. (Note: The large apparent discrepancy between tower heights and focal planes for the offshore St.-Malo lights is caused by the large tidal range: a considerable part of the towers is covered at high tide.) Located on a waveswept rock about 1.1 km (0.7 mi) northwest of the Phare du Grand Jardin. Accessible only by boat in rough seas. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-344; Admiralty A1674; NGA 7976.
Grand Jardin (feu antérieur) (2)
1949 (station established 1868). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); two red flashes every 10 s. 38 m (125 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white; lantern and gallery are red, except the lantern dome is unpainted metal. Keith Havercroft's photo is at right, Guyomard and Carceller have good photos, a 2007 closeup is available, Trabas has a great photo by Thomas Philipp, Brian Sack has a 2003 closeup, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the beginning of the channel entering the harbor of Saint-Malo. The original lighthouse was blown up by German troops in August 1944. The replacement tower is very similar to the original, except it has a larger lantern. The lighthouse serves as the front light for two ranges; for the Grande Porte range the rear tower is the Phare de Rochebonne and for the outer Petite Porte range the rear light is the Phare de la Balue. Located on a waveswept rock off the west end of the Île de Cézembre about 7 km (4 mi) northwest of the St.-Malo waterfront. Accessible only by boat in rough seas. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-030; FR-0535; Admiralty A1676; NGA 7980.
Le Buron
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); four green flashes every 15 s. 24 m (79 ft) round stone tower with a small lantern and gallery, painted green. The active light is mounted on top of the lantern. Trabas has a photo by Heike and Friedrich Klatt, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse stands beside the channel to the old harbor (Petite Porte) of St.-Malo and also serves as the rear daymark of a daylight range for ships arriving along the coast from the northeast. Located on a rock about 1/3 of the way from the Phare du Grand Jardin to the St.-Malo waterfront. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-538; Admiralty A1680; NGA 7972.
* Dinard (Chenal de Bunet feu postérieur)
Date unknown (recent). Active; focal plane 85 m (279 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off, synchronized with the front light. 35 m (115 ft) round vase-shaped white concrete water tower. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The front light is on a short mast. Located on a hilltop on the Rue du Haut Chemin in Dinard, on the west side of Saint-Malo's harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty A1673.1; NGA 8006.1.
Phare du Grand Jardin
Grand Jardin Light, Saint-Malo, August 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by J. Pline
* St.-Malo Môle des Noires (4+)
1949 (station established 1838). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete tower with gallery and a small lantern. Tower painted white, lantern and gallery rail red. Trabas has a photo by Thomas Philipp, Google has a street view across the harbor, and Bing has a satellite view. Fichou is not clear on how many mole lighthouses there have been. In 1934 the mole was rebuilt and extended, causing the light to be moved. The Germans destroyed that light in 1944. Huelse has a historic postcard view of one of the earlier lights. Located at the end of the breakwater mole enclosing the north side of the harbor; accessible by walking the mole. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-178; Admiralty A1682; NGA 8008.
* Les Bas-Sablons (feu antérieur)
1865. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); continuous green light, intensified on the range line. 19 m (62 ft) robust square cylindrical stone tower without lantern or gallery; the light is shown through a window on the top floor. Tower painted white with unpainted stone trim, except that the top floor of the front face is painted black. The rear light is the Phare de la Balue (next entry). (Ships approaching the old harbor of St.-Malo first follow an outer range, lining up the Phare du Grand Jardin with the Phare de la Balue. As they pass the Phare du Grand Jardin, the channel jogs to the right, and ships must then line up the Phare des Bas-Sablons and the Phare de la Balue.) Trabas has a good photo, de Kleijn has a good photo, Guyomard and Carceller also have photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This is the only one of St.-Malo's four major lighthouses that survived World War II. Located on the Digue des Bas-Sablons on the old waterfront of St.-Malo. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-343; FR-0542; Admiralty A1686; NGA 8000.
* La Balue (feu postérieur) (2)
1948 (station established 1868). Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); continuous green light, intensified on the range line. 37 m (121 ft) robust square stone tower with gallery, attached to a 1-story stone keeper's house. The light is shown through a large circular window on the top floor. The tower is presently unpainted; historically the lighthouse was white with two black horizontal bands. A photo is at right, Trabas has a photo by Arno Siering, Google has a street view and a satellite view. This is the rear light for two ranges, one whose front light is the Phare des Bas-Sablons and another whose front light is the Phare du Grand Jardin. Like other St.-Malo lighthouses, this one was destroyed by German troops in August 1944 and rebuilt after the war. Huelse has a historic postcard view of the original lighthouse. Located on the Rue Douteleau, just off the Rue de la Balue, 1.65 km (1 mi) southwest of the front lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-178; FR-0543; Admiralty A1686.1; NGA 8004.

