French lighthouses and VERY BIG waves during stormy weather – by Sluwp
This video was taken on the 7th of december 2007 in "Raz de Sein" at the western tip of France, in Brittany, on a (very) stormy day.
Those lighthouses isolated in the open sea are/were called "Hells" because of the roughness of living conditions inside these isolated buildings, frequently harassed by the elements.
The first one seen in the video is Ar Men ("The Rock" in Breton), one of the best known lighthouses because of its isolated situation and the considerable difficulties its construction has presented (14 years were needed to build it !!), and the danger in evacuating its personnel.
Considered as one of the most challenging workplaces by the community of lighthouse keepers, it has been named "The Hell of Hells".
It has been automated in 1990.
Later we can see Tévennec, a little known lighthouse situated on the east side of the Sein Island. It had such bad luck in store for its guardians that it was suspected to be baleful, or even haunted. Indeed, during stormy weather, some keepers reported that gloomy screams could be heard. Recently a cave was found in the rock on which Tévennec was built, that may explain the weird noises heard by the keepers.
Since nobody wanted to live on this rock anymore, this lighthouse was automated way before the others, in 1910.
Nowadays, general automation makes human presence useless aboard these ocean look-out posts. In 2004, Kéréon, the Palace of the sea, the last lived-in open sea lighthouse, definitely closed its doors over its magnificent woodwork and its compass rose made in ebony and mahogany.
The previous automated lighthouses were : Armen (1990), la Jument (1991), les Pierres Noires (1992), le Four (1993), la Vieille (1995).
As nobody is here to scour, fix and maintain those lighthouses anymore, they are slowly detoriating. If nothing is done they may collapse in the coming years, like it happened to an auxiliary tower at La Vieille lighthouse during a storm on the 10th of April 2008.