- "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep."
- –The Bible, Psalms 107:23-24
City must be built on the coast.
- All military naval units receive +1 Movement and +1 sight.
- Free Lighthouse in the city.
The first sea-based Wonder available, the Great Lighthouse is a must for any sea-based civilization. Its main bonus allows their ships to move faster, which helps both in exploration and battle; its secondary bonuses add a Great Merchant point and a free Lighthouse in the city, so don't build one if you plan to build this wonder!
In order to get a chance at building it, you have to rush Optics, which is quite easy: simply research Pottery, then Sailing, then Optics. This path is also preferable for anyone playing on an Archipelago map, as your starting island rarely has room for more than one city. You'll also get the Embarkation ability pretty early, and enter the Classical Era already.
The Great Lighthouse, also known as the Pharos, was a marble watchtower and lighthouse built in 280 BC on an island in the harbor of Alexandria, Egypt. Estimated to have been 300 feet high, the primary function of the lighthouse was to guide approaching ships to the harbor on an otherwise unmarked coast. Exactly how the Pharos functioned is open to debate, with some historians believing that fires were burned on the top of the tower, while others believe that mirrors were used to reflect sunlight. (Since ships rarely sailed along coasts at night, there was probably little need for the lighthouse after dark.) The Pharos was destroyed in the 14th century after having been damaged by earthquakes.