Lighthouses of France: Southern Finistère

France's Département du Finistère (Department of the End of the World) occupies the rugged western end of the peninsula of Bretagne (Brittany). Its dangerous coastline is crowded with lighthouses, more than in any other region of France. So many, in fact, that the Directory needs two pages to cover them all. This page includes lighthouses in the southern half of the département, including the port of Brest. Most of this coast faces south on the Bay of Biscay, but also included are the famous lighthouses of the Raz, the westernmost tip of France.

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 D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.

Phare du Petit Minou
French warship passing the Pointe du Petit Minou Light, Brest
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission

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, posted by the French Ministry of Culture.
Phares et Balises: Silhouettes
Photos and information posted by M. Mocquant.
Online List of Lights - France - Atlantic 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.
Leuchttürme.net - Frankreich
Photos and notes by Malte Werning.
Lighthouses in Finistère
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Lighthouses in France
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Seeing Lighthouses in Brittany and Île d'Ouessant
Photos and English language text by Rick Chinn, including a useful chart of visitable lighthouses.
Les Phares du Bout du Monde
Photos of the lighthouses of the Raz and Chausée de Sein, posted by J. Evenat.
Société Nationale pour le Patrimoine des Phares et Balises (S.N.P.B.)
The French national lighthouse preservation organization.
Französische Leuchttürme und Baken auf historischen Postkarten
Historic photos and postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Phare de la Pyramide
La Pyramide Light, Bénodet, May 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Christophe Debelmas

Bay of Biscay (Golfe de Gascogne) Lighthouses

Moëlan-sur-Mer Lighthouses
* Doëlan (Douélan) Feu Antérieur
1861. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white or green light, depending on direction, occulting three times every 12 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white with a single green horizontal band; lantern and gallery painted green. Trabas has a good photo by Arno Siering, Werning has an excellent photo, another good photo is available, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The height of the lighthouse was increased from 10 m (33 ft) to 14 m (46 ft) in 1934. Located on the east side of the entrance to the harbor of Doëlan. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-264; Admiralty D0954; NGA 0520.
* Doëlan (Douélan) Feu Postérieur
1861. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); quick-flashing red light. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white with a single red horizontal band; lantern and gallery painted red. Werning has a good photo, Trabas has a closeup, another good photo is available, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view from across the inlet, and Bing has a satellite view. The height of the lighthouse was increased from 10 m (33 ft) to 14 m (46 ft) in 1934. Located on the west side of the harbor of Doëlan, about 325 m (0.2 mi) north northeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-265; Admiralty D0954.1; NGA 0524.
* Merrien
1926. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); quick-flashing red light. 8 m (26 ft) solid square tapered concrete tower with gallery; light mounted on a short mast. Top of the tower painted red, the rest white. Trabas has a closeup photo, a distant view is available, Google has a distant street view from across the inlet, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a bluff overlooking the west side of the entrance to the narrow harbor of Merrien about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of Moëlan-sur-Mer. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-358; Admiralty D0952; NGA 0516.

Névez and Trégunc Lighthouses
* Port Manec'h
1868. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); white, red, or green light, depending on direction, occulting four times every 12 s. 10 m (33 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern and gallery painted red. Werning's photo is at right, Trabas has a fine closeup, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Gabriel Pottier, Andreas Ludwig has a closeup, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. According to Fichou, this was the first directional light (feu à secteur) installed in France. Located on a bluff overlooking the west side of the entrance to the Aven estuary, off the Rue du Port in Port Manec'h, a village in the commune of Névez. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-429; Admiralty D0946; NGA 0508.
* Pointe de Trévignon
1924. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white, red, or green light, depending on direction, occulting four times in a 3+1 pattern every 12 s. 8 m (26 ft) square concrete tower with gallery; light mounted on a short mast. Top of the tower painted green, the rest white. Werning has a good photo, Trabas has a photo, a 2013 photo is available, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Alain Guichaoua, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a prominent point at Trévignon, a small boat harbor in Trégunc. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-524; Admiralty D0944; NGA 0500.
Roche du Dragon (Dragon Rock)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); nine very quick white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) square skeletal mast mounted atop a round cylindrical concrete tower. Lighthouse painted yellow with one black horizontal band. Trabas has a photo, and another photo is available. Located about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) northwest of Trévignon. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty D0942; NGA 0498.
Phare de Port Manec'h
Port Manec'h Light, Port Manec'h
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission

