“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.” – Dwight L. Moody
Welcome to the Travel Tuesday meme! Join me every Tuesday and showcase your creativity in photography, painting and drawing, music, poetry, creative writing or a plain old natter about Travel.
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Gytheio (Greek: Γύθειο) or Gythio, also the ancient Gythium or Gytheion (Ancient Greek: Γύθειον), is a town on the eastern shore of the Mani Peninsula, and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality East Mani, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 197.313 km2.
Gytheio was the seaport of Ancient Sparta, which lies approximately 40 kilometres north of it. It is the site of ancient Cranae, a tiny island where, according to the myth, Paris and Helen spent their first night together before departing for Troy. Gytheio used to be an important port until it was destroyed in 4th century AD, possibly by an earthquake, though its strategic location continued to give it a significant role in Maniot history. Now the seat of the municipality of East Mani, Gytheio is the largest and most important town in Mani.
The lighthouse of Gytheio lies on the small islet of Cranae, to the east of Gythio town. The lighthouse is a whitewashed octagonal construction. It is made of white marble and is 25m high while the height of its focal plane is about 78m. It was built in 1873 and from 1989 it houses the Maritime Museum that displays items from the long nautical history of Gytheio town and the area of Mani in general.
At the first period of its construction, the lighthouse used to work with petrol and its luminosity extended for over 15 nautical miles. However, during World War II, it fell in disuse until 1945, when the Hellenic Navy decided to reconstruct the lighthouse network. Four years later, it started to use acetylene. Today, it flashes every 18 seconds and has a range of 9 nautical miles. The lighthouse of Gytheio is open to the public and constitutes a famous landmark of the town.