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Timeline

Legend

Cordouan's chronology

General chronology

1248

Cordouan's chronology

Completion of work on the Constance Tower at Aigues-Mortes, where Louis IX ordered a light to be built to guide ships

1303

Cordouan's chronology

The Lighthouse of Alexandria, built in 300 BCE under Ptolemy I, is destroyed in an earthquake

1320

Cordouan's chronology

The Planier light, off Marseille

1370



Construction of the Black Prince's tower on the island of Cordouan

1468

Cordouan's chronology

Lantern Tower, on the walls of La Rochelle.

1514

Cordouan's chronology

Henry VIII grants a Royal Charter to the Corporation of Trinity House for the purpose of collecting light duty for lighthouses along England's coasts

1584



Louis de Foix is commissioned to construct a lighthouse in the Gironde Estuary

1594



Henri IV changes the project, with the goal of building a royal monument

1611



The Cordouan lighthouse is lit

1644

Cordouan's chronology

The Ordre Tower in Boulogne, built by the Romans in 40 CE under the emperor Caligula, falls into ruin

1682-1685

Cordouan's chronology

Fire towers built at Baleines and Chassiron

1699

Cordouan's chronology

Stiff Tower (Ouessant)

1727



Metal and coal lantern installed at Cordouan

1759



Offshore lighthouse at Eddystone (Plymouth)

1771

Cordouan's chronology

The entrepreneur Tourtille-Sangrain begins to install reflectors and oil lamps in the kingdom's lighthouses. Sailors complain.

1787

Cordouan's chronology

First rotating light installed, at Dieppe

1790



New light installed at Cordouan, which had been raised and fitted with reflectors by Borda

1792

Cordouan's chronology

Control of lighthouses is transferred to the French Navy; light duty is eliminated

1800

Cordouan's chronology

54 of the world's 130 lighthouses are British

1806

Cordouan's chronology

Control of lighthouses is transferred to the Ministry of the Interior, Ponts et Chaussées General Directorate

1811

Cordouan's chronology

The Lighthouse Commission is set up and tasked with proposing a lighting system for the French coastline

1819

Cordouan's chronology

Augustin Fresnel is seconded to the Lighthouse Commission to carry out lighting experiments

1822

Cordouan's chronology

Fresnel publishes his Mémoire sur un nouveau système d'éclairage des phares. Lighting of the Four tower, the first modern French offshore lighthouse, modeled after the lighthouse at Bell Rock (Scotland)

1823



The first Fresnel lens is installed at Cordouan

1825

Cordouan's chronology

Rapport contenant l’exposition du système adopté par la Commission des Phares, pour éclairer les côtes de France drafted by the hydrographer Paul-Édouard de Rossel.

1826

Cordouan's chronology

Cordouan's keepers are put on par with the menders of royal roads, the first stage in bringing the profession under the civil service

1827

Cordouan's chronology

Death of Augustin Fresnel. His brother Léonor succeeds him at the Lighthouse Commission

1836

Cordouan's chronology

Lighting of the Belle-Ile lighthouse, prototype of the major lighthouses as imagined by Fresnel

1838

Cordouan's chronology

Henry-Lepaute sets up an optics workshop in Paris

1840

Cordouan's chronology

Lighting of the Héaux lighthouse at Bréhat

1842

Cordouan's chronology

Publication of The Lighthouse, by Edgar Alan Poe

1845

Cordouan's chronology

Launch of the Talais, the first French lightship

1846

Cordouan's chronology

Engineer and architect Léonce Reynaud takes Léonor Fresnel's place at the head of the Lighthouse Service

1848

Cordouan's chronology

Construction of a lighthouse workshop on the Quai de Billy (Paris) Lighting of the new Baleines lighthouse (Île de Ré) First regulation organizing the profession for the country's 350 lighthouse keepers

1852

Cordouan's chronology

Louis Sautter takes over the company from heirs of Soleil, the optics expert who helped Fresnel with his experiments

1853

Cordouan's chronology

Crimean War

1855

Cordouan's chronology

First Universal Exposition in Paris. A frieze and a bust celebrate the memory of Fresnel

1856

Cordouan's chronology

Two Frenchmen, Marius Michel and Camille Colas, head up the Lighthouse Authority in the Ottoman Empire

1862

Cordouan's chronology

Creation of the firm Barbier et Fenestre (the future BBT), the third-largest French lighthouse manufacturing firm Cordouan becomes a listed monument

1863

Cordouan's chronology

The lighthouse at La Hève (Le Havre) is electrified Lighting of the Créac'h lighthouse (Ouessant)

1864

Cordouan's chronology

Lighting of the Cap Spartel lighthouse, built by Jacquet, a French engineer, under the auspices of an international agreement Publication of Mémoire sur l'Éclairage et le Balisage des Côtes de France (Léonce Reynaud)

1865

Cordouan's chronology

Lighting of the Amédée lighthouse (New Caledonia), a metal tower built in Paris that was dismantled and shipped in crates to the French colony in the Pacific

1876

Cordouan's chronology

361 lighthouses, lightships and lights, 3,214 marking devices along the coasts of France

1879

Cordouan's chronology

Edison invents the incandescent lamp

1881

Cordouan's chronology

The lighting of Armen after 17 years of work

1882

Cordouan's chronology

Bill proposing the electrification of 42 major lighthouses, reduced to 13 three years later

1885



The first regulation concerning the transport of visitors to Cordouan is issued, after the drowning deaths of four tourists

1889

Cordouan's chronology

Washington Conference introducing the first international markings regulation Universal Exposition in Paris, the Eiffel tower is fitted with lights Sautter announces the delivery of 2,061 devices, including 143 large-scale ones. Barbier et Fenestre have sold 1,022 devices to more than thirty countries.

