Tallinn Upper Lighthouse

Nav. Sign Number


Nav. Sign Name

Tallinn Upper Lighthouse


Lighthouse, Upper

Short Description

Stone tower with lantern room and balcony. Black on top, white on the bottom

Is In Nav. Registry


Open for Visitors



North Estonia


Tuletorni 1, 11414 Tallinn


59.4279079, 24.8007403

Light Mode

On around the clock

Year of Construction


Light Characteristics

Q W 5s

Light Visibility Distance

12 miles

Light Height From Ground

40.3 m

Light Height From Sea

81.1 m
Tallinn Upper Lighthouse
Tallinn Composite Sight. Estonian Historical Archive.
Tallinn Composite Sight. Estonian Historical Archive.

As early as 1832, the construction of a test lighthouse south of the lower, or Katharinenthal lighthouse, on Lasnamäe was planned. According to the captains, the fire sector of the lower seamark was difficult to read from the sea and did not guarantee a safe entry into Tallinn Bay from the north. In 1835, a wooden and temporary lighthouse in the shape of an octagonal trunk pyramid was built. Because the body was painted red and the roof green, people began to call it the red lighthouse. Regardless of the target, the light sector of the upper lighthouse initially extended to the northern tip of Naissaare in the west. In 1857, the light sector of the upper lighthouse was extended westward to warn ships arriving between Suurupi and Naissaare about the dangerous reef at the southern end of Naissaare.

1862. In 2008, the wooden lighthouse was thoroughly repaired, as it was already in a very poor technical condition. In 1879, the lighthouse had seven catoptric lights, located 35 m above the ground and 78 m above sea level, the light was visible for 18 miles. There were stone servants' quarters and a wooden barn by the lighthouse.

1896. In 2010, a new 40 m tall lighthouse with a round ground plan made of limestone and plastered was completed, which was again painted red. A catadioptric apparatus of the second order with permanent light was installed in the lantern room, which was ordered from the factory of Sautter Harle & Co. in Paris. The sector and visibility distance of the light located 79 m above sea level were the same as the previous lighthouse. At the same time, the residence, laundry and barns were repaired and the complex was surrounded by a fence. When building the 40-meter upper Tallinn lighthouse, traditional building materials were used, as the weatherproofness of the limestone tower and the relatively low maintenance effort had justified the choice of material over time.

1901. The generator building and the lighthouse were completed in 2008 and were switched to electric light. In 1902, a building for gas production was built on the territory of the upper Tallinn lighthouse, and another residential building was completed. By 1914, the lower part of the lighthouse was painted white, the upper part black. The visibility of the fire was 23 miles. In the 1920s, an acetylene factory operated near the upper Tallinn lighthouse to ensure the operation of the lighthouses. The repair report from 1941 shows that the dome, doors and windows pierced by bullets have been repaired. Apparently, the lenses were not particularly damaged. During the repair, a new electric motor was installed on the Plinka apparatus. The existence of a reserve lantern has been known since 1950. It had a visibility of 15 miles.

The last major modernization and repair works were done in 2000. The lighthouse received a backup light with a range of 14 miles to the target, a range of 9 miles. A narrow white sector light was added to the direction of the Tallinn target, the light of which was visible 23 miles away. As an interesting fact, it can be highlighted that the wide light sector established in the lighthouse in 1857 was in use until 2008, i.e. more than 150 years.

2010. In 2008, the fire equipment was updated and the nature of the fire was changed. In the lantern room, the unique optical lenses made in 1895 by the Parisian company Sautter Harle & Co. are still working as a reserve device. Of the service buildings, there is a residence, sauna and cellar built in the second half of the 19th century, a machine building, a machinist's residence and a gas factory built in the beginning of the 20th century, and a residence and workshop built in the second half of the 20th century. The lighthouse complex is under national protection as a cultural monument.