30 November 2022
Restoration – Île Vierge lighthouse
Back on the inauguration of the Île Vierge Lighthouse after three years of restoration.
Located on the north coast of Finistère, in Plouguerneau, the lighthouse of the île Vierge is a precious landmark for sailors. The Virgin Island, located at 1,5 km from the coast, hosts in fact two lighthouses. The big lighthouse dates from 1902, entirely built in stone, it is the highest lighthouse in Europe with its 82,50 meters. The second lighthouse, “only” 33 meters high, was built between 1842 and 1845 from granite stones taken from the site, it was lit for the first time on August 15, 1845. Towards the end of the 19th century, its lack of power and the impossibility of installing a more efficient light led to its replacement by a larger building.
Unoccupied since 2010 following the departure of the last keepers, the lighthouse has been completely restored by craftsmen. The Île Vierge Lighthouse has regained its spirit of yesteryear and bears witness to the particular way of life of the former keepers. At the heart of this project, the crafts that endure over time. A beautiful showcase of the know-how and skills that are maintained through this restoration.
On this island, which is only accessible by boat, the Crézé craftsmen worked on the restoration of the lantern. A symbol of the lighthouse allowing to enjoy the panorama on the ocean and on the coast of Aber Wrach. The roof of the dome is made of new copper sheets shaped in the Crézé workshop, identical to the old sheets that were not reusable. The metal framework of the dome has been restored or replaced if necessary and a system of flat brass glazing beads has been created to receive the laminated glass in accordance with current standards. This restoration allows us to enjoy the place in the same way as in the 19th century. From this work, we were also able to work on the chimney of the dome which is used for ventilation, in its original state, of which we stripped the multiple layers of paintings by a micro-sandblasting. The ball and the roof are left in copper with a natural patina. The lantern is the masterpiece of the lighthouse. This last one offers us a permanent spectacle, a place of observation and major meditation, an invitation to the reverie and the contemplation.
The Île Vierge is a mythical place of our territory, this place has all that Brittany has of better to offer. The Lighthouse is a magnificent work that illustrates the passing of time, the craft know-how and allows to revive the heritage.