The Lighthouse of Andros, the famous Tourlitis, is a unique attraction on the stately Aegean island. How it emerges from the water will enchant you and its light at night will take you on a journey. The lighthouse of Andros is one of the island’s most important landmarks, but also of all the Cyclades. For more than a century, it has been guiding ships safely with its light, assuming the role of the protector of the Aegean Sea.
The Tourlitis Lighthouse is one of the few in Europe that is built on a rocky islet, literally as if it were rising out of the water. It was built in 1887 and first opened on 1 January 1897. At that time, Andros was one of the most important centers of Greek shipping, so the existence of a lighthouse was imperative. It has a height of 7 meters, a focal height of 36 meters, and can be seen at a distance of up to 11 nautical miles.
Lighthouse of Andros – Fighting the waves
The lighthouse of Andros Tourlitis managed to withstand the waves and strong winds but failed against the fury of World War II. This tragic war led to the destruction of this beautiful monument of the Cyclades, along with the bombing of Greece. About 50 years later, however, and specifically in 1994, Turlitis rose again from its ashes.
The Goulandris family, one of the most prominent on the island, with a significant contribution to the economic development of the island, rebuilt the lighthouse. In fact, the lighthouse of Andros became the first in Greece with fully automated operation. Finally, Turlitis also acquired its own Greek stamp, thus showing its great importance for the country.
One of the most famous naval centres
After the Greek Revolution, refugees from the surrounding areas and especially from Psara arrived in Andros, Experienced in shipping and trade, they strengthened the already maritime spirit of the island and led to great development. Andros quickly emerged as a strong naval center after the decline of others, such as Galaxidi. The Andriotes quickly became rich, created considerable fortunes and their naval fame reached as far as Central and Eastern Europe.
In 1939, a few months before war broke out, the stately island had the second-largest number of ships after Piraeus. In the late 1950s, due to the economic crisis and the civil war, a large wave of emigration began. Andrians chose either the interior and the large urban centers of Athens and Piraeus, or abroad (mainly to the USA). This emigration led to a significant decrease in the island’s naval power, but also in its population.
The lighthouse of Andros, the Tourlitis, is a symbol of the island’s great maritime history, shining its light on the Aegean seas.