Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Philatelic Photograph: California Lighthouse - Aruba

California Lighthouse

N 12° 36.821 W 070° 03.085

Short Description: 

The California Lighthouse, a major tourist attraction, is located on a plateau at the north west end of the island of Aruba.

Long Description:

An aluminium sign near the California Lighthouse give the history and the technical details about the California Lighthouse in English and in Spanish. It is inscribed (in English):

Between 1914 and 1916 a large complex, known to locals as the California Lighthouse, was built on the Hudishibana limestone plateau at Aruba's west point. The complex included a lighthouse keeper's residence (now a restaurant), and an impressive flight of steps leading up to the plateau. The California Lighthouse takes its name from a steamer owned by the West India and Pacific Steamship Co., the California, which stuck a rock and sank just off the coast.

The California Lighthouse stands about 30 meters tall and mostly built out of crushed stone, limestone, and cement. The steel construction for the gas lamp, mirrors, and other parts was another 7.5 meters tall. the gas lamp, ordered from France, took quite some time to arrive on the island, its delivery delayed by World War I. Once installed, the light signaled six times a minute - every ten seconds. The rotation mechanism for the light beam was highly ingenious. Over the course of the night, a weight descended from the lantern room to the ground level The first lighthouse keeper's name was Jacob Jacobs.

The lighthouse and its interior were restored between 2015 and 2016, allowing visitors to enter the lighthouse and observe the inside of this iconic landmark, which has certainly become one of the island's most popular attractions. 

Construction period: 1914-1916
Registered in the Monument Register: July 20, 2012
Restored in: 2015-2016
Source: Monumentenbureau, Olga van der Klooster & Michel Bakker
This monument is owned by: Monumentfund Aruba.

The stamp is part of the first set of 16 stamps issued by the newly independent country of Aruba from 1986-1987.

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