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Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse
Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse
The Lighthouse at the End of the World
4 Minute Read
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Tim Forestell
March 17, 2022

The Lighthouse at the End of the World: How It Was Built

Where is Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse Located?

Standing on the northeastern most island of the Les Eclaireurs Islands is the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, also known by Argentines as the Lighthouse at the End of the World. The lighthouse is located 5 nautical miles east of Ushuaia in the Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, Southern Argentina. Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse was built on an islet in the Beagle Channel as a navigational aid for vessels sailing to and from Ushuaia, which is one of the world’s southernmost cities. 

Building Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse

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Construction on the lighthouse began December 19, 1918, and was completed in 1919. The lighthouse was operational the following year, December 23, 1920, and has remained in service since its opening. The lighthouse is 11 meters high and 3 meters wide at the base. 

The lantern is 22.5 meters above sea level, emitting white flashes every ten seconds with a range of 7.5 nautical miles to serve as a beacon for navigational aid. It is primarily painted red and white and is topped with black paint for the open platform and lantern room. There is one door that points west and allows access to the building. The foundation of the lighthouse is a masonry base and the majority of the tower is constructed in brick. Brick and stone masonry were typically chosen as building materials when constructing lighthouses because of their durability to combat the harsh conditions lighthouses can face. Now, concrete is a more favorable choice of building material because masonry can deteriorate.

The brick used in lighthouse construction was made as close to the site as possible and transported to the island. The wooden cribs that supported the masonry foundations were also built offsite. Once the cribs were towed to the site, they were filled with stone to sink it into place. The crib was then leveled and capped with the masonry that the lighthouse structure sits on. 

Can I Visit Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse?

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The lighthouse is automated, remotely controlled, and powered by solar panels. Unfortunately, the lighthouse is not open to the public as it stands alone on a rock in the ocean. The only frequent inhabitants are cormorants and sea lions, but the highly distinguished lighthouse is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. You can take pictures of it on short boat tours from Ushuaia. 

Where is the Lighthouse at the End of the World?

One of Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse’s claims to fame is due to the misconception that it was the inspiration for the famous novel The Lighthouse at the End of the World by renowned novelist Jules Verne. However, Verne’s real inspiration for his novel was based on the San Juan de Salvamento lighthouse, which remained in service only between 1884 and 1900. The lighthouse was built on the remote island of Isla de Los Estados in the easternmost point of Argentina’s portion of Tierra del Fuego. 

Is Ushuaia the End of the World? 

Ushuaia (54˙ 48’S 68˙ 18’W, population 71,000), the capital of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego, is commonly referred to as the end of the world. It is located at the southernmost tip of Argentine and this port city marks the end of South America and serves as a port of call for Antarctic cruises.

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Tim Forestell
Tim Forestell is one of DOZR’s co-founders and CCO. Tim got started in the industry as VP Operations for Forestell Landscaping before founding DOZR with Kevin and Erin. Aside from the amazing team at DOZR, his favourite thing about DOZR are the customers. Working with DOZR renters every day gives him a peek at the evolution of different projects and hearing stories about projects being developed from start to finish.
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