Review of Sonia Fritz’s “15 Lighthouses of Puerto Rico”

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Antonio Rodríguez (EFE) reviews the documentary film by Sonia Fritz 15 faros de Puerto Rico [15 Lighthouses of Puerto Rico; see previous post]. He writes, “The lighthouses of Puerto Rico are the nineteenth-century legacy left by the Spaniards before the change of sovereignty from Spain to the United States in 1898. These historical structures represent the desire to incorporate the Caribbean island into the era of modernity in the nineteenth century.” Here are excerpts of the review—the introduction and description of lighthouses on the western side of the island. [Because I am not only filled with nationalistic pride, but I am also Cabo Rojo-centric, I have only included two photos of the Cabo Rojo (my hometown) Lighthouse in the southwestern corner of Puerto Rico, see the full article and other spectacular photos in the link below.]

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The 1820s was the starting point for the implementation of a number of infrastructure projects including the construction of roads, improving ports, establishing telegraph lines, and the creation of a network of maritime lighting which led to the [construction of] 15 lighthouses on the island of Puerto Rico.

In 1840, the Spanish authorities implemented an inventory of ports to be completed by 1869, with the publication of a plan which included the number of lighthouses that would be built and their characteristics, a prelude to the construction of the 15 that today, more a century later, are hallmarks for Puerto Rico. [. . .]

In Aguadilla, in the northwestern corner of Puerto Rico known as the Punta Borinquen, the lighthouse was opened in September 1889 but was destroyed by an earthquake in the twentieth century; its current structure dates from 1922. With a height of almost 20 meters, its latest version was built by the United States Coast Guard, respecting the model of the old Spanish construction.

The Aguadilla lighthouse serves as a reference point for vessels entering the Caribbean Sea through the Mona Passage, which separates Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic.

Towards the east, is the Arecibo Lighthouse, built in 1898, which was initially a hexagonal tower with a light that could illuminate up to more than 25 kilometers; however, its deterioration reached serious levels in the late 1970s.

This lighthouse was also known as “Los Morrillos” because it is located on a rocky mountain known as Punta Morrillo; it was the last lighthouse built by the Spaniards in neoclassical rectangular style, 12 meters wide by 25 long. On the tower rests a bronze dome and within this a luminaire, which is still in use and currently has a 190 mm lens that rotates every 5 seconds. Inside it you can see items that were found on the seabed, a diving suit from 1910, and on its walls, literature related to the history of the lighthouse and the Spanish American War.

A LANDSCAPE OG GREAT BEAUTY

The Cabo Rojo Lighthouse—in the municipality of Cabo Rojo, on the southwestern tip of the Caribbean island—is located on an isolated spot near the Combate Beach, an area of great beauty and high ecological value.

On one of the most picturesque areas in Puerto Rico, it was built in 1882 by the Spanish authorities, a period during which it deteriorated until 2002, when its reconstruction began, ending in 2007 with its opening to the public in its original colors: gray and white.

In 1981, it was included in the National Registry of Historic Places of the U.S. Department of the Interior, because of the value of the lighthouse’s construction, with its original lighting system brought from Europe.

Known throughout the island for its spectacular sunsets and its striking cliffs, it marks the entrance to the Caribbean Sea through the Mona Passage to the south. It is 12 meters high and, in 1959, its structural spaces were redistributed; then, in 1960, its clock mechanism was replaced by an electric motor.

For full article, see http://www.elnuevoherald.com/vivir-mejor/viajes/article36551421.html

6 thoughts on “Review of Sonia Fritz’s “15 Lighthouses of Puerto Rico”

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Love lighthouses! ““The lighthouses of Puerto Rico are the nineteenth-century legacy left by the Spaniards before the change of sovereignty from Spain to the United States in 1898. These historical structures represent the desire to incorporate the Caribbean island into the era of modernity in the nineteenth century.”

  2. Beautiful lighthouses!

    By the way, you’ve been chosen as one of today’s nine blogs in That’s So Jacob’s Ninth Month Blog Challenge (http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com)! I challenge you to find nine blogs you find interesting and give them a comment to brighten their day…well, eight other blogs and mine 🙂 Copy this message in your comment and enjoy your new blog friends!

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