Day 640 – Îles Sanguinaires

Any good at French? Yep – they are the Blood Islands.
Scary name, beautiful place, just off the South West coast of Corsica.

And their name has nothing to do with blood:

The name “Sanguinaires”, given to these islets, has several origins; either due to the purple light which bloodied the rocks, just before sunset over the sea, or to the color of Frankenias (Frankenia laevis), small plants with pink flowers whose leaves turn bright red in autumn, or to flowers snowflake roses.

Other hypotheses refer to the Gulf of Sagone . Old geographical maps mention the “Sagonnaires” islands (isule sagunarie) named by the bishopric of Sagone . Later makeshift settlements served as lazarets for coral fishermen nicknamed i sanguinari (black-blooded people), returning from Africa.

Basically, no-one knows.

Amazingly, despite all those towers on all those islands, only one of them is a lighthouse. The one nearest to us (actually on the island mainland) is a 16th century watchtower – an example of a Genoese Tower, and the two furthest on the far island are a small defensive tower built in the 18th century, and a semaphore – a marine signaling building:

And then, of course, because this is 6000 miles…, the lighthouse:

Le phare des Sanguinaires | Le nouvel Economiste

Constructed 1844, Automated 1984.
Height 18.5m, Elevation 98m, Range 44km.
180W halogen lamp with Characteristic: Fl 3 W 15s