Lighthouse of A Coruna o Tower of Hercules, at A Coruna.
 
Torre de Hércules
An interpretation of actual farum Brigantium
Probably, exterior walls were
more austere with less gates.
(First solution)

 
Built at Trajanus age -2nd century- and known as farum Brigantium, it was rebuilt and restored many times, last one at 1970. In spite of all, it shows a beautiful neoclassical design and looks acceptably like the original one.
 
It is surprising that the lighthouse does still work, being the only one on the world with a Roman origin and basis. It does work since year 1847.
 
At one of the rocks close to this building this inscription was found:
MARTI
AVG.SACR.
G.SEVIVS
LVPVS
ARCHITECTVS
AEMINIENSIS
LVSITANVS EX V.

 
It means: "Devoted to Mars. Gaius Sevius Lupus architect of Aeminium, lusitan, fulfilling his promise" and is supposed to be information on the architect who designed the lighthouse.
 
With a square plan it had a basic distribution in four rooms covered with barrel vault made of Roman concrete opus caementicium. These inner rooms were very high and were vertically communicated through a perimetral slope that raised with several turns up to the superior floor where the lamp stood.
Planta y sesciones del original faro romano
Plan and sections of the original Roman lighthouse.
(First solution)
Press to enlarge.

Original design for this slope is a mistery. There are many hypothesis:
 
  • The first and more successful is that it was inserted between central body and four exterior walls that hid and protected it. This theory brings a defensive element to the construction. The trouble is that this façade is totally lost: it was probably used as a quarry for later buildings.
     
  • Second one proposes an external slope, made of wood or stone. This would be lost because of the effect of time and lack of maintaining. It would only remain the mark on the walls. It has been said, with no solid ground, that this slope was so resistent to let pass carts with the necessary wood for the lighthouse fire.

Because of the very carefully restore at 1971, this slope can be imagined at the slope cornices around the lighthouse. Access is done today with a staircase built at 17th century at the inner part, between Roman vaults.
 
Torre de Hércules
On the left, original remainings with the perimetral mark.
On the right, the second solution with an external slope.
Planos del Faro en la Actualidad
Elevation and sections of elevation and plan.

Anyway, inner and outer façades were composed by great ashlars, opus quadratum. Actual covering of ashlars is 0,60 m. wide and hide original Roman construction, very spoilt.
 
Superior Roman floor, lost today, had a cylindrical plan covered by a dome. It was substituted by a structure with an octogonal plan at 18th century.