Mama Lighthouse

Lisbon, Portugal

Mama Lighthouse

The Mama lighthouse (Portuguese: Farol da Mama) is located in the Carnaxide Sierra (Portuguese: Serra de Carnaxide) of the municipality of Oeiras, in Lisbon District, Portugal. It is built on a round hill, known as the Mama Sul, next to a Geodesic landmark. The Mama Lighthouse is about 4 km inland, northwest of Belém, and combines with the Esteiro and Gibalta lighthouses to indicate the alignment of the southern entrance to the Port of Lisbon.

The entrance to Lisbon's port has for long been made difficult by a sandy bar in the River Tagus estuary. Until the 19th Century fishermen with a detailed knowledge of the river would provide piloting services to commercial shipping, with assistance from beacons lit on the neighbouring hills, including the Mama Sul. The first known reference to its use for navigation was in 1607, by which time it is believed that a building to serve as a marker had already been constructed. However, it is likely that the hill, without a building, had been used as a point of reference for many years before, possibly since the time of Roman occupation.

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