Development plan for lighthouses


Development plan for lighthouse tourism in Finland and Estonia 2008 - 2013

There is an observable trend all over the world that lighthouses are becoming more and more redundant as a modern navigation aid. and is attracting more attention than historical buildings and "icons" of maritime culture and tourist attractions. In this connection, the problem has arisen of how to preserve historically valuable lighthouses and other navigation aids for future generations, because the authorities responsible for safe navigation cannot consider the preservation of historical objects as their primary task. At the same time, practice shows that national institutions dealing with heritage protection also lack the means to renovate objects located in remote areas.

People have always been fascinated by the views from high up, which lighthouses would provide perfectly if they were open to visitors. Unfortunately, only the first steps have been taken to open them to those interested all over the world, including in Finland and Estonia. While 7 lighthouses are already open to visitors in Finland, in Estonia there are only 3 of them in 2007, despite the fact that Estonia has more historically and architecturally interesting lighthouses. All three historic lighthouses, which have been converted into tourist attractions, are located in Kõrgessaare municipality in Hiiumaa.

Therefore, many municipalities have the opportunity to develop the historical lighthouses of their region into a tourism product. Their deployment as tourist attractions requires enthusiastic efforts by municipalities to coordinate with the main lighthouse owner. the interests of EVA and local entrepreneurs, heritage and nature conservationists and make them think and act together in the direction that lighthouses can be used by all of us.

IALA (International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities The Association of Lighthouse Administrations) has published a special manual "IALA Lighthouse Conservation Manual" (see, which was also our guide in preparing this development plan.

The aim of this project is to develop lighthouse tourism and contribute to it. on the southern coast of Finland and in Estonia.

Participants and events

Project partners in Estonia:

Eesti Veeteede Amet contact advisor to the general director Vaido Kraav phone 6 205 534 Estonian Heritage Protection Board contact Jaan Vali phone 640 3032 Kõrgessaare parish contact assistant village head Katrin Sarapuu phone 462 2491 Kaarma parish contact ……… Aare Saar 452 0467

TTÜ Kuressaare College contact director Anne Keerberg phone 453 9145 SA University Center in Saaremaa contact director Olev Tõru phone 453 9839 MTÜ Eesti Saarte Kogu contact Kaia Eelma phone 452 4034 National Conservation Center Saaremaa region contact Tõnu Talvi 457 6442

Project partners in Finland:


Turun yliopistosätio Kustavi parish Uusinkaupunki city Varsinais-Suomen Luonto-ja ymparistöpalvelut Suomen majakkaseura (Finnish Lighthouse Society) Entrepreneur Hannas Horisont, Korppoo

Entrepreneur Paula Wilson, Dragsfjärd Suomen Merekulkuhallitus Suomen Metsähallitus Söderskärin majakka Oy



Project launch

Start-up meeting in Kuressaare - April 13, article in Oma Saar newspaper "Euromaja develops lighthouse tourism" Partners' working meeting and public seminar in Kuressaare - April 25


Development plan I draft and notification Study trip of Estonians to Hiiumaa 23. – 25.5. Start of translation of the IALA handbook Initiation of preparation of basic material on the lighthouse Steering Group I meeting


Planning of information boards and signs

Preparation of the development plan

Work meeting at TUT KK to prepare development plan and information materials June 1; Meeting at the Ministry of the Interior on eligible costs of the project June 19; Sõrve lighthouse circle as planning of a future tourism product - June 26;


Information event in Manija 5. July 6 Agreement between Euromaja and Turku University; New cooperation agreements with partners and an agreement with the Estonian Ministry of the Interior; Sõrve lighthouse circle in the Oma Saar newspaper on July 13 and 27

Planning of information boards and signs


Preparation of the development plan Basic materials in Estonian about Estonian lighthouses prepared


Study trip of Estonians to Southwest Finland 27. - 30.8. Steering group II meeting

Hiiumaa information boards present


Finnish study trip to Western Estonia, joint seminars of partners 4. - 6.9. Hiiumaa Kõpu lighthouse ring - product ready Kõpu and Hiiumaa lighthouse brochures ready Preparation of joint lighthouse tourism brochure

Performance on Kadi radio lighthouse project September 4 Project manager's presentation on Vikerradio September 6


Internet home page open: Project at the Turku book fair with a poster 4 - 6 October. Development plan working group meeting 12.10. In Tallinn

Information boards and signs present in Finland

Local workshops in Finland

Information about the project was published on the information tourism portal Workshop in Kuressaare - 24 October Performance on KUKU radio - 24 October


Final seminar of the project 13.11. Haapsalus Interview Radio Elmar - November 21st Estonian Nature, November - button informing about the lighthouse project about the creation of a lighthouse society - press release content and translations of the bns information brochure ready Development plan and basic materials translated Home page material ready

Development plan ready, translation and information in Finland and Estonia



Founding of the Estonian Lighthouse Society in print in Tallinn - 12 December Reports Information events in Saaremaa and Hiiumaa Steering group III meeting

The situation of lighthouses in Estonia

According to today's official list, Estonia has a total of 61 lighthouses, 184 fire tanks and nearly a few hundred buoys, which are working navigational markers. In addition, there are a number of historically interesting lighthouses/navigational marks that have fallen out of use, but are of interest as maritime history or architectural objects (Laidunina, Kiipsaare, Käsmu).

