On the stately Aegean island of Andros, a lighthouse rises from the water, the famous Tourlitis, is one of the most important landmarks on the island and of the Cyclades. The lighthouse Tourlitis has been illuminating the seas, protecting the incoming ships for more than 120 years. This picturesque and impressive structure is built on a rock in the sea.
It is one of the few lighthouses in Europe that stands in the sea, fighting the waves every day. Turlitis was built in 1887 and started operating on January 1st, 1897. It has a height of 7 meters, and a focal height of 36 meters. In addition, it can be seen at a distance of up to 11 nautical miles. It is located directly opposite the Venetian Castle of Andros and was built at a time when the island had already become an important center of Greek shipping.
Tourlitis – The invincible Lighthouse of Andros
The lighthouse of Andros, Tourlitis, was destroyed during World War II. This tragic war, apart from deaths and poverty, caused the destruction of this beautiful monument of the Cyclades. Its original form was not restored until 1994. That year, however, Tourlitis, the invincible Lighthouse of Andros showed its vital signs. With great funding from the Goulandris family, one of the most prominent families on the island, the lighthouse was rebuilt. It became the first automated lighthouse in Greece. There was no longer a need for a guard to oversee its operation. In addition, Tourlitis became the first lighthouse to be depicted on a Greek stamp. Since its renovation, it has become one of the tourist attractions of the area.
Andros – The naval center of the Cyclades
After the Greek Revolution, several refugees from Psara arrived in Andros, with extensive experience in shipping and trade. Andros quickly emerged as a powerful naval center after the decline of other traditional shipping centers such as Galaxidi and Hydra, Within a short time, the Andriots managed to become rich and famous throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The Andriots merchants were particularly active in the trade of grain from Central and Eastern Europe, at the mouth of the Danube.
During the 20th century, Andros, despite the blows of the First and Second World Wars, enjoyed impressive economic prosperity and naval dominance. At the beginning of the 20th century, the shipowner Dimitris Moraitis from Andros inaugurated the Greece-North America sea route. In 1939, Andros was second in the number of ships, after Piraeus. In the late 1950s, a large wave of emigration began, both to the large urban centers of Athens and Piraeus and abroad (mainly to the USA), dramatically reducing the island’s naval power and population.