Thanks to Tom Pohrt of Ann Arbor, Michigan, for these photos of the Faro Cayo Piedras del Norte near Veradero, Cuba. This lighthouse marks the entrance to the Bahía de Cárdenas about 120 km (75 miles) east of Havana. Completed by Spanish colonial authorities in 1857, this is one of Cuba's oldest lighthouses. The tower is approximately 19 meters (62 ft) tall. The lantern appears to be of a modern design, probably aluminum.
Mr. Pohrt chartered a boat in Veradero on May 1, 2004, for the trip to the lighthouse. When he and his captain arrived, they found the sea too choppy to allow them to tie up to the station's narrow dock, so they anchored in the lee of the island and swam ashore, carrying their cameras over their heads. They were met by several Cuban soldiers who were manning the station. The soldiers would not allow them to enter the building or take closeup photos, but they were willing for their visitors to stand back near the beach and photograph the lighthouse from afar.
Although the tower appears to be modernized and well maintained, the same cannot be said for the attached keeper's house. The roof has collapsed on one side of the tower, leaving that half of the house open to the elements.
We don't know what is typical for Cuban lighthouses. Mr. Pohrt's earlier visit to the Faro Paredón found that lighthouse to be well maintained and under the supervision of a resident civilian keeper.
Photos copyright 2004 Tom Pohrt; used by permission
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Updated July 7, 2004. Checked and revised September 6, 2012. Site copyright 2012 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.