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Île-de-Ré's famous lighthouse

Like all lighthouses, the Phare des Baleines on the Île-de-Ré is an impressive sight as it looks proudly out to the Atlantic Ocean from its rocky vantage point. The phare – French for lighthouse - is based in the commune of Saint-Clément des Baleines. They both take their name from the number of whales that have been beached on this part of the Île-de-Ré in the past (baleine is French for whale). The nearby point where the whales have become stranded is called the Pointe des Baleines.
This popular tourist attraction, with its 257-step spiral staircase and stunning views that visitors can enjoy, is still a working lighthouse. It stands 57 metres tall and on a clear night its powerful light can be seen at a distance of around 27 nautical miles or 50km. It was completed in 1854 having been designed by architect Léonce Reynaud and has been a workign lighthosue ever since.
Originally the Phare des Baleines was powered by oil, though later it was given its own steam-driven power source. After the Second World War it was hooked up to the power grid, though it has its own generator, too, in case of power cuts.

WS : The top oh the lighthouse.

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Additional Photos by cedric DEVARENNE (DINOZOR) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 680 W: 59 N: 2885] (16232)
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