Exposition permanenteMusée MaritimeThe golden age of sea travel

Special Exhibition November 14th 2015 to March 13th 2016

Six years after France took possession of New Caledonia, the budding colony's maritime traffic was beginning to suffer from a lack of aids to navigation. In 1861, the Lights and Buoys Commission in Paris decided to commission the building of a lighthouse. This new beacon was to be built of cast-iron and set on Amédée Island, a small islet on the barrier reef, on the edge of Boulari Pass. The design was entrusted to Mr Léonce Reynaud, noted architect and engineer, and construction began in 1861 in Paris.

The structure was first assembled in Paris for testing, then (1864) dismantled and shipped to New Caledonia in pieces, onboard the Emile Pereire. The voyage took five months to reach Port-de-France (the earlier name of Noumea). The new lighthouse was erected on the site under the management of engineer Stanislas Bertin.

On November 15, 1865, Mrs Guillain, wife of Governor Guillain, ceremoniously lit the new lighthouse's lamp for the first time.

The exhibition can bee seen on the ground floor of the Musée Maritime