Lighthouses of Syria
Although it is not often regarded as a maritime nation,
Syria has about 150 km (90 mi) of coastline facing west on the Mediterranean
Sea between Turkey and Lebanon. Lattakia, Baniyas, and Tartus are the
major ports. After four centuries as part of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire
Syria came under French control after the end of World War I. After
a lengthy process of negotiation and conflict the country became independent
following World War II.
Syria was united with Egypt to form the United
Arab Republic in 1958 but it seceded from that union in 1961 and has
been known since then as the Syrian Arab Republic. In 2011 street protests against the Assad government escalated into widespread violence and as of the spring of 2018 the country remains in a bitter civil war. The coastal region of the country has remained generally under the control of the central government and has not suffered as much fighting and destruction as other regions.
Lighthouses in Syria are operated by the General
Directorate of Syrian Ports, an agency of the Ministry of Transport.
The Arabic word for a lighthouse is mnarh or manara (منارة). Ra's is the word for a cape or headland, and jazirat is an island.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty
numbers are from volume N of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog
Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.
- General Sources
- Online List of Lights - Syria
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
- World of Lighthouses - Syria
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- Navigational chart information for Syria.
Ra's ibn Hani Light, Lattakia
General Directorate of Syrian Ports photo
- Tartus Governate Lighthouses
- * Arwad (Jazirat Arwad, Île
Rouad, Ruad Island) (3?)
- Date unknown (station established 1864). Active; focal plane
about 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) square skeletal tower, upper half painted red and lower half white,
mounted atop a 4-story fortress. Hareth Ahmed has a 2018 photo and Google has a satellite view of the fort. Michel Forand has a 1922 photo showing the original lighthouse and Wikipedia has Jacky Lee's 2007 photo of the second (?) light on a short black skeletal tower. Arwad (originally
known as Aradus) is a roughly circular island 3 km (2 mi) southeast
of the waterfront of Tartus. The fortress was originally built in the
12th century by crusaders, the Knights Templar, who held it until 1303.
Subsequently it was rebuilt by the Ottomans. Passenger ferry service
to the island is available. Site apparently open, tower closed. ARLHS
SYR-003; Admiralty N5924; NGA 21044.
- Tartus West Breakwater
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; green flash every 4 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, painted with green and white horizontal bands. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Tartus is an important naval base for the Syrian and Russian navies. Located at the end of the west (really the south) breakwater of Tartus. Site status unknown. Admiralty N5923.7; NGA 21039.
- Baniyas (Banias)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 98 m (321 ft); three flashes every
17 s, white or red depending in direction. 11 m (36 ft) white tower
with gallery, attached to a 2-story white station
building. No closeup photo available. The Directorate of Ports has the distant photo at right,
Trabas also has a distant photo,
Hicham Hasan has a 2013 photo, and Google has a satellite
view of the station. Located on
a hill behind a headland about 5 km (3 mi) south southwest of Baniyas.
Site and tower closed. ARLHS SYR-002; Admiralty N5923.5; NGA 21032.
Baniyas Light, Baniyas
Syrian Directorate of Ports photo
Latakia Governate Lighthouses
- El Burj (Al Burj) (2?)
- Date unknown (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); two white flashes every 9 s. Harbor control center. The tower is at the right edge of Hicham Hasan's 2012 photo and Google has a satellite view. This light was described in 1904 as "White stone tower on old castle, El Burj islet," and the NGA still describes the light as a 16 ft (5 m) white tower. The El Burj inlet is now a small boat harbor deep inside the commercial harbor. Located on the north side of the inlet. Site status unknown. ARLHS
SYR-001; Admiralty N5921.4;
- * Latakia (Lattakia) Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two red flashes every
5 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery and a
round metal lantern. Lantern roof painted red. The tower also carries
a large slatted daymark, coloring unknown. A photo is at right and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The front light is on a tall mast seen at the left in Salam Saleh's photo of the waterfront. Located near the waterfront in the midst of the commercial
harbor of Latakia. Site may be closed, but the lighthouse is close
to a major through street. Tower closed. Admiralty N5921.51;
- * Ra's ibn-Hani (3?)
- Date unknown (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft);
white flash every 6 s. 17 m (56 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with
double gallery, attached to a 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire
lighthouse painted a light buff color. A photo is at the top of this page and Google has a satellite
view. The first light (1864) was described as a white
stone tower. Located on the point of Ra's ibn-Hani, about 12 km (7.5 mi) north
of Lattakia. Site status unknown, but the lack of photos of the cape suggests
that the area is closed. ARLHS SYR-006; Admiralty N5920; NGA 20996.
- Ra's al-Fasuri
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 74 m (243 ft); three quick white flashes
every 5 s. White tower with black bands. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Ra's al-Fasuri is a blunt
headland about 25 km (15 mi) north of Lattakia; much of the headland has been removed by a large quarrying operation. Site status unknown. ARLHS
SYR-005; Admiralty N5919.4; NGA 20992.
Latakia Range Rear Light, Latakia
unattributed ex-Panoramio photo
- Ra's al-Basit (Ras al-Baset)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 75 m (246 ft); white flash every 4 s.
12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower with gallery. 1-story keeper's house with a square tower at one corner. A 2010 photo is available and Google has a satellite
view. Ra's al-Basit is a sharp, mountainous
promontory about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of the Turkish border. The south
side of the cape shelters a popular beach resort. Located
at the tip of the cape. Site status unknown. ARLHS SYR-004; Admiralty N5919;
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
- Lattakia Beacon.
This tall concrete tower is described by several photographers as a "lighthouse"
or "beacon," but it does not appear to carry a light. It is a short distance north of the Lattakia
Range Rear Light. Another photo
is available and Google has a satellite
Adjoining pages: North: Southern Turkey | South: Lebanon
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Posted May 21, 2007. Checked and revised March 20, 2019.
Lighthouses: 8. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.