Concarneau Lighthouses
* Pouldohan
1924. Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); green flash every 4 s. 6 m (20 ft) square concrete tower; light mounted on a short mast. Top of the tower painted green, the rest white. Trabas has a closeup photo, another closeup photo is available, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a point of land on the north side of the entrance to the Baie de Pouldohan, at the end of the Route de Grignallou in Trégunc. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-793; Admiralty D0940; NGA 0496.
Le Cochon
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 5 m (17 ft); three flashes every 12 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower on a round stone pier. Entire structure painted green. Trabas has a photo, Google has a very distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located in the entrance to Concarneau, about 500 m (0.3 mi) off Le Cabellou. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-583; Admiralty D0936; NGA 0468.
* Lanriec
1858. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); quick-flashing green light. 8 m (26 ft) 1-1/2 story round stone keeper's house; the light is displayed through the upper half of a second-floor window at the gable end of the house; a green panel covers the lower half of the window as a daymark, and the name Lanriec is written on the end of the house in large green letters. House painted white. Trabas has a closeup photo, Guyomard and Carceller have photos by Philippe Gourdelier, and Bing has a satellite view. The red beacon in Carceller's photos is an entrance light for the nearby yacht harbor (D0935, NGA 0486). Located on the Rue des Galets, just off the Rue des Pins, on the east side of the Concarneau harbor entrance in Lanriec. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-581; Admiralty D0932; NGA 0492.
* La Croix (feu antérieur)
1848. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white light occulting three times every 12 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a small enclosure with a 1-story equipment room. Tower painted white; lantern roof and gallery railing painted red. Werning's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup, Guyomard and Carceller have good photos by Alain Guichaoua, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. A 2010 photo shows this light and the church spire of Beuzec-Conq, which carries the rear light. The lighthouse is named for its location, the Place de la Croix. (Note: There is another Feu de la Croix near Trieux in northern Brittany.) Located on the Concarneau waterfront, about 300 m (330 yd) west of the entrance to the harbor of Concarneau from the Baie de la Forêt. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-025; Admiralty D0928; NGA 0472.
Feu de la Croix
La Croix Light, Concarneau
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission
* Kériolet (Beuzec) (La Croix feu postérieur) (1)
1848. Inactive since 1964. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery; the light was shown through a square window in the front of the masonry lantern. Lighthouse painted white; lantern roof and gallery rail are black. 1-1/2 story keeper's house appears to be a private residence. Werning has an excellent closeup, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Alain Guichaoua, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This was the original rear light of the La Croix range; it stands 1875 m (1.16 mi) northeast of the Feu de la Croix. It had to be deactivated because increasing development of Concarneau was obscuring the light. The lighthouse is on the original grounds of the Château de Kériolet, a late 19th century mansion. Located on the Rue de Stang-ar-Lin, the road connecting Concarneau and Beuzec-Conq. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be seen from nearby. ARLHS FRA-792.
* Beuzec (La Croix feu postérieur) (2)
1964. Active; focal plane 87 m (285 ft); quick-flashing white light, intensified on the range line. Light mounted on the very highest floor of a 32 m (105 ft) square steeple of the parish church in Beuzec-Conq. Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Alain Guichaoua, Trabas has a closeup of the steeple showing the light, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located atop a hill in the center of Beuzec-Conq, about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) northeast of the Feu de la Croix in Concarneau. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS FRA-197; Admiralty D0930; NGA 0476.

Archipel des Glénan Lighthouses
Note: The Glénan Islands are a group of seven islands and many islets located southwest of Concarneau and southeast of Bénodet. The islands are part of the commune of Fouesnant.
Île Penfret
1837. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); red flash every 5 s. 24 m (79 ft) square masonry tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story keeper's house. Tower painted white, lantern red. A closeup and a nice view from the sea are available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on an island, largest island of the group known as the Archipel des Glénan, about 18 km (11 mi) south southwest of Concarneau and 11 km (7 mi) southwest of Trévignon. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-047; FR-0741; Admiralty D0922; NGA 0444.
Île-aux-Moutons
1879. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white, red, or green light depending on direction, occulting twice every 6 s. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to the front of a 2-story stone keeper's house. Building painted white with unpainted stone trim; lantern and gallery painted black. Claude Carnot's photo is at right, P.E. Dromard has a good photo, Wikimedia has Julien Carnot's photo, Trabas has a distant view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a small island about 11 km (7 mi) southeast of Bénodet and a similar distance southwest of Concarneau. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-043; FR-0738; Admiralty D0918; NGA 0436.
Île-aux-Moutons Light
Île-aux-Moutons Light, Archipel des Glénan, July 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Claude Carnot

