PortCastelló lighthouses

Oropesa lighthouse

Oropesa lighthouse

Faro Oropesa

National signal number: 27100

Description: white tower and building. Focal plane 56 m

Light color: white

Characteristic: GpFl (3) W 15s (group of three flashes, every 15 seconds)

Range: 21 nautical miles

Active:  since 1957

The Cape of Oropesa divides the coast corresponding to the province of Castellon into almost two equal parts and has three outcrops. The middle one protrudes furthest out to sea and was chosen as the location for a third-order lighthouse.


It is located next to the so-called Torre del Rey, is 1.8 km from the town and is located in a booming tourist area. It was lit for the first time on 1 April 1857, with the light characteristic of three white flashes and a range of nine miles.

It was fitted with a Lepaute device with a focal length of 500 mm made of two fixed retro-reflective parts – the upper and the lower – and a central rotating part on a circular yew carriage, driven by a clockwork machine with a fin control mechanism and hemp ropes. It was acquired together with the lantern for 24,525 pesetas.

The Degrand lamp was manned by two keepers. At first, olive oil was used as fuel followed later by paraffin and oil. It was adapted by means of a Dotty burner with two wicks. It was replaced on 16 August 1916 by a Chance pressurised oil vapour system for 35 mm capillaries.

It was modernised with a refurbished third-order optical device which was brought into service on 2 June 1919. This had been fitted with a set of external vertical lenses that rotated on a base and mercury float, driven by a rotating machine of persistent movement and motor weight. This gave it a fixed light characteristic with three white flashes every 30”.

Electrification came in 1924 when a 500-watt filament lamp was brought into service with a 2.5 HP Aster petrol generator. In 1955, the range was extended with another 1.00 watt.

During the war it was shut down, the staff were evicted and it was looted.

A new more comprehensive overhaul was brought into service on 12 March 1970. Its devices and lantern renewed with a new 2.25 m diameter lamp supplied by Racional, rotating base of bearings in oil bath of the same manufacturer, electric rotary motors, Pintsch Bamag 250 mm focal length dioptric optics, automatic changer and two Ruston and Fita diesel generators. This brought a light characteristic of three flashes every 15”and a nominal range of 21 miles.

It is a 14 metre in diameter, semi-circular building, finished with a rectangle on the main façade. At first it had a single floor with a room, kitchen and living room for each of the tower keepers, an engineer’s room, a warehouse and a cleaning room, with an entrance hall and a corridor that surrounded the tower. The sloping roof had an ashlar cornice that also decorated the jambs and lintels of doors and windows. The tower is cylindrical in shape and rises from the centre of the circle, ending in a cornice of ashlar masonry that supported a balcony. From there, a two-metre tower was finished off by a decagonal flat glass lantern that was surrounded by another balcony to make it easier to clean windows from the outside.

As in all round lighthouses, capacity was very limited and an extension had to be considered immediately. This was built by creating a first floor above the original one, based on a project by the engineer Pelegrin Sans, signed in 1887 and approved on 30 September 1891, giving it the appearance it has today. Although there have been several other projects over the years, they have only affected the interior layout and various minor repairs. Today it houses two houses, an office and an engine room.