The lighthouse is a near-universal symbol of safety and guidance that has helped mariners find their way home since ancient times. Although they are gradually outliving their usefulness, they are still epic monuments to human ingenuity and to their own resilience. Because August 7th is National Lighthouse Day in the U.S., we decided to share some amazing lighthouse photos with our readers.

Ancient mariners were often guided home by bonfires built on hilltops, which were later elevated and evolved into lighthouses. These gradually grew taller and stronger and moved closer to the sea. Most lighthouses currently still standing are marvels of practical and resilient architecture and engineering, brushing off the worst that the seas have to offer. While their guiding beacons may soon cease to sweep across the coastal night sky, we can still appreciate how beautiful and epic these wonderful buildings look.

Cast-Iron Lighthouse, Whiteford, UK

Image credits: Matthew Jones

Phare du Petit Minou, Brest, France

Image credits: Alexander Riek

Frozen St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse, Michigan, USA

Image credit: Thomas Zakowski

Image credits: Charles Anderson

Porto, Portugal

Image credits: Veselin Malinov

Victoria Beach Lighthouse (Built In 1926), California, USA

Image credits: Dave Gaylord

Viavelez, Asturias, Spain

Image credits: Manu Díaz

Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Image credits: Holger Schmitt

Lighthouse Of Talacre, Wales, UK

Image credits: Iain McConnell

Andros Island, Greece

Image credits: Mary Kay

San Esteban De Pravia, Spain

Image credits: Saghani

Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales

Image credits: Joe Daniel Price

Lighthouse in Beagle Channel, Argentina/Chile

Image credits: Skel Shizuko

Lighthouse Of Fastnet Rock, Ireland

Image credits: Fergal O’Callaghan

The Lange Nelle Lighthouse, Ostend, Belgium

Image credits: Piet Flour

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, USA

Image credits: Ratul Maiti

Santander, Cantabria, Spain

Image credits: Marina Cano

Stångholmen in Lysekil, Sweden

Image credits: Henrik Aleborg

St Mary’s Lighthouse, Bait Island, UK

Image credits: Steven Walden

Kermorvan Lighthouse, Bretagne, France

Image credits: Nicolas Rottiers

Newhaven Breakwater Lighthouse, East Sussex, England

Image credits: Peter

Portland Head Light, Maine, USA

Image credits: Yegor Malinovskii

Mouro Island Lighthouse (Built In 1860), Spain

Image credits: Jokin Romero

Brest, France

Image credits: Stefan Cruysberghs

Mouro Island Lighthouse (Built In 1860), Spain

Image credits: Juan Carlos Ruiz

Molnes Lighthouse, Norway

Image credits: freeezzzz

Old Scituate Lighthouse (Built In 1810), Massachusetts, USA

Image credits: Francisco Marty

Porto, Portugal

Image credits: Veselin Malinov

Lighthouse And Aurora-Filled Sky, Iceland

Image credits: Gunnar Gestur

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