The vast majority of Estonian lighthouses /SLAID1.HTMon owned by the state, held by the Estonian Waterways Board (EVA). Four regional centers within EVA deal with navigational marking. The Harju and Virumaa center is located in Tallinn under the name Northern Estonia Navigation Marking Department with the address Valge t. 4, B corps. Hiiu-ja Läänemaa Navigation Marking Service Uus-Sadama 2 Haapsalu, Pärnu Navigation Marking Service, Merekalda 16, Pärnu and Saare Navigation Marking Service, Pärna 6, Kuressaares.

In the list of 100 lighthouses-architectural monuments selected by IALA, there are 6 lighthouses from Estonia : Kõpu, Ruhnu, Tahkuna, Keri, Pakri and Suurupi. The Kõpu lighthouse is among the world's three oldest continuously operating navigation marks. The so-called lighthouse located at the entrance to the port of La Coruña on the northwest coast of Spain is considered to be the oldest existing lighthouse. Tower of Hercules, which is believed to have been built by the Phoenicians in the early days of our era.

There are currently 16 lighthouse complexes under heritage protection: Kõpu, Suurupi upper and lower, Keri, Tallinn upper and lower, Vilsandi, Mohni, Vormsi, Ristna, Tahkuna , Ruhnu, Pakri, Käsmu, Laidunina and Kunda lighthouse ruins. In addition, there are plans to protect Kihnu, Abruka, Sorgu, Vaindloo and Sõrve. The plans of both heritage protection and EVA include the restoration of Keri, Mohni and Sorgu lighthouses, but both lack resources for this. Closer is perhaps the repair planned by EVA to the Vilsand lighthouse with heritage protection value. Unfortunately, the sea rescue station located there has already gone into private ownership.

As a rule, the restoration work of lighthouses under heritage protection is preceded by a further inventory of values and, if necessary, additional research, followed by design, which can only be done by an architect / designer who has the appropriate license, who is also as a supervisor during the execution of works.

Many lighthouses are located on lands under nature conservation, which, however, according to the opinion of nature conservation specialists, should not pose a problem when they are used as tourist attractions


if to reasonably organize the use of the land area and direct the movement of tourists. To promote the most interesting lighthouses in Estonia, Eesti Post has issued a series of stamps with the image of lighthouses. Until now, the stamps depict the upper and lower lighthouses of Pakri, Vaindloo, Ruhnu, Kunda, Vilsandi, Ristna, Kõpu, Mohni, Laidunina, Keri, Sorgu and Tallinn (see

Since lighthouses have begun to lose their functions as the most important navigation aid, and due to automation there is no need for the lighthouse keeper to live on site, so the auxiliary buildings have mostly fallen out of use. In Estonia, these former residential buildings are often privatized to former lighthouse keepers, and thus a privately owned property has arisen in the immediate vicinity of the lighthouse, which often restricts access to the lighthouse. Currently, only three lighthouses are still manned. These are Narva-Jõesuu, Ristna and Naissaare. The job of the latter will disappear from 2008.

At the same time, there are historically interesting technological devices left in or near lighthouses, as well as special-purpose buildings (marine rescue stations, special-purpose saunas, etc.), which may be of interest to visitors to the area if there are developers. , who are able and willing to exhibit these values and also train hiking guides.

Currently, only three Estonian lighthouses are open to visitors, all of which are located in Kõrgessaare municipality in Hiiumaa. These are Kõpu, Tahkuna and Ristna lighthouses ( As can be seen from the attached table, there are still a number of lighthouses in Estonia with sufficient potential from the point of view of tourism. We can certainly expect great interest in visiting such lighthouses as Sõrve lighthouse in Saaremaa, as well as every lighthouse located on a small island is definitely an attraction of this island and deserves to be opened at least in the summer period. This group includes the lighthouses of the inhabited islands of Kihnu, Ruhnu, Vormsi, Vilsandi, Naissaare, Osmussaare and others. Access to lighthouses on uninhabited islands is a separate problem. Currently, it is possible to admire Keri or Vaindloo lighthouses only from the sea or by landing on a small vessel, because as a rule there are no harbors on these islands.

Of the lighthouses located on the coast, the most interesting ones are the ones located on the coast of Pakri, Suurupi, Juminda, Narva and why not also Peipsi . If for some reason the lighthouse cannot or does not make sense to open to visitors, they can be part of a hiking trail, providing information about our maritime history in addition to the beautiful views that often open from the foot of the lighthouse.

