Kiipsaare Lighthouse

Nav. Sign Name

Kiipsaare Lighthouse



Short Description

The color of the concrete tower is black and white striped and the lantern room is black

Is In Nav. Registry


Open for Visitors





Kõruse-metsaküla, Saare maakond


58.4956314, 21.8213066

Light Mode

On in the Dark

Year of Construction


Light Visibility Distance

12 miles

Light Height From Ground

25 m

Light Height From Sea

27 m
Kiipsaare lighthouse in the sunset. 2005. Jaan Vali.
Kiipsaare lighthouse in sunset. 2005. by Jaan Vali.

The former Kiipsaare lighthouse is located on the northwest coast of Saaremaa, on the Harilaiu peninsula, on the Kiipsaare dune. The lighthouse was built to help with orientation and to warn of dangers around the peninsula. The first wooden lighthouse, in the shape of a three-sided trunk pyramid, was built on the Undva promontory on the northern side of the same peninsula during the First World War. In 1925, a 25m high day marker is marked on the Undva Nina. It was repaired and fitted with an automatic acetylene plinking apparatus in the same year.

However, the Maritime Administration soon decided that the lighthouse should be located on the opposite shore of the Bay of Uusepank. In 1933, a slender reinforced concrete lighthouse was built on Harilaiu Kiipsaare dummy by Maximilian Arronet & Otto de Fries. The tower was painted in black and white belted and the lantern room in black. The height of the ring-section acetylene lantern light was 27 m above sea level, with a visibility of 12 miles. After the completion of the Kiipsaare lighthouse, the lantern of the Undva lighthouse was extinguished and the building was demolished in 1937. In 1938, a stone dwelling was built at Kiipsaare lighthouse, followed a year later by a well and, before World War II, a sauna.

In 1992, the fire was extinguished and the lighthouse quarry continued as a daymark. In 2009, that too came to an end, and to date, Kiipsaare has been deleted from the database of navigation marks. Despite its declining navigational significance, Kiipsaare is one of the most famous lighthouses of the 20th century. Situated in a naturally picturesque location, far from human settlements, in the territory of the Vilsandi National Park, the lighthouse has gained fame as Estonia's own Pisa Tower - originally built about 100 m from the shore, the tower was reached in the 1990s by the sea, which constantly eroded the shore and began to wash away the tower's subsoil with the waves. However, the leaning tower, which had long attracted curious onlookers, decided to straighten out again in 2008 - the waves had now simply started to erode the surface from the ground.

Kiipsaare has also gained notoriety as an unsuccessful privatisation project, when the Greens even planned a fundraiser to buy back the tower, which was sold by the municipality into private hands. Probably no other lighthouse has such an important film role to show for it - Kiipsaare lighthouse played a leading role in Sulev Keedus' feature film Somnambuul.