Bénodet and Combrit Lighthouses
* Pointe du Coq (feu antérieur) (3)
1947 (station established 1848). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green light, occulting three times every 12 s in a 2+1 pattern, synchronized with the rear light, and intensified on the range line. 13 m (42 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with gallery and a small modern lantern. Seaward side of the tower painted white with a green vertical stripe; lantern is white. Trabas has a fine closeup, Werning has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller have photos by Philippe Gourdelier and a map of the range, Wikimedia has several photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse is a copy of the original, which was destroyed by the Germans in August 1944; a temporary light served until the new tower was built. This is the front light for the entrance range for the Odet estuary and the harbor of Bénodet. Located in Bénodet, on the east side of the entrance to Odet estuary and close to the Fort du Coq (1862). Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-747; Admiralty D0913.9; NGA 0424.
* La Pyramide (feu postérieur) (2)
1887 (station established 1848). Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); green light, occulting three times every 12 s in a 2+1 pattern, synchronized with the front light. 39 m (128 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern green; gallery is unpainted stone. A photo by Christophe Debelmas is at the top of this page, Trabas has a fine closeup by Arno Siering, Werning has a photo, Wikimedia has Stéphane Déniel's photo, Guyomard and Carceller have photos by Philippe Gourdelier and a map of the range, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse was heavily damaged by the Germans in August 1944; a temporary light served until the building could be repaired. This is the common rear light for the Pointe de Combrit and Pointe du Coq ranges. Located on the Corniche de l'Estuaire in Bénodet, about 350 m (1/4 mi) northeast of the Pointe du Coq light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-748; Admiralty D0914; NGA 0428.
* Pointe de Combrit (feu antérieur) (Phare de Sainte-Marine)
1885. Reactivated (inactive 1944-1952); focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting four times in a 3+1 pattern every 12 s. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with gallery and a small modern lantern, attached to a 2-story stone keeper's house. Building painted white with unpainted stone trim; lantern and gallery painted red. Stéphane Déniel's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup by Arno Siering, a 2008 closeup is available, French Wikipedia has an article with a good photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view showing the original lantern, and Bing has a distant satellite view. This is the front light of a due-north range for ships entering the Anse de Bénodet; the Phare de la Pyramide is the rear light. The lighthouse was heavily damaged by the Germans in August 1944; a temporary light served until the building could be repaired. Located on the coast 250 m (800 ft) north of the Pointe de Combrit, on the southwest side of Sainte-Marine. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-245; Admiralty D0914.1; NGA 0420.
Pointe de Combrit Light
Pointe de Combrit Light, Archipel des Glénan, June 2003
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Stéphane Déniel

Loctudy Lighthouses
La Perdrix
1915. Inactive since at least 2000. 18 m (59 ft) octagonal reinforced concrete tower with lantern and gallery mounted on a stone base. Tower painted in a black and white checkerboard pattern; lantern and gallery painted black. A photo is at right, Jean Marc Cevaër has a closeup photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. At some point the original lantern was removed and replaced with a modern light; Guyomard and Carceller have older photos showing the light in this condition. The Bureau des Phares et Balises planned to demolish the lighthouse after its deactivation, but the neighboring towns of Île Tudy and Loctudy intervened to take control of the lighthouse and maintain it at their expense as a daybeacon. In 2002 the towns restored the lighthouse and installed a replica lantern. Note: there is also a Feu des Perdrix at Lézardrieux on the northern shore of Brittany. Located on a shoal in the entrance to the Pouldon estuary, between Loctudy and Île Tudy. Accessible only by boat, but easily seen from shore on either side. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-389.
* Pointe de Langoz (Loctudy)
1863. Active; focal plane 13 m (42 ft); four flashes every 12 s, white, red, or green depending on direction. 13 m (42 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with gallery and a small modern lantern. Trabas has a good photo, Guyomard and Carceller have several photos by Philippe Gourdelier, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Huelse has a historic postcard view showing the lighthouse with its original lantern. This is the entrance light for the Pouldon estuary and the Rivière de l'Abbé. The original lantern was destroyed by the Germans in June 1944. Located on the Pointe de Langoz at the end of Rue du Phare in Loctudy. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-330; Admiralty D0906; NGA 0400.

Guilvinec Lighthouses
Lost-Moan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); three flashes every 12 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 12.5 m (41 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, painted red. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the east end of a barely-submerged reef about 800 m (1/2 mi) south of the entrance to Guilvenec. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-591; Admiralty D0898; NGA 0380.
* Guilvinec Feu Antérieur (1)
1871. Inactive since 1903. 4 m (13 ft) square stone tower; the light was shone through a window. Frits van Eck has a photo, and Google has a street view. Located just off the waterfront of Guilvinec, near the intersection of the Rue de la Pointe and the Avenue du Port. Site open, tower closed.
Phare de la Perdrix
La Perdrix Light, Loctudy, June 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jean-Luc
* Guilvinec Feu Antérieur (2)
1903 (station established 1903). Inactive since 1987. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white with unpainted stone trim, lantern painted dark green. A closeup photo and a more distant view are available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. A photo showing both the 1871 and 1903 lighthouses is available, and Google's street view shows both lighthouses. Forand has a postcard view from around 1930 showing both towers and a more recent postcard view of the 1903 tower. Located close to the 1871 tower, near the intersection of the Rue de la Pointe and the Avenue du Port. Site open, tower closed.
* Guilvinec Feu Postérieur
1871. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); quick-flashing white light visible only on or near the range line. Approx. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower with a broad false front with gabled top and two false chimneys. The false front is painted white with a broad red vertical stripe. Trabas has a closeup, Romain Cormier has a view across the harbor, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. NGA lists the tower height as 25 m (82 ft), but Fichou's account leads to the more reasonable estimate of 17 m. This rather unusual lighthouse was raised in height by 2.5 m (8 ft) by addition of the lantern-drum in 1903, when the range was realigned. At that time the light was 500 m (0.3 mi) northeast of the 1903 front light; today it is 1000 m (0.6 mi) northeast of the 1987 front light. The range also has a middle light, which sports a drum topmark similar to that of the rear light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-591; Admiralty D0896.1; NGA 0368.
* Môle de Guilvinec
1923. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Upper half of lighthouse painted red, lower half white. Trabas has a closeup by Arno Siering, Guyomard and Carceller have good photos, Gérard and Jacqueline Alary have a nice closeup, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The harbor opens to the west, with the entrance being a narrow opening between two moles. Located at the end of a spur off the north mole. Accessible by walking the mole. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-314; Admiralty D0900; NGA 0376.

