Museum of the Lighthouse (La Lanterna)
Lighthouse and Museum in Genova
The Museum of the Lighthouse of Genoa, known as “La Lanterna,” is a part of the Mu.MA – Maritime and Migration Museums, a collection of museums that also includes the Galata Maritime Museum, Pegli Maritime Museum, and the Commenda di Prè, home of the MEI National Museum of Italian Migration.
The Lanterna of Genoa is an iconic symbol of the city, representing its maritime heritage. It holds the distinction of being the tallest lighthouse in the Mediterranean and the second tallest in Europe. Throughout its history, the Lanterna has served various purposes, including as a signaling tower, an armed guard post, a stage for performances by tightrope walkers, and even a prison.
The present form of the Lanterna was constructed in 1543, following the destruction of the old lighthouse in 1514. The first stone of the Lanterna’s wall was laid in 1626, and this wall, extending over a length of 20 kilometers, was completed in 1639. This extensive wall became the longest city wall in Europe and the second longest in the world, after the Great Wall of China.
The Lanterna stands on a rock that is 40 meters high, with the tower itself reaching a height of 77 meters. This places the summit of the Lanterna at an elevation of 117 meters above sea level. The tower’s rotating optic has the capacity to project light up to a distance of 57 kilometers.
Visitors have the opportunity to explore the Lanterna by climbing the 172 steps that lead to the first terrace. While there, they can enjoy panoramic views and gain insights into the history and significance of this iconic landmark. The Lanterna serves not only as a historical and cultural landmark but also as a testament to Genoa’s maritime prowess and enduring legacy.
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