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.
General Directorate of Syrian Ports - Photo Album
The lighthouse photos on this page appear in this slideshow.
World of Lighthouses - Syria
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.


Ra's ibn Hani Light, Lattakia
General Directorate of Syrian Ports photo

Tartus Governate Lighthouses
* Arwad (Jazirat Arwad, Île Rouad, Ruad Island) (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1864). Active (?); focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 5 s. 4 m (13 ft) square skeletal tower mounted atop a 4-story building, part of a fortress. Tower painted black. No current photo available. Michel Forand has a 1922 photo showing the original lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view of the fort. Arwad (originally known as Arado) 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. 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, 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. Maher Sari has a 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; NGA 21006.
* 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 all 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; NGA 21005.1.
* 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 Ministry of Tourism formerly had a page with three photos of Ra's ibn-Hani, the resort town about 1200 m (3/4 mi) east of the point of the cape. Two of these photos showed what might be an older lighthouse. The photos are undated, and if they do show an older light we do not know if it survives. 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 from Wikipedia
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; NGA 20988.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southern Turkey | South: Lebanon

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Posted May 21, 2007. Checked and revised April 13, 2018. Lighthouses: 8. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.