The Tower of Hercules, being a world’s renowned tourist spot, stands in La Coruna, Spain. A vast number of visitors come to this magnificent lighthouse built by the ancient romans. It’s the oldest lighthouse in use till day. While the history of its construction isn’t quite clear, there are many myths surrounding the Hercules’ tower.
Hercules was driven mad by Hera making him kill his own wife, son and daughter. He was given ten tasks to atone for his sins. Geryon was a giant known to be with three bodies guarding a herd of cattle. Hercules was ordered to bring along the cattle as his tenth labor. Legends say that Hercules travelled to the world’s end to defeat this three bodied monster and bring back the cattle. It took Hercules 3 days and 3 nights to defeat the giant. Hercules buried Geryon’s body and built a tomb with a torch upon it, The ‘Tower of Hercules’. Later a city came up in that area with a tower standing on a skull in its flag.
Other myths account to the time of King Breogan, the founding father of The Galician Celtic nation. These came up from the ‘Book of Invasions’. The King is known to have built a tower so high that his sons Ith and Belenus could see the top of a green shore.Determined to go see what was on such a green land, the sons of the Celtic king decided to go on an adventure. Breogan lighted a bonfire atop the tower, so that his sons could find their way back home, but unfortunately, Ith was assassinated in Northern Ireland, causing the wrath of Galician. Mil Espaine, the nephew of Ith sought vengeance and thus sent his sons, the Milesians to conquer the whole of Ireland. To this very day Milesians stand as ancestors of the Gaels(the Irish of today). A statue of King Breogan still stands infront of the tower.
Costa de Morte(Coast of Death) is a region along Galicia’s northern coast in spain. A large proportion of the North Atlantic maritime traffic passes along this coast and its melodramatic name comes from the numerous shipwrecks that have been cursed in this area of rocks, mist and storms. The wind here is believed to possess strong powers and and local legend tells of it creating wild nightmares. It so happens that the Tower of Hercules stands on this very coast.
While such legends obscure The Tower of Hercules, its history isn’t entirely unknown. At its foot, there is a latin inscription carved on a rock that is preserved which says
“MARTI AVG.SACR. G.SEVIVS LVPVS ARCHITECTVS AEMINIENSIS LVSITANVS EX V.”
Which means “Devoted to Mars (The Roman God). Gaius Sevius Lupus architect of Aeminium, Lusitan, fulfilling his promoise.
The Archaeological digs and architectural walls and construction methods allow to state that the tower was possibly built between 98 and 117 A.D under the regime of the Roman Emperor Trajan.
So, I feel that it would be a wonderful experience to travel to the world’s end to visit a two thousand year old tower -The oldest living light house- which is surrounded by many legends and is located on the Coast of Death, “The Tower of Hercules”.