1892

Cordouan's chronology

Rotating device set in a mercury pool at La Teignouse (Morbihan)

1896

Cordouan's chronology

Wreck of the Drummond Castle, relaunch of lighting programme for the Ile d'Ouessant and ile d'Irois

1897

Cordouan's chronology

Inauguration of the electric lighthouse at Eckmühl (Penmarc'h)

1898

Cordouan's chronology

Introduction of the pressurized kerosene lamp, which would be used in all offshore lighthouses prior to electrification

1900

Cordouan's chronology

International Exposition in Paris, Lu Tower and the Ile Vierge lens Publication of Le Gardien du feuby Anatole Le Braz

1902

Cordouan's chronology

Lighting of the new île Vierge lighthouse, the tallest stone lighthouse in the world (82 metres)

1905

Cordouan's chronology

The Lighthouse at the End of the World, Jules Verne (published posthumously) Lighting of the fourth lighthouse built on the Pointe de la Coubre. For this one, the engineers used reinforced concrete

1909

Cordouan's chronology

Construction of the Verzenay lighthouse (Marne) by the merchant Joseph Goulet

1911

Cordouan's chronology

Lighting of the Jument lighthouse

1914

Cordouan's chronology

The first SOLAS convention (Safety of Life At Sea), two years after the sinking of the Titanic

1916

Cordouan's chronology

Completion of the work at Kéréon

1922

Cordouan's chronology

73,415 visitors to lighthouses according to the Ponts et Chaussées administration

1924

Cordouan's chronology

Creation of a lighthouse keepers' trade union

1925

Cordouan's chronology

Coastal development programme, including 37 radioelectrical points and 5 electic beacons, each with a 200-mile reach

1929

Cordouan's chronology

Jean Grémillon films Gardiens de phare, an adaptation of a play created at the Theatre du Grand-Guignol in 1905

1931

Cordouan's chronology

796 lighthouses and signals, including190 lighted buoys, 148 sound signals and 1,752 seamarks

1937

Cordouan's chronology

Lighting of the most powerful lighthouse in the world at Créac'h (Ouessant) (500 millions candlepower) and the automated Nividic tower

1945

Cordouan's chronology

By the end of World War II, dozens of lighthouses along France's coasts were destroyed, particularly in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Normandy and the Côtes du Nord

1947

Cordouan's chronology

The BBT firm, formerly Barbier et Fenestre, estimates that it has exported 7,872 devices.

1954

Cordouan's chronology

Lighting of Roches-Douvres, a granite and concrete structure built to replace a metal lighthouse that was identical to one at Amédée, and that was destroyed by the Germans. The was the last great coastal offshore lighthouse

1967

Cordouan's chronology

Publication d'Armen de Jean-Pierre Abraham

1973

Cordouan's chronology

Lancement des premiers satellites militaires GPS

1978

Cordouan's chronology

Allumage du feu de Saint Gervais (golfe de Fos), dernier phare allumé sur les côtes de France Naufrage de l'Amoco Cadiz, décision d'installation d'un CROSS à Corsen

1988

Cordouan's chronology

Ouverture du musée des phares au Créac'h (Ouessant)

1989

Cordouan's chronology

Désarmement du Sandettié, dernier bateau-feu français, rapatrié au Musée portuaire de Dunkerque. Il est classé Monument historique. Jean Guichard photographie la Jument dans la tempête.

1990

Cordouan's chronology

Automatisation d'Armen Ouverture du GPS aux usages civils Disparition de la Direction des Phares au Ministère de l'Équipement

1992

Cordouan's chronology

Destruction du dépôt des phares de Paris

1995

Cordouan's chronology

Grève « Son et Lumière » des gardiens de phare contre l'automatisation des derniers phares isolés Les Roches Douvres, pièce radiophonique de Yann Paranthoën

1997

Cordouan's chronology

Je suis le gardien du phare, Eric Faye

2002

Cordouan's chronology

Création de la Société Nationale pour le Patrimoine des Phares Le baliseur océanique Armorique remplace le Georges de Joly

2004

Cordouan's chronology

Dernière relève à Kéréon (Iroise) L'Équipier de Philippe Lioret, avec Philippe Torreton et Grégory Dérangère

2010

Cordouan's chronology

14 phares sont classés Monuments Historiques

2011

Cordouan's chronology

Commémorations des 400 ans de Cordouan, des 200 ans de la Commission des phares et des 100 ans de la Jument Création d'un Observatoire des phares en mer de l'Iroise Annonce du transfert progressif de 60 phares, dont Cordouan, au Conservatoire du Littoral

2012



Transfert du gardiennage de Cordouan au Syndicat Mixte pour le Développement Durable de l'Estuaire de la Gironde Commémoration du 150e anniversaire du classement Monument Historique de Cordouan

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