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RISTNA LIGHTHOUSE

Location: N58° 56` 23.9", E22° 3` 19.00"

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Ristna lighthouse at the westernmost point of Kõpu peninsula warns ships sailing along the international shipping line about rocky areas in the sea and helps them to navigate. As Kõpu lighthouse nearby was often concealed by fog, it was decided to build another lighthouse. The additional task for Ristna lighthouse was to warn sailors of drifting sea ice by its red flashing light.

The iron-plate details were bought from France in 1873. This structure was cheaper and easier to install than Gordon-system lighthouses. The construction works ended in 1874. The lighthouse was originally painted white. The lighthouse is 30 metres tall and the light is seen as far as 18 nautical miles. (ca 32 km). There is a spiral staircase inside the tower. People have talked that Tahkuna and Ristna lighthouses, which were both bought from France quite at the same time, were mistaken one for another and put up in wrong places.

Outside the lighthouse there was a winch for carrying up firewood. At the same time the complex of service buildings was also built: the house of the lighthouse watch, cellar, sauna, well and a storage house. Ristna was well known for its fog bell which helped seamen to stay on the right course. The bell was rung after every 5 minutes. In 1889 , first in Estonia, the fog bell was replaced with a fog-horn which used steam power. The lighthouse started using electricity in 1902.

The lighthouse survived both world wars. In 1917 war ships shot more than 200 bombs towards the tower, but they missed the target. The lower part of the construction got damages in later bombings. To improve the lighthouse's stability, the structure was cast in concrete in 1920.

Ristna lighthouse is open to visitors. There is also a nice café. People who are keen on extreme sports can try abseiling there.