Baie d'Audierne Lighthouses

Note: The Bay of Audierne is the bight between the Pointe de Penmarc'h and the Pointe du Raz. Geographically, this embayment is not part of the Bay of Biscay; it is the southernmost coastline of the Celtic Sea, which extends northward to Ireland.
Penmarc'h Lighthouses
* Pointe de Penmarc'h (1) (La Vieille Tour)
1831 (on a much older tower). Inactive since 1835. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square stone tower with castellated top, now partially in ruins. Werning has a fine photo, Peder Coerts also has a good photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This tower, part of a medieval fortified chapel, is said to have been used to display an open fire during the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1831 a lantern was mounted temporarily atop the tower while the Penmarc'h lighthouse was under construction. Today a French Navy signal station stands next to the old tower, and F. Madic has an aerial photo that shows the signal tower and all three Penmarc'h lighthouses. Located in Saint-Pierre, on the point of Penmarc'h, about 3 km (1.8 mi) southwest of the town of Penmarc'h. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS FRA-790.
* Pointe de Penmarc'h (2)
1835 (station established 1831). Inactive since 1897. 40 m (131 ft) round stone tower, rising from the center of a 2-story stone keeper's house. Lantern removed. The lighthouse is unpainted stone. Werning has an excellent photo, a closeup photo is available, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse was a twin of the Île de Batz light in Northern Finistère. It continued to house keepers after being deactivated, and in recent years the Penmarc'h fog horn (blast every 60 s) has been mounted atop the tower. The keeper's quarters now house a maritime museum, the Centre de Découverte Maritime. Located in Saint-Pierre, on the point of Penmarc'h, about 3 km (1.8 mi) southwest of the town of Penmarc'h. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-270.
**** Pointe de Penmarc'h (3) (Grand Phare d'Eckmühl)
1897 (station established 1831). Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); white flash every 5 s. 65 m (213 ft) square granite tower with lantern, octagonal granite watch room, and gallery. Tower unpainted, lantern painted white. A photo by Henri Camus is at right, Werning has a photo, Trabas has a closeup by Arno Siering, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. In the late 1880s it was decided that the light at Penmarc'h should be raised to a focal plane of 60 m, but engineers reported that the 1835 tower was not strong enough to support such an extension. Adélaïde-Louise Davout, Marquise de Blocqueville, who died in late 1892, left substantial funds for the new tower in her will, provided the lighthouse was dedicated to the memory of her late husband Napoléon-Louis Davout, Prince d'Eckmühl. The result is one of the most impressive lighthouses ever built on the French mainland, standing at the southwestern corner of Finistère and the northwestern entrance to the Bay of Biscay. Guyomard and Carceller also have the history of the lighthouse. The centennial of the lighthouse was celebrated in 1997. Located in Saint-Pierre, on the point of Penmarc'h, about 3 km (1.8 mi) southwest of the town of Penmarc'h. Site open, tower open (information is needed on the schedule). Site manager: Centre de Découverte Maritime. ARLHS FRA-256; FR-0716; Admiralty D0890; NGA 0308.
Grand Phare d'Eckmühl
Grand Phare d'Eckmühl, Penmarc'h, May 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Henri Camus
Men-Hir
1899. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two flashes every 6 s, white or green depending on direction. 17 m (56 ft) round masonry tower; lantern removed. Upper half of the tower painted black, lower half white. A photo shows this lighthouse and the Penmarc'h lighthouses, Guyomard and Carceller have a distant photo by François Péléter, Huelse has a closeup postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Construction began in 1891, and the tower was nearly complete when a great storm damaged it heavily on 4 December 1896. Located on an exposed rock at the western end of the Penmarc'h reef, about 2 km (1.2 mi) west of the Pointe de Penmarc'h. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-353; Admiralty D0892; NGA 0344.
* [Chenal de Groumili feu postérieur]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous green light. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands; there is also a square orange daymark at the top. Trabas has a photo, Nicolas Guy has a good photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The front light is on a similar 11 m (36 ft) tower 300 m (330 yd) northwest. Located at the water's edge just off the Rue du Sémaphore about 400 m (1/4 mi) north of the Penmarc'h lighthouses. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty

