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Tahkuna Lighthouse

Location: N59° 5` 29.16", E22° 35` 10.2"

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Tahkuna lighthouse is situated on the northern tip of Hiiumaa in order to guard the seaway. It is the tallest of Estonian cast iron lighthouses, 42,6 meters above sea level. It has served the travellers since 1875. The lighthouse was important because it helped to make the route to St. Petersburg in the Gulf of Finland safer. The unusual chequered appearance comes from the cast-iron plate construction of the lighthouse, so- called Gordon system, named after its designer, a British engineer Alexander Gordon. Czarist Russia bought the lighthouse from the World Exhibition in Paris. The prefabricated parts of the lighthouse were manufactured in France in 1874 and assembled on site at Tahkuna. At the same time the light system (a lamp and lenses) with permanent light was ordered from the French company Barbier & Fenestre. The lighthouse was painted white and had a green dome at the beginning. The diameter of the base is 9 metres and of the top 4 metres. There is a spiral staircase inside the lighthouse. The light of the tower is visible 18 nautical miles to the sea and it works all year long when it is dark outside. The work cycle lasts for 15 seconds: 2 seconds of light, 2 seconds hidden, 2 seconds of light, 9 seconds hidden. The lantern room is the glassed-in housing at the top of a lighthouse tower containing the lamp and lens which was renovated after World War II. In 1969 the lighthouse was connected to the general network of electricity, but it has also an extra generator. The lighthouse was given a new red dome in 2002. The open platform outside the lantern room was mainly used for cleaning the outside of the windows of the lantern room. The solid construction has endured the harsh climate and many war damages. The lighthouse with its side buildings gives a good understanding how the life was set near the coastal lighthouse. Visitors can see a sauna, built in the 19th century, the stone storehouse where fuel was kept, a cellar, the building for a generator, and a wooden house where the lighthouse keeper lived. 

Since 2005, the lighthouse has also been used as a place for concerts and art exhibitions. A year later it was opened for visitors.