Lighthouse tourism in the world There are about 15,000 lighthouses, 360 of them around the Baltic Sea. Interest in lighthouses as objects of maritime culture is growing, and those interested in different countries have created a whole series of organizations, mainly societies, to contribute to the preservation of historic lighthouses and to develop alternative uses. For example, in Finland the lighthouse society has over 400 members, in Sweden over 600 members, in America...., Australia....The World Lighthouse Society (World Lighthouse Society vtwww……) has set its goal:

to promote historically important navigation tools, especially lighthouses and -ships protection and preservation both on a national and international level;

to develop communication and cooperation between all lighthouse organizations and enthusiasts in order to share information, ideas and develop a strategic approach.


In the development of lighthouse tourism, two types of visitors should be taken into account - ordinary tourists and experts in the field of lighthouses. As a general rule, the interest of ordinary visitors is limited to the general structure of the facility and the opportunity to get an overview of the surroundings from the observation platform of the tower. Experts are interested in both the tower itself and its lighting equipment (lantern room, lantern, etc.). This should definitely be taken into account when planning lighthouse tourism, and separate programs and routes should be developed for both interest groups.

Possibilities of lighthouse tourism in Estonia and Finland

Strengths >

1. there are active municipalities and non-profit associations interested in the development of lighthouse tourism

2. many interesting lighthouses 3. some lighthouses have been successfully used for tourism 4. lighthouses are located in attractive places 5. background information about lighthouses is good 6. Finnish Waterways Agency is an active supporter 7. lighthouse tourism provides jobs in remote areas


1. the technical condition of many lighthouses is poor 2. access to the lighthouses of small islands is difficult 3. the Estonian Waterways Board has not yet begun to actively support 4. there are not enough services at the lighthouses 5. tourist information about lighthouses is difficult to find for tourists and is mostly in foreign languages

untranslated 6. several lighthouses of touristic value have not found an interested developer


1. There is a lot of interest in lighthouses 2. The introduction of lighthouses for new purposes is spreading 3. People have more money for traveling 4. EU funding opportunities 5. free movement in Europe is increasing 6. there are new products related to lighthouses on the market (for various important events, for example, weddings, etc.

organization, conference service, nature observations, catering services related to the above) 7. international cooperation (including lighthouse tourism) expands


1 . the state does not invest enough in the maintenance of lighthouses, the towers are destroyed 2. conflicts with the owners of neighboring properties prevent access to visit the lighthouses 3. the tightening of nature and heritage protection prevents the growth of tourism on the coast 4. the privatization of lighthouses takes them out of public use


Safety issues

Lighthouses are designed as navigational signs, so in many cases they do not meet the requirements of organizing a mass visit. Ensuring safety must be viewed from two aspects, and the first of them is certainly ensuring the operation of navigation devices and blocking access to navigation devices for visitors.

Ensuring the necessary safety for visitors requires the development of appropriate regulations for each object and, if necessary, strengthening or supplementing existing structures, organizing access to the object , regulation of the number of visitors, consideration of first aid options, etc. It should be remembered that visitors may have different physical preparation, very different abilities for physical effort, etc.

Obviously, in many cases, it is necessary to start with the correct organization of motor vehicle parking and the direction of pedestrian flows, taking into account the unevenness on the path, as well as all kinds of high steps, sewage wells etc. the resulting possible dangers.

The area should be equipped with warning signs, necessary boundaries, first aid phone numbers, etc. Inside the lighthouses, all rooms to which visitors are not recommended must be locked. It is especially important to make sure that the objects are not dangerous for children (fences that prevent climbing or swinging, tightly closed hatches, etc.)

The personnel serving the lighthouse should have been trained in providing first aid. It is advisable to keep the number of visitors inside the lighthouse under constant control.

Future plans in 2008 - 2013


In 2013, at least 7 lighthouses in Estonia and at least 12 in Finland are open to visitors.; at least 12 lighthouses in Estonia and 20 in Finland have been included in tourist routes; in both Estonia and Finland, at least 60 thousand people visit lighthouses a year.


Interest groups gather around lighthouse societies. We cooperate with waterways authorities and other state institutions to preserve

and display lighthouses.


Based on the growth in demand, lighthouses suitable for tourism will be put into use as far as possible.

In order to finance investments and the development of new tourism products, grants from EU structural funds are applied for.

Products are developed and marketed in international cooperation. Action Plan 2008 – 2013

Potential sources of funding for the development of lighthouse tourism:

Regional Competitiveness Strengthening Program (ERF) Regions Competitiveness Strengthening Small Projects Program (Estonian State) Regional Development Planning Program (Estonian State) Inerreg IV A,B,C (ERF) LEADER+

APPENDIX: Potential objects of lighthouse tourism in Estonia. (table)