Plouhinec Lighthouse
* Pors-Poulhan
1927. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); quick-flashing red light. 6 m (20 ft) square concrete tower with gallery but no lantern; light mounted on a short mast. The top of the tower is painted red, the rest white. Trabas has a closeup, Werning has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by J. Evenat, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the entrance to the small harbor of Pors-Poulhan, just off the Rue de l'Océan, about 4 km (2.4 mi) southeast of Plouhinec. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-746; Admiralty D0884; NGA 0304.

Audierne Lighthouses
* Raoulic (feu antérieur)
1856. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three flashes every 12 s, white or green depending on direction. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with gallery, painted white with a red top. Lantern removed and replaced by a modern light on a short mast. Werning has a photo, Trabas has a photo, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by J. Evenat, Florent Moritz has a good closeup, Huelse has a historic postcard view showing the original lantern, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This was formerly the front light of a range with the Feu de Trescadec (next entry) as the rear light; after 1887 it served as the front light for a range (now discontinued) that had the Feu de Kergadec as the rear light. Located at the end of the Jetée de Raoulic, on the west side of the entrance to the harbor of Audierne. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-447; Admiralty D0877; NGA 0296.
* Trescadec (feu antérieur)
1856 (relocated here in 1887). Inactive since 1972. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern and gallery painted red. Werning's photo is at right, Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by Dominique Resmon, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a good street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse was originally located in the garden of the Capucin monastery in Audierne as the rear light of the Raoulic range. In 1887 the range was realigned; a new rear lighthouse was built at Kergadec, and this lighthouse was relocated to the waterfront to serve as a second front light (on a different range line) for Kergadec. Located on the Boulevard Manu Brusq, the coastal road west of the Audierne harbor entrance. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-789.
* Kergadec (feu postérieur) (3)
1950 (station established 1887). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); continuous red light, intensified on the range line; also a quick-flashing light, white, red, or green depending on direction. 15 m (49 ft) octagonal concrete tower with gallery but no lantern. Upper quarter of the tower painted red, the rest white. Werning has a good photo, Trabas has a closeup by Arno Siering, Google has a closeup street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The second (1902) lighthouse was destroyed by German troops in 1944. Located on a hill on the southwest side of Audierne. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-325; Admiralty D0877.1; NGA 0288.

Esquibien Lighthouse
* Pointe de Lervily
1955. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); three flashes every 12 s, white or red depending on direction. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower, painted white, topped by a small red lantern. Modern 1-story keeper's house. This is an old signal tower (sémaphore) to which a modern light was added. Werning has a nice photo, Trabas has a closeup, Jean-Paul Chapalain also has a closeup, Google has a street view from the rear, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the Rue du Sémaphore on a headland projecting into the Baie d'Audierne, about 3 km (1.8 mi) south of Esquibien. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-336; Admiralty D0874; NGA 0300.
Feu de Trescadec
Trescadec Light, Audierne
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission

