Three days of travelling, by ferry, plane and bus (at eleven hours, the latter by far the longest of the trio) took me from Pico island to A Coruna in the north west corner of Spain.
The Tower of Hercules is an operational lighthouse, the inner structure of which is 1st century AD Roman. The Roman tower was also a lighthouse, comprising an inner tower (the part still embedded within the present structure), with an access ramp spiralling up around it within a 2m thick outer skin of wall.
After the Romans, it fell into disuse and all of the outer wall and ramp were gradually lost, largely as a result of the stone being taken for reuse elsewhere. It was used as a lookout and fortress in the middle ages and an internal staircase inserted in the 17th century. Then in the late 18th century it was given the neoclassical facade it wears now. This includes a projecting course spiraling up the outside to show the location of the orignal Roman ramp. This work also made the tower taller with the addition of the octagons on the top replacing a shorter round Roman structure.
The name comes from a legend that the building was erected over the buried head of the giant Geryon, slain by Hercules after three days and nights of battle.
Here’s my Lego version. I’m afraid the spiral was beyond me!