Vormsi (Saxby) Lighthouse

Nav. Sign Number


Nav. Sign Name

Saxby tuletorn



Short Description

White conical metal tower with lantern room and balcony

Is In Nav. Registry


Open for Visitors



Hiiu- ja Läänemaa


Saxby küla, Vormsi vald, Lääne maakond


59.0084682, 23.0088493

Light Mode

On in the Dark

Year of Construction


Light Characteristics

Iso W/R/G 6s

Light Visibility Distance

7 miles

Light Height From Ground

23.6 m

Light Height From Sea

25.7 m
Cross-section of Vormsi lighthouse, 1927. Collection of the Estonian Maritime Museum.
Cross-section of Vormsi lighthouse, 1927. Collection of the Estonian Maritime Museum.

Located on the western coast of Vormsi Island at Saxby Point, this lighthouse has withstood the test of time and devastating wars. In 1941, despite being hit eight times, the lighthouse's historical significance has been preserved through restoration efforts and it has been recognized as an architectural monument.

Due to the increasing maritime traffic of passenger and cargo ships in the 19th century in the Väinameri region, the construction of prominent lighthouses became necessary. In 1863, a cast iron lighthouse was ordered from Porter and Co. in England, and work began on the lighthouse's foundation and service buildings. In 1864, the prefabricated sections of the lighthouse were assembled on-site, and the ruins of the harbor bridge built for unloading these sections are still visible today.

Although technically functional, the 17-meter tall Vormsi lighthouse became too short due to dense fog and growing forests. A new lighthouse, 7 meters taller than the old one, was ordered from the Liepaja factory.

The old cast iron lighthouse was disassembled and transported to the still-intact Vaindloo Island lighthouse, and a new lighthouse was erected in the same location to continue regulating ship traffic between the Gulf of Finland and Väinameri at Hari Kurk. The Vormsi lighthouse was equipped with a third-order dioptric fixed light from Chance Brothers & Co, and its light, located 27 meters above sea level, was visible from up to 10 miles away.

Vormsi lighthouse remained largely undamaged during the First World War. Bullets had slightly damaged the lantern room, and the lighting equipment had been taken by the Germans. The Second World War was more challenging. In addition to damage caused by anti-tank guns in the lighthouse structure, the lantern room's glass and lighting apparatus were shattered. Considering the fate of Estonian lighthouses during the war, the lighthouse's survival was fortunate, as not all lighthouses shared the same fate. In the 1950s, a new lighting apparatus was installed, and the damages were repaired.

Besides the well-preserved lighthouse, the complex includes seven other buildings. In 1864, an overseer's residence, a petroleum depot, and a well were completed. The remaining buildings, including a sauna, shed, cellar, and generator house, date from the 20th century.