Mer d'Iroise Lighthouses

Pointe du Raz Lighthouses
Note: The Mer d'Iroise (Iroise Sea) is the turbulent basin of the Atlantic off the westernmost tip of France, between the Pointe du Raz and Île de Sein on the south and the Île d'Ouessant (Ushant) on the north. Subject to violent storms and huge waves, it is among the most dangerous seas of Europe. At its southern boundary, the Pointe du Raz is a spectacular, razor-sharp point of rock projecting into the Atlantic. The same line of rocks continues under water for many miles as a extremely dangerous reef called the Chaussée de Sein. Lighting this infamous hazard required decades of effort and some remarkable engineering. Wikipedia has a map showing the reef and its lighthouses. The Pointe du Raz is in the commune of Plogoff.
*
Pointe du Raz
1839. Inactive since 1887. Approx. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with gallery and a large octagonal stone watch room, attached to the front of a 1-story stone keeper's house. The lantern has been replaced by a modern control room, and communications and radar gear are mounted atop the control room. Control room painted white, tower and gallery unpainted, keeper's house white with unpainted stone trim. Barka Fabiánová has a closeup photo and a more distant view, a 2003 photo shows the memorial statue in front of the lighthouse, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse was deactivated after construction of the Phare de la Vieille offshore made it obsolete. It was occupied by the French Navy for many years as an observation and traffic control station, but that facility has apparently been closed. Located at the tip of the Pointe du Raz, about 5 km (3 mi) west of Plogoff. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-786.
La Vieille
1887. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, occulting three times every 12 s in a 2+1 pattern. 27 m (89 ft) square granite tower with lantern and gallery. Tower unpainted, lantern painted black. Fog horn (Morse code "R," short-long-short, every 60 s). Larry Myhre's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup, Werning has a distant view, Mik Kerve's July 2007 photo hints at how dangerous the sea is at this point, French Wikipedia has a fine article with many photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. One of the most famous French lighthouses, this tower is built on the rock of Gorlebella, which is an outlier of the Pointe du Raz. It is one of French lighthouse photographer Jean Guichard's favorite subjects. From the tip of the point, there is an excellent view of this lighthouse and more distant views of the Feu de la Plate and the Tévennec, Île de Sein and Ar-Men lighthouses. Accessible only by boat in very heavy seas. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-027; FR-0700; Admiralty D0870; NGA 0272.
La Plate (Petite Vieille) (2)
1910 (station briefly established in 1896). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); nine very quick white flashes every 10 s. 26 m (85 ft) octagonal solid reinforced concrete tower with gallery but no lantern. Lighthouse painted yellow with a black horizontal band. Trabas has a closeup by Ronald Wöhrn, Guyomard and Carceller have an excellent photo by François Floch showing the Phare de la Vieille in the background, Wikimedia has a similar photo by Julien Carnot, J. Evenat also has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. Originally this light was to have been ready at the same time as the Phare de la Vieille, but construction was so difficult no tower was ready until 1896. Then the light was immediately destroyed by a great storm, and another dozen years of effort was required before the present tower was completed. Huelse has an unusual postcard view of the lighthouse under construction. (Note: there is another Feu de la Plate off the Cap de la Hague on the Cotentin peninsula.) Located on a submerged rock about 300 m (330 ft) west southwest of the Phare de la Vieille. Accessible only by boat in very heavy seas; the light can be seen from the Pointe du Raz. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-787; Admiralty D0872; NGA 0284.
Tévennec
1875. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); quick flashing light, white or red depending on direction; also a white flash every 4s at a focal plane of 24 m (79 ft), intensified to the southeast. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical stone tower attached to the front of a 1-story stone keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white. Guyomard and Carceller have a photo by J. Evenat, Trabas has a photo, French Wikipedia has an article on the lighthouse and its history, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Huelse has a historic postcard view, but the island is only a blur in Bing's satellite view. Located on a small island about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of the Pointe du Raz. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-058; Admiralty D0866; NGA 0276.
Phare de la Vieille
La Vieille Light, Pointe du Raz, May 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre

Île de Sein Lighthouses
Note: The Île de Sein is a small island 8 km (5 mi) west of the Pointe du Raz. The island has a population of about 200 and is accessible by passenger ferry from Audierne.
Le Chat
1933. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); three white, red or green flashes, depending on direction, every 6 s. 25 m (82 ft) round cylindrical solid reinforced concrete tower with double gallery but no lantern. Upper portion of the tower is painted yellow, lower portion black. J. Evenat has a fine photo, and Trabas has a distant view. Located on an isolated rock about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) east southeast of the Île de Sein and about 5.5 km (3.5 mi) west of the Pointe du Raz. Accessible only by boat; distantly visible from the Pointe du Raz. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-788; Admiralty D0862; NGA 0268.
* Men-Brial
1911. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, occulting twice every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) 2-stage round masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white with unpainted stone trim; lantern painted green; gallery painted black. An external spiral stairway around the first stage gives access to the second stage. Trabas has a closeup by Ronald Wöhrn, Guyomard and Carceller have a good photo by J. Evenat, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the entrance to the harbor of Sein, the only town on the Île de Sein. The island is accessible by passenger ferry from Audierne. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-067; Admiralty D0860; NGA 0256.
** Île de Sein (2)
1952 (station established 1839). Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); four white flashes, separated by 3 s, every 25 s. 51 m (167 ft) round reinforced concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the center of a 2-story stone keeper's house. Upper 40% of tower painted black, lower portion white; the white and black are separated by a buff horizontal band bearing the name "Sein" in black letters. A photo is at right, Trabas has an excellent photo by Ronald Wöhrn, Guyomard and Carceller also have a view from the lantern, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This is a staffed station, controlling the other lighthouses of the area. Huelse has a postcard view of the original lighthouse, a 43 m (141 ft) stone tower, which was blown up by German troops on 4 August 1944. Located at the western point of the island, about 1.6 km (1 mi) west of the harbor. Site open, tower open in the summer (information is needed on the schedule). ARLHS FRA-066; FR-0695; Admiralty D0856; NGA 0252.
* [Ar-Guéveur Fog Signal]
Date unknown. Active; blast every 60 s. 16 m (52 ft) white stone obelisk. Guyomard and Carceller have a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located about 850 m (1/2 mi) southwest of the Phare de Sein. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-172; Admiralty D0858; NGA 0264.

