Medieval Times

During the High Middle Ages the lighthouse saw the beginning of a long period of neglect, plundering and ruins. The collapse of the Roman Empire and of its trade networks meant the decline of the great maritime routes which gave way to light, cabotage navigation which was very intense in protected, coastal waters such as those of Galician rias.

During this period, the lighthouse probably no longer lit the horizon but its mere presence on the peninsula where it rises would be enough to turn it into a huge daily beacon guiding seamen when reaching the port of A Coruña windward. Such must have been its importance that since a very early time, a number of place names are mentioned in relation to the lighthouse. Some of these place names are “Farum Brecantium”, “Farum Pregantium” or just “Faro”. Indeed, since the ninth or tenth century A.D, the ancient town of Brigantium came to be known as Faro, which attests to the importance the lighthouse still retained.

During the time of Norman invasions, several references were made to the lighthouse. Specifically, the Crónica of King Alfonso III mentions a battle in 846 where troops from Asturias defeated the Norman army in the vicinity of Farum Brecantium. Latter accounts include similar mentions.

Due to external threats and the decline in port activity, the town of Brigantium declined and almost disappeared as its population moved to a more secure settlement known as Burgo del Faro, located at the bottom of the ria, currently in the municipality of Culleredo, an area protected from potential external attacks. Now, the remains of the lighthouse were used as a watchtower with a marked military and defensive role.

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