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Lefki Lighthouse (Koufonissi)

  • Lefki Lighthouse (Koufonissi)


About Lefki Lighthouse (Koufonissi)

Located in the heart of the southeast coast of Lefki or Koufonissi island, at an elevation of 75 meters, lies the remains of the Lefki lighthouse. An ancient temple was discovered here, but sadly, it was subjected to destructive looting by the authorities in 1920 to construct the lighthouse, which was built just 5 meters away from the temple’s eastern entrance. Another stepped entrance was found on the northern side. The temple’s dimensions were 18m x 15.7m, complete with a crepidoma. Near the northwest corner, two large fragments of the temple’s colossal statue were discovered, depicting a deity seated on a cube-shaped throne. The recovered pieces include a portion of the seat with the left side of the pelvis and the right leg from the draped or folded waist of the garment down to the ankle. Although heavily damaged, the statue appears to be from the Hellenistic period and must have stood over 2.5 meters tall. Over the years, visitors, mainly sailors, have etched their names and dates onto the surfaces, with one of the dates being 1630.

Unbelievably, the remaining parts of the statue were likely broken by workers and used as construction materials for the lighthouse, which was bombed in 1944. Here, one can observe chunks of marble wedged among other stones, as well as the massive symmetrical blocks that were uprooted from the temple, leaving only the steps and filling intact – even the flooring has vanished.

In a further twist of fate, a metal automatic lighthouse was installed in more recent years directly over the temple’s floor, possibly where the once-magnificent colossal statue of the deity, revered by the people of Lefki, used to stand in all its glory. Fortunately, this modern lighthouse has since been removed.

Categories & Tags

  • Lighthouse

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