Île de Sein Light, Pointe du Raz, September 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by bididule
Ar-Men
1881. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); three white flashes, separated by 3.6 s, every 20 s. 36 m (118 ft) round granite tower with lantern and gallery, incorporating keeper's quarters. Upper half of tower painted white, lantern painted black; the gallery and lower half of the tower are unpainted dark granite. Jocelyn Caron's closeup aerial photo is at right, Trabas has a commercial photo by Philip Plisson, J. Evenat also has a good photo, and Huelse has a historic postcard view. As Carceller and Guyomard write, this is le phare héroïque. (French Wikipedia, which has a long article on the lighthouse, calls it un phare mythique.) After years of planning and discussion, efforts to build a lighthouse on the westernmost rock of the Chaussée de Sein began in 1861. So great were the difficulties, it was 1867 before the first stones were actually laid. Often the masons had only minutes to work, at the lowest tides and in the calmest seas. The tower rose course by course and the lighthouse was illuminated in 1881, twenty years after work began. Another twenty years were spent improving and shoring up the tower. The Atlantic crashes relentlessly, and often spectacularly, against this most exposed of lighthouses; Jean Guichard has famous photos of massive waves sweeping around the tower. Erwan Boisecq's photo shows the surf on an "average" day. Located 8 km (5 mi) west of Île de Sein. Accessible only by boat in roaring seas. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-001; FR-0694; Admiralty D0852; NGA 0248.

Bouzec-Cap Sizun Lighthouse
* Pointe du Millier
1881. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, occulting twice every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) semicylindrical stone tower attached to the front face of a 1-story stone keeper's house. The house is painted white with unpainted stone trim. Werning has a good closeup, Trabas has a good photo by Arno Siering, French Wikipedia has an article with several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a headland on the south side of the Baie de Douarnenez, about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of Bouzec-Cap-Sizun. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-360; Admiralty D0836; NGA 0240.

Douarnenez Lighthouses
* Île Tristan (Douarnenez)
1856. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting three times every 12 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery. Tower unpainted except for a white band around the watch room; lantern and gallery painted black. Trabas has a photo by Ronald Wöhrn, Werning has a similar photo, Guyomard and Carceller have photos by Philippe Gourdelier, and Bing has a satellite view. The island is a protected natural area. Located on an island off the entrance to the harbor of Douarnenez, at the southeastern corner of the Baie de Douarnenez. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-267; Admiralty D0830; NGA 0220.
Phare Ar-Men
Ar-Men Light,Pointe du Raz, January 2011
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Jocelyn Caron
* Trinity House Lightship 4 Scarweather (Smith's Knoll)
1947 (Phillip & Son, Dartmouth, England). Decommissioned 1989. 41.7 m (137 ft) steel lightship; skeletal tower with lantern and gallery amidships. Vessel painted red. The ship served on the Smith's Knoll station in the North Sea off East Anglia and later on the Scarweather Sands station off Bristol in the English Channel. In 1991 the ship was sold to the Port-Musée in Douarnenez. After a number of years on exhibition, the ship seemed to have been abandoned; no longer docked at the museum, it was anchored forlornly in the inner harbor. The museum's web site does not mention the vessel. Mik Kerve has a July 2007 photo, a second photo shows the view from a nearby bridge, Google has a street view, and Bing has a good satellite view. In early 2008 there was good news about the vessel: it was towed to a drydock for painting and restoration. Jean-Marie Huet has a June 2008 photo of the refurbished lightship, and a 2012 photo is available. However, the ship is still not mentioned on the museum's web site. Anchored in the Rivière de Port Rhu just downstream from the D7 bridge. Site and vessel closed. Owner/site manager (?): Port-Musée de Douarnenez.

Crozon Lighthouse
* Pointe de Morgat
1914. Active; focal plane 77m (253 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, occulting four times every 12 s. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the front of a 1-story stone keeper's house. Building painted white with unpainted stone trim; lantern painted red. Yann Caradec's photo is at right, Werning has a good photo, Trabas has a closeup, Guyomard and Carceller have photos by Benoit le Goff, Jean-Patrick Leroy has a 2011 photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south side of the Crozon peninsula, at the southern entrance to the Anse de Morgat, about 1.1 km (2/3 mi) southeast of the Morgat waterfront. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-364; Admiralty D0826; NGA 0212.

