Reading Light

Reading Light (Hebrew: מגדלור רדינג‎), also known as Tel Kudadi Light, Hayarkon Light and Tel Aviv Light, is an inactive lighthouse in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is located near the beach on the north side of the Yarkon River Estuary, on the foot of the Tel Aviv south breakwater. It takes its name from the Reading Power Station which is close by.

The lighthouse played a role in several Israel films, such as Late Summer Blues, and appeared on an Israeli stamp issued 26 November 2009.

History

The lighthouse was built by the British authorities in 1934-1935 to help ships approaching the shore pass local sandbars safely. The company performing the construction was a French company, assisted by Arab locals.

During its construction, a tel was found, and named Tel Kudadi. The tel was dug in 1936-1938 and remains of two Assyrian fortresses from the 8th century BC were discovered.

On 19 April 1936 the Arab revolt broke out, and a general strike began, crippling the Jaffa Port and threatening to stop the citrus fruit export. Against the wishes of the British authorities, the Jewish establishment decided to open Tel Aviv port as a competing port to Jaffa. The location chosen was at the Yarkon River Estuary, close to the lighthouse, and the lighthouse served as a navigation aid for the port.

Between 1937 and 1938 the Reading Power Station was built nearby. Its tall lighted chimney made the lighthouse somewhat redundant and also obscured the light through a sector. However, the light continued to work, serving the adjacent electricity plant harbor as well. In 1965, when the port was officially closed due to the opening of the Ashdod Port in the south, the light was shut down.

In 2007 the Israeli Antiquities Authority built a wood boardwalk around the tel and the lighthouse, and it is now easily accessible to the public, though the tower itself is closed and all the windows barred.

The lighthouse was formerly painted in a black and white checkerboard pattern, and traces of the paint remain.