Lighthouses of Spain: Ceuta

A Spanish city on the north coast of Africa, Ceuta is in the north of Morocco, directly opposite Gibraltar. The city was occupied by Portugal in 1415, but it has been under Spanish control since Portugal and Spain separated in 1640. Ceuta was the first Western European possession on the African mainland -- and now it is one of the last.

Ceuta is governed as an autonomous city within the Kingdom of Spain. It is accessible by frequent ferries from Algeciras on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar.

The word for a lighthouse is faro in Spanish, but its use is generally restricted to the larger coastal light stations. Smaller lighthouses are called balizas (beacons). The navigational lights in Spain are regulated at the national level by the Comisíon de Faros, but they are operated and maintained in Ceuta by the port authority, the Autoridad Portuaria de Ceuta.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. ES numbers are from the Spanish national list of lights, Libro de Faros. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.

General Sources
Libro de Faros y SeƱales de Niebla
Online edition of the official Spanish light list.
Online List of Lights - Morocco - Strait of Gibraltar
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. This page for Morocco also includes the lights of Ceuta.
Afrikanische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.

Faro de Punta Almina
Punta Almina Light, Ceuta, May 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by BSD-46

Lighthouse
* Punta Almina
1855 (extensively rebuilt 1919). Active; focal plane 148 m (486 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story keeper's house. 2nd order Henry-Lepaute Fresnel lens (1919). Entire lighthouse painted white. Fog siren (two blasts every 45 s) located 200 m (220 yd) northeast at the tip of the point. The lantern was installed during a major renovation in 1919; it is not clear if this renovation was a reconstruction or a repair of the original lighthouse. A photo appears above, Javier Rivera has a good photo, a German-language site has good photos of the lens, Trabas has a distant view by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. Punta Almina is the point of land in Africa directly opposite the Rock of Gibraltar, so this lighthouse marks the south side of the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Strait of Gibraltar. Located at the northeastern point of the Isla de Santa Catarina, although the island has long been connected to the mainland by fill. Ceuta is accessible by ferry from Algeciras on the north side of the Strait of Gibraltar. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Autoridad Portuaria de Ceuta. ARLHS CEU-007; ES-20620; Admiralty D2482; NGA 22840.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Parque Maritimo del Mediterraneo (1995). Ceuta's maritime park has a well-known faux lighthouse, designed as a replica of the Punta Almina light tower. Javier Rivera has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view.

Adjoining pages: North: Gibraltar | East: Morocco Mediterranean Coast | West: Morocco Atlantic Coast

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Created August 10, 2005. Checked and revised October 22, 2013. Lighthouses: 1. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.