Scheme of the narrow light sector in Tallinn front lighthouse from 1814.
Tallinn front lighthouse in the first half of the 19th century. Lithograph by L. H. Petersen.
Tallinn front lighthouse in the beginning of the 19th century. Lithograph by L. H. Petersen.
Tallinn front lighthouse ca 1930. Jaan Vali’s collection.
The decision to build the front lighthouse (originally Katharinenthal, also known as North, Lower or White lighthouse) near the Tallinn (Reval) Naval Barracks was taken by the Russian Admiralty in 1805. The initial stone light- house was completed in 1806 and plastered white. Although the house itself was only a two storey building, its light was 49m from the sea level. After the completion of the rear lighthouse in 1839, an octahedral wooden tower was erected on the northern end of the front lighthouse to raise its height and increase its visibility during daytime as well. The old light equipment was replaced with a 3rd category Fresnel device in 1861 and again in 1873. The lighthouse suffered serious damage during World War II and its tower was partly destroyed. A major reconstruction was carried out in 1959, when the damaged tower was built anew. The lighthouse was restored in 2000 and all of its equipment was replaced except the lantern. Most of the outbuildings (keeper’s house, staff house, sauna, cellar) dating from the 19th Century have preserved in their original state. The whole lighthouse ensemble is listed as an architectural monument.
Tallinn front lighthouse in 1865. Jaan Vali’s collection.
Site plan of the Tallinn front lighthouse ensemble from 1908. Estonian State Archives.
Tallinn front lighthouse ca 1920. Jaan Vali’s collection.