- * Escollera Sarandí
(Montevideo East Breakwater)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); red flash every
3 s. 12 m (39 ft) post centered on an octagonal stone and concrete
fortification. Trabas has a photo by Rainer Arndt,
and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater at the entrance to
Montevideo harbor. Accessible by walking the pier, which is popular
with fishermen. Site open, the old fort may be open, tower closed.
ARLHS URU-021; UY-313; Admiralty G0704; NGA 19136.
- ** El
Cerro de Montevideo (Fortaleza General Artigas, Fortaleza del Cerro)
- 1802. Active; focal plane 148 m (486 ft); three white flashes, separated
by 2 s, every 10 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with
lantern and gallery rising from a historic fortress. Entire lighthouse
painted white. The light station is staffed. Köhler has a photo, Wikimedia has photos, Trabas has Köhler's photo, Raul Sinedino has a closeup street view, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has a satellite view. This is Uruguay's oldest lighthouse, built by Spain before Uruguay
became independent. Restored during the 1930s, the fortress
reopened in 1939 as Uruguay's military museum, the Museo Militar Fortaleza
General Artigas. The light has very little navigational value today,
but it is maintained for historic continuity. Located atop the hill
(cerro) for which the city is named, but across the harbor
(west) from the main part of the modern city. Site open, museum open
daily, tower closed so far as is known. ARLHS URU-009; UY-424; Admiralty G0702;
San José Department Lighthouse
- 1984 (station established 1915; lightship station established
1866). Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); four white flashes every
10 s. 14 m (46 ft) round "barbell" fiberglass tower, flared at top
and bottom, mounted on the circular caisson of the 1915 lighthouse.
Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No lantern.
Two photos are
available and Bing has a satellite view. There is a postage
stamp image of the original lighthouse, which had a round light tower centered on a square keeper's quarters. Located
in the Río
de la Plata about 10 km (6 mi) west of Cerro de Montevideo. Accessible
only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS URU-011; UY-445; Admiralty
G0736; NGA 19196.
Colonia Department Lighthouses
- *** Colonia del Sacramento
- 1857. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); red flash every 9 s. 27
m (88 ft) cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, lower
half square, upper half round. Lighthouse painted white; lantern
painted with red and white vertical stripes. Ignacio Errico's photo
is above right, Trabas has a similar photo by Alfonso Biescas Vignau, Maizels has two photos,
an excellent closeup
is available, Wikimedia has numerous photos, Sidnei José Romano has a street view, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has a satellite view. The light station is staffed. The lighthouse is built
within the ruins of the Convento de San Francisco Javier, built
by Portugal in 1682. Construction of the lighthouse began
in 1845 but it was interrupted by a prolonged civil war, the Guerra
Grande, which finally ended in 1852. Adjacent to the light station
is the municipal museum of this historic city, which faces Buenos
Aires across the broad Río
de la Plata estuary. Located in the historic district of the city,
on a peninsula extending into the Río de la Plata. Site
open; tower open 10 am to 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm daily. ARLHS URU-007; UY-595; Admiralty G0756; NGA 19260.
- Isla de Farallón
- 1876. Active; focal plane 26 m (86 ft); two white flashes, separated
by 2.5 s, every 10 s. 24 m (79 ft) round brick tower with lantern
rising from 1-story keeper's house. Tower painted white; lantern
and watch room painted with red and white vertical stripes. Capt. Theo Hinrichs's photo is above right, Trabas has Capt.
Peter Mosselberger's photo, Gonzalo Sainz-Trápaga has a distant view
that shows the lighthouse in action, the lighthouse also appears
on a postage
stamp, Lighthouse Digest has a historic postcard
view contributed by Miguel Garcia, and
Google has a satellite
view. This is an automated lighthouse; the keeper's house is
abandoned and probably endangered. Located on a tiny island in
de la Plata about 5 km (3 mi) west southwest of Colonia del Sacramento.
Accessible only by boat (and the island is said to be infested
with poisonous snakes). Site and tower closed. ARLHS URU-003;
UY-610; Admiralty G0762; NGA 19280.
- Piedra Diamante
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two long white flashes
every 6 s. 18 m (59 ft) round tapered concrete tower with lantern,
painted yellow. Capt. Theo Hinrichs's photo is at right, Trabas has Peter Mosselberger's photo, and Bing has a satellite view showing the lighthouse to be precisely on the international border. Despite its
proximity to the Uruguay coast this lighthouse was built by Argentina.
A note is needed here. Under a 1973 treaty this lighthouse stands
in "shared waters," where Argentina and Uruguay share jurisdiction.
The treaty provides that both countries may build and maintain navigational
aids in shared waters. Argentina maintains navigational aids in this
area, very close to the coast of Uruguay, because the shipping channel
leads to Argentine ports on the Río Uruguay and Río
Paraná. Uruguay owns the economic rights to the seabed under
the lighthouse and if future sedimentation should bring the shoal
to the surface the resulting island would be Uruguayan territory.
Because of the ambiguous geographical context the Directory lists
this lighthouse both under Uruguay and under Northern Argentina.
Located on the Barra de San Pedro, a shoal in the Río de la
Plata about 8 km (5 mi) north northwest of Isla de Farallón.
Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Argentine
Servicio de Hidrografía Naval. UY-1281; Admiralty G0789; NGA 19284.
Notable faux lighthouses:
- La Torre
Anchorena, at the confluence of the Río San Juan and
de la Plata, is about 69 m (225 ft) tall. It was privately built and intended
to serve as a lighthouse but it has never been an official aid to
navigation. Google has a satellite
view of the tower.
Colonia del Sacramento Light, Colonia del Sacramento, October 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Ignacio Errico
Isla de Farallón Light, Colonia del Sacramento, November 2009
photo copyright Capt. Theo Hinrichs; used by permission
Piedra Diamante Light, Colonia del Sacramento, November 2009
photo copyright Capt. Theo Hinrichs; used by permission