Friday, July 5, 2013

The old Cape Point Lighthouse

Cape Point is a many historic tales and legends.  In 1688 Bartolomeu Dias passed around the point in a storm without even knowing it and only got to see it for the first time on the return journey.  He named it Cabo Tormentosa or the Cape of Storms.  Its also off this point and coastline that the mythical Flying Dutchman under the command of  Captain Hendrick van der Decken is doomed to sail into eternity.  Cape Point is also one of the biggest tourist attractions in Cape Town with thousands of tourists flocking there to admire its scenic beauty and sheer cliffs.  Visitors to the point usually take the path (or funicular for those not in the mood to walk) up to the old Lighthouse at the top from where the point itself can be seen.

The old Cape Point Lighthouse was built in 1860 and could be seen out to sea from a distance of 36 miles.  The problem was that when misty and cloudy conditions moved in the lighthouse was invisible to ships.  After the Portuguese liner Lusitania wrecked just south of Cape Point in 1911 it was decided to have a new lighthouse built close to the point itself at a much lower elevation.  The old lighthouse is still around and truth be told, probably gets photographed a lot more by tourists than the new lighthouse does.

3 comments:

  1. I have never been there Jonker. The one time I was in Cape Town the road was closed for repairs. These places have an amzing history.

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  2. Although I visited the Cape I didn't get up to the lighthouse. Guess Joan and I will have to go there on my next trip.

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  3. A fantastic place to visit! I love your first photo... the perspective is perfect :-)

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