Camaret-sur-Mer Lighthouses
La Parquette
1880. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); green flash every 4 s; a red flash is shown over a sector toward the east. 25 m (82 ft) octagonal stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted in a black and white spiral pattern (unusual for France). Another photo is available, and Trabas has a distant view. Located about 7 km (4.5 mi) south southeast of Pointe St.-Mathieu and a similar distance west of the Pointe du Toulinguet. Accessible only by boat. There's only a very distant view from shore, but there is a closer view from the ferries to the Île d'Ouessant. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-383; Admiralty D0820; NGA 0136.
Pointe du Toulinguet
1849. Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting three times every 12 s. 14 m (46 ft) square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the front of a 2-story stone keeper's house. Building painted white with unpainted stone trim; lantern is gray. There is a modern French Navy signal and control tower close to the lighthouse, and the area is restricted. Werning has a photo, Trabas has a photo, Jacques Bruylands has a distant view, and Bing has a satellite view. This light marks the west end of the Crozon peninsula, which forms the south side of the approach to Brest. There are distant views from outside the naval reservation. Located about 3 km (1.8 mi) west of Camaret-sur-Mer. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-505; Admiralty D0818; NGA 0140.
Pointe de Morgat Light
Pointe de Morgat Light, Crozon, August 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Yann Caradec
* Camaret-sur-Mer (1)
1883. Inactive since 1964. 10 m (33 ft) round masonry tower with gallery, painted white with a green top (formerly all green). When the light was deactivated, the lantern was removed and replaced with a green triangular daymarker on a short mast. The active light was moved to the end of a new breakwater. Guyomard and Carceller have a photo, Fabien Cuzon has another photo, Trabas has a photo of the new light, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the old breakwater on the north side of the harbor of Camaret. Accessible by walking the breakwater. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FRA-208; ex-Admiralty D0816.

Brest Lighthouses
Note: Brest is the traditional home port of France's Atlantic Fleet. The entrance to the port is through the Goulet de Brest, a narrow strait only about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) wide.
#Brest Jetée de l'Ouest (1)
Date unknown (station established 1868). Demolished in or around 2008. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern green. A 2007 photo and a second 2007 photo are available, but the tower is missing in Google's satellite view of the jetty. Trabas has a photo of the new light (focal plane 8 m (26 ft); green light occulting twice every 6 s). Located at the end of the quay at the west end of the commercial harbor of Brest. Site status unknown. ARLHS FRA-207; Admiralty D0803; NGA 0196.
#Brest Digue Est
1905. Demolished in late 2008 or early 2009. 10 m (33 ft) round cast iron tourelle with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern green. Jo Pensel has a June 2008 photo, but the light is not seen in a blurred Google satellite view. Trabas has a photo of the new light (focal plane 10 m (33 ft); quick-flashing green light). Located at the southern end of the east breakwater at Brest, marking the entrance to the main harbor. Accessible only by boat; the breakwater does not connect to the shore. There should be fairly good views from the waterfront. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-205; Admiralty D0798; NGA 0176.
Pointe du Portzic (feu postérieur)
1848 (Louis Plantier). Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting twice every 12 s. 35 m (115 ft) octagonal granite tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story stone keeper's house. Tower unpainted, lantern painted red. 1-story signal station, in the form of a modern control room, is adjacent to the front of the lighthouse. A photo is at right, Trabas has a fine closeup by Arno Siering, Werning has a photo, Mocquant has good photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a good satellite view. This light shines through the Goulet (narrows) de Brest, guiding ships into the port. Located on the naval base, at the northwestern corner of the Goulet, just southwest of the city of Brest. Site and tower closed (restricted military area); the best views are from the ferries from Brest to the Île d'Ouessant. ARLHS FRA-454; FR-0655; Admiralty D0790.1; NGA 0160.
La Roche Mengant
1898. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three white or red flashes every 12 s, depending on direction. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with two galleries but no lantern, painted black with one red horizontal band. Trabas has a photo, Werning has a closeup, Pierre de Guipronvel has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an isolated rock in the middle of Goulet de Brest. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FRA-032; Admiralty D0792; NGA 0168.
Pointe du Petit Minou (feu antérieur)
1848 (Louis Plantier). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two flashes every 6 s, white or red depending on direction; also a quick-flashing white light, focal plane 22 m (72 ft), which serves as the front light of the Portzic range. 26 m (85 ft) round granite tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a circular 1-story stone keeper's house. The tower is painted white on the southwest (seaward) side and is unpainted otherwise; lantern painted red. Fresnel lens in use. Next to the lighthouse is a shorter signal tower carrying radar equipment. Werning's photo is at the top of this page, Trabas has a closeup photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse is the front light of a range, with the Portzic lighthouse (see above) as the rear light. Located on an islet just offshore, connected to the mainland by an arched stone bridge, at the northern entrance to the Goulet de Brest, about 6 km (3.5 mi) southwest of La Trinité. Site and tower closed (the location is part of a naval base); the best views are from the ferries from Brest to the Île d'Ouessant. ARLHS FRA-032; FR-0652; Admiralty D0790; NGA 0152.
Phare du Portzic
Pointe du Portzic Light, Brest, February 2012
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Llorenzi

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Northern Finistère | South: Morbihan

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Posted August 29, 2005. Checked and revised March 30, 2014. Lighthouses: 52, lightships: 1. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.