PortCastelló’s Lighthouses

Peñiscola Lighthouse

Peñiscola Lighthouse

Faro Peñíscola

National signal number: 27150

Description: white tower and building. Focal plane 56 m

Light Color: white

Characteristic: GpFl (2+1) W 15s (group of two flashes plus one, every 15 seconds)

Range: 23 nautical miles

Active:  since 1899

This lighthouse is located in the town’s old quarter, next to the Pope Luna castle (Benedict XIII) and was electrified in 1929. The tower and lamp have kept their original appearance, which was made of masonry, with ashlar detailing on the corners. The lighthouse has two rectangular-shape floors that are connected by an eye-shaped spiral staircase.


This lighthouse is part and parcel of the old town of Peñíscola and is located in the highest part of the town, right next to the Pope Luna castle. Initially, it was not included in the first Coastal Lighting Plan.

It was designed by the engineer Francisco Pérez Alonso as a coastal light to connect those of Oropesa and Buda. It was approved by the Royal Order of 23 April 1890 and was put out to tender on 29 December 1890, awarding the works to the contractor Juan Fabregat who carried them out at the price of 36,759.12 pesetas.

It was brought into service in October 1899, and was equipped with a third-order device with a focal length of 500 mm, made up of two fixed retro-reflective zones and a rotating centre with three vertical lenses, one of which was coloured, moved by a motorized watchmaking machine. This had been purchased from the French company B.B.T. along with the lantern.

The lamp was clockwork and used Scottish paraffin as fuel.

Its fixed light characteristics were two white flashes and one red flash repeated every 60”, with the focal plane located 10 m above the ground and 55 m above the sea.

On 17 August 1916, a Chance pressurized incandescent oil vapor lamp for 55 mm capillaries replaced the original lantern, and to prevent possible emergencies a gasoline one was installed. The shortage of oil caused by the world war led to a reduction in the light output in February 1917, and the lamp was replaced with another 35 mm one.

In the Royal Order of 8 December 1917, the new fixed light characteristic was groups of two white flashes separated by a single flash every 30”. This was reached by eliminating the fixed light panels, magnifying the flash lenses by one and grouping them together. It was also fitted with a base with a mercury float and a clockwork machine with a persistent movement, fitted with a 45 kg motor weight manufactured by Maquinista Valenciana. It was brought into service on 27 September 1920.

Nine years later, on 15 June, it was electrified with a filament lamp with 3,000 spark plugs and a 3 HP Japi generator set, giving a range of 15 miles for the steady light and 35 miles for the flashes.

The last renovation was brought into service on 25 March 1970 and consisted of the substitution of the lantern with another cylindrical one with helicoidal uprights and a diameter of 2.25 metres, acquired from Racional, and the fitting of a new oil bath bearing base equipped with Pintsch Bamag dioptric optics with 300 mm focal length, two electric motors for the rotation, a 1500 w lamp, an automatic changer and a diesel Freeport generator. This provides the current characteristic of groups of 1 and 2 white flashes every 15″ and a nominal range of 22 miles.

The beautiful building conserves its original appearance in the tower and the lantern. It has two 15 x 12 metre rectangular floors and a height of 5.70 metres up to the cornice. It is built on a slope that spans the street and houses the basement. The upper floor contains one of the houses and the lower one the other house, the office, and the machinery and equipment room. There is a rectangular hole in the centre with a translucent roof through which the staircase that connects them rises, independent of the other tower. This octagonal prismatic shape rises in the SE corner and is 6.5 metres high up to the cornice. It is cylindrical inside with a spiral staircase that links both floors. It has a tower of the same shape with a second balcony and the lantern.

This lighthouse was constructed from masonry, decorated with ashlar embellishments at the corners, cornices, jambs, and lintels and has 21 rectangular windows with iron grilles and wrought-iron balconies. The main arched door opens onto the sea side of the building. The roof slopes downward.

The rear facade looks directly onto a street in the town, in line with existing houses and the castle. The remainder is encircled by two large concrete patio areas, designed to enhance water collection for the tank. This tank was built in 1932, with the Ministry of War transferring an old gunpowder warehouse to the Ministry of Development for its construction.

The lighthouse is part and parcel of the town, benefiting from the added charm of its urban surroundings in the historic quarter. It is an attractive destination and a pleasant place to live.