La Balue Light, Saint-Malo, September 2007
anonymous Wikipedia Creative Commons photo
La Plate
Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); flash every 4 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 22 m (72 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, mounted on a large round concrete pier. Lighthouse painted black above the gallery and yellow below. Trabas has a distant photo by Thomas Philipp. Located about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) off the east side of the entrance to St.-Malo. Accessible only by boat in rough seas. Site and tower closed. Admiralty A1675; NGA 7988.
* Rochebonne (feu postérieur) (2)
1951 (station established 1868). Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); continuous red light, intensified on the range line. 20 m (66 ft) robust square cylindrical Breton-style stone tower with gallery, attached to a 2-story stone keeper's house. The light is shown through a large octagonal window near the top of the tower. Below the gallery the front face of the tower is painted white, and above the gallery it is painted red. Guyomard and Carceller have several good photos, Trabas has a photo, Bertrand Guizard has a photo, Google has a distant street view, and the lighthouse is at the center of a Bing satellite view. This is the rear light of a range that begins with the Phare du Grand Jardin. German troops destroyed this beautiful building in August 1944, but it was rebuilt carefully, on the original design, after the war. Located on the northeast side of St.-Malo, in Paramé. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-030; FR-0536; Admiralty A1676.1; NGA 7984.

Cancale Lighthouses
Pierre de Herpin
1882. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white light, occulting twice every 6 s. 24 m (79 ft) round tapered stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern and gallery are black. Fog siren (one long and one short blast every 60 s). Trabas has a photo by Thomas Philipp, de Kleijn has an excellent photo, Guyomard and Carceller have a good photo by Joël Richard, Anthony Métayer has a view from shore, and Huelse has a historic postcard view. The gallery was expanded in 1964 to accommodate the new fog signal; an earlier foghorn had been discontinued in 1954. Located on a waveswept rock northeast of the Pointe de Chemoulin, marking the entrance to the Baie du Mont Saint-Michel. Accessible only by boat in rough seas. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-049; FR-0523; Admiralty A1670; NGA 8012.
* La Houle sous Cancale (Feu de la Fenêtre) (1)
1863. Inactive since 1937. 11.5 m (38 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. The lighthouse was originally painted white, but all the paint has faded from the tower; the lantern is black. Federico Lukkini's photo is at right, de Kleijn has a good photo, Guyomard and Carceller have photos of the lighthouse and its replacement by Stéphane Longuet, Fouad Elmazouni has a nice photo of the stone tower on the waterfront, a 2008 photo is available, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse was built at the foot of the Jetée de la Fenêtre and was deactivated when the jetty was extended. It was replaced by a light on an 11 m (36 ft) square skeletal tower at the end of the extended jetty (focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green light, occulting three times every 12 s). Located on the waterfront in Cancale, on the west side of the Baie du Mont Saint-Michel. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-210; Admiralty A1672; NGA 8016.

La Houle Light, Cancale, September 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Federico Lukkini

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Jersey | East: Basse-Normandie | West: Northern Finistère

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Posted July 29, 2005. Checked and revised April 13, 2014. Lighthouses: 46. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.