Guided by the lighthouse in Colonia del Sacramento.
Over the centuries countless ships had been guided safely by the lighthouse in Colonia del Sacramento. Many call it the “Blessed Light”, because it brings the ships and fishermen safe home. It is a must visit when in Colonia del Sacramento and gives a breathtaking view of the city and Rio de la Plata.
Colonia del Sacramento is situated in a strategic place. The river looks calm and it might seem strange to find a lighthouse in this historical town. The Southeast wind changes everything. It brings destruction and shipwrecks. We witnessed the force of the Souteast wind when we visited Colonia del Sacramento in 2015.
Real battles fought on the shore of Colonia del Sacramento.
The Portuguese and Spanish fought real battles here. Night fell and everything became dark. It was even more spooky on a moonless night. Storms were not unusual and that was when the river started to roar and became mad. Superstitious crew became scared and sailing wreckless. Ships wrecked and many treasures burried on the bottom of the river. They needed a lighthouse.
The first lighthouse in the region built.
In 1855 the authorities decided to levy a tax for vessels that moored in the harbour. Quickly they collected a lot of money and on 24 January 1855, the works started. No better place to build the lighthouse on the ruins of the ancient San Francisco Xavier convent. It took longer than expected to complete the project. On the 24 th of January 1857, lights were turned on and made frontpage news.
The “Blessed Light” has been guiding sailors home ever since.
What can be seen inside the Lighthouse?
The Lighthouse is open to the public and it is possible to climb to the top. The 360 degree view is breathtaking. There is not much to see once inside. If you are scared of heights or narrow spaces, do not attempt to climb to the top. I suggest admiring the strucure from the bottom of the base and walk around the ruins.