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925 - Vilsandi tuletorn

925 - Vilsandi tuletorn
Region: Saaremaa     Light ordinates: 58.382867 N, 21.812717 E
Light running: night     Light characteristics: Fl W/R 15s
Light height from ground: 37m     Light height from sea: 40m
Light visibility: 12M     Built, y: 1809

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Vilsandi lighthouse with the boathouse at the rescue station and other outbuildings ca 1910. Jaan Vali's collections. 


The decision to build a lighthouse on the western coast of Saaremaa island was made by the Russian Admiralty in 1803. The primary location was Loonalaid, but besides being uninhabited, the islet also had unstable subsoil, thus the lighthouse was erected on Vilsandi island, which already had a border guard station. The construction was completed in 1809 and a second tower was built 150m north from the lighthouse a year later to assure secure navigation. Bad construction quality caused the tower to collapse and it was replaced by a wooden beacon. The initial limestone lighthouse was built higher at first in 1817 and then in 1870. The Vilsandi lighthouse ensemble became a centre for the Vaika Bird Protection Area in 1910, established by Artur Toom, also known as the Bird King. The protection area was first of its kind in Russia and a predecessor of the current Vilsandi National Park. Today, the lighthouse and the outbuildings are all in separate ownership, but the whole ensemble is listed as an architectural monument. 


Vilsandi lighthouse, the supervisor's house, the keepers' house and the sauna in 1920. Jaan Vali's collections. 

 Site plan of the Vilsandi lighthouse, 1920s. Estonian State Archive 

 Site plan of Vilsandi lighthouse in 1923. Estonian State Archive. 

 Vilsandi lighthouse in 1940, meteoro- logical equipment in the front. Jaan Vali's collections. 

 View from the Vilsandi lighthouse overlooking the supervisor's house, cellar and the sauna. Jaan Vali's collections. 


 The legendary lighthouse supervisor Artur Toom, also known as "the Bird King" with his daughter Maimu. Heino Vilipere's collections.

Vilsandi lighthouse and the boathouse at the rescue station in 1930s. Jaan Vali's collections. 

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