Curiositá di Formentera: the story of the La Mola lighthouse

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Joel Fulleda

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How the La Mola lighthouse ended up in a book by Jules Verne


Formentera, although tiny island, is rich in monuments and historical features, which the municipalities have finally decided to renovate, to introduce tourists to the most important places on the island.

It cannot be said that it has become an open-air museum, but a historical route yes, sometimes even curious.

Today we tell you the story of the La Mola lighthouse and the writer Julio Verne

Inaugurated in 1861, the lighthouse of La Mola is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in Formentera: the atmosphere, the landscape, the grandeur of the tower… everything seems to be surrounded by a halo of curiosity and mystery.

Ed a mystery, in fact, there is: in 1971 a monument in memory of the French writer was erected a stone's throw from the entrance to the lighthouse Jules Verne, and many still wonder today why.

Well in 1877 Jules Verne wrote an adventure novel, in which it deals with the adventurous journey around the solar system of a small group of people representing different European countries.

The journey begins when a comet, which approaches the Earth, tears off some territories to take them on this journey: among these a part of Algeria, commanded by Ettore Servadac (which gives the novel its title), a part of Ceuta, one of La Maddalena ed a part of the island of Formentera, with the wise Palmirano Rosette.

Roseta, was in Formentera to study the stars and to carry out a study on stronomic distances “from highest peak of Formentera“, And it will be he who will explain the strange phenomenon of the comet.

The journey around the solar system will last two years, and then, passing close to the Earth again, the comet will bring everyone back home.

The story itself is typical of Verne's pre-fictional novels, but bearing in mind that wrote it in 1877, the importance for the island was enormous.

In fact, in that period Formentera was practically not known by nobles or tourists who, for their first trips to the Balearics, certainly preferred the major islands.

The curious thing is that there is no evidence that Jules Verne was in Formentrera, and it seems that the description of the island and the lighthouse of La Mola was detailed to him by the Archduke Louis the Savior of Austria who made his Grand Tour in the Balearics.

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