Lighthouses of Southwestern Estonia

Estonia is a small country with a surprisingly long coastline. Surrounded on 2-1/2 sides by water, it faces the Gulf of Riga on the southwest, the Baltic Sea on the west, and the Gulf of Finland on the north. There are two large islands in the Baltic, Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, and countless small islands. To guard these coasts, Estonia has more than 100 lighthouses and a well-developed lighthouse administration. This page includes lighthouses of the southwestern coast, including Pärnu and Saare counties.

Estonia's independence is recent. The country was part of the Swedish Empire from 1625 to 1710, and then part of the Russian Empire from 1710 until the end of World War I in 1918. After two decades of independence, it was incorporated into the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1990. Thus the older lighthouses are from the Russian Imperial period, and some of the newer ones are of Soviet construction. An example from the imperial period appears at right: the Vilsandi lighthouse built in 1809.

Lighthouses in Estonia are operated by the Estonian Maritime Administration (Eesti Veeteede Amet, or EVA). In Estonian, a lighthouse is a tuletorn (fire tower), a tulepaak, or a majakas. A daybeacon is called a päevamärk.

Names in curly brackets {} are non-Estonian former names (Swedish or German).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. EMA numbers are from the web site of the Estonian Maritime Administration. Admiralty numbers are from volume C of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 116.

General Sources
EVA Aids to Navigation Database
Official information from the Estonian Maritime Administration.
Eesti Tuletorni Selts
Web site of the Estonian Lighthouse Society (in Estonian).
Insulaar - Aids to Navigation
This web site includes photos and data for navigational aids throughout Estonia.
Online List of Lights - Estonia
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Estonia
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Estonia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Estonian Lighthouses
A large portfolio of photos posted on Panoramio.com by Sven Vaarandi.
Leuchttürme an der estländischen Ostseeküste
Photos of Estonian lighthouses posted by Bernd Claußen.
Lighthouses Estonia
Photos posted on Flickr.com by Joke Reijnen.
Six Remarkable Estonian Lighthouses
Information posted by Cybernetica AS, an Estonian manufacturer of aids to navigation.
Estonian Lighthouses
Historic postcard images posted by Michel Forand.
Leuchttürme...auf historischen Postkarten
This page, posted by Klaus Huelse, has 18 historic postcard views of Estonian lighthouses.

Vilsandi Light
Vilsandi Light, Kihelkonna, August 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Sven Vaarandi

Pärnu County Lighthouses

Häädemeeste Parish Lighthouse
* Häädemeeste (Mõisaküla)
1956. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 5 s. 28 m (92 ft) square skeletal tower, painted red. The west side of the tower is covered by a slatted daymark painted white. Trabas has a photo by Klaus Kern, Claußen has a photo, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located in the village of Häädemeeste, on the east side of the Gulf of Riga about 35 km (22 mi) south of Pärnu. Site open, tower closed. EMA 894; Admiralty C3594.5; NGA 12452.

Pärnu City Lighthouses
Note: Pärnu, formerly known by its German name Pernau, is a seaport and resort town at the mouth of the Pärnu River at the northeastern corner of the Gulf of Riga. EMA's pages indicate that there was a light at Pernau as early as 1835; Findlay's 1879 list describes "two lanterns" at the river entrance, a station established in 1856.
Seedri Range Front (Pärnu Outer Range Front) (2)
1976 (station established 1922). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white light, 0.5 s on, 0.5 s off, visible only along the range line. 14 m (46 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The front of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted white with a red vertical stripe. A 2007 closeup and a 2006 photo are available, and Bing has a satellite view. This range guides vessels approaching the Pärnu River entrance from the Gulf of Riga. Located on the east bank of the river about 200 m (650 ft) from the mouth. Site probably open, tower closed. EMA 881; Admiralty C3608; NGA 12468.
* Seedri Range Rear (Pärnu Outer Range Rear) (2)
1976 (station established 1922). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off, visible only along the range line. 24 m (79 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The front of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted white with a red vertical stripe. A 2007 closeup and Eugene Pentya's 2006 photo are available, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the east bank of the river on the grounds of the Tervis Medical Spa (Sanatoorium Tervis). Site open, tower closed. EMA 882; Admiralty C3608.1; NGA 12472.
Silla Range Front (Pärnu Inner Range Front) (2)
1999 (station established 1930). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off, visible only along the range line. 13 m (43 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The front of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted red with a black vertical stripe; apparently the color of the stripe was changed fairly recently from white to black. Trabas has a photo showing the black stripe, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. This is the entrance range for the Pärnu River. Located on the quay at Pärnu. Site status unknown. EMA 891; Admiralty C3612; NGA 12476.
* Silla Range Rear (Pärnu Inner Range Rear) (2)
1999 (station established 1930). Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off, visible only along the range line. 26 m (85 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The front of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted red with a black vertical stripe; apparently the color of the stripe was changed fairly recently from white to black. Sven Vaarandi's photo is at right, Trabas also has a photo showing the black stripe, another photo is available, Google has a street view, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on Jannseni Boulevard behind the harbor facilities of Pärnu. Site open, tower closed. EMA 892; Admiralty C3612.1; NGA 12480.
* Pärnu Approach Range Front (2)
2002 (station established 1960). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); red light, 0.5 s on, 0.5 s off, visible only along the range line. 22 m (72 ft) robust round post, painted red. The tower carries a large slatted daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. Trabas has a photo by Klaus Kern, a closeup is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located on the shore of the Bay of Pärnu about 500 m (0.3 mi) west of the Pärnu River entrance. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. EMA 871; Admiralty C3606; NGA 12456.
* Pärnu Approach Range Rear (2)
2002 (station established 1960). Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off, visible only along the range line. 34 m (112 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted red. The upper half of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. EMA's photo is at right, Trabas has a photo by Klaus Kern, Claußen has photos of both lights, another photo is available, and Google has a distant street view and a satellite view. Located off Merekalda Avenue in Pärnu. Site open, tower closed. EMA 872; Admiralty C3606.1; NGA 12460.
Silla Range Rear Light
Silla Range Rear Light, Pärnu, July 2007
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Sven Vaarandi

Audru Parish Lighthouse
* Liu (Kirikunina, Kirku Nina)
1956. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white light occulting twice every 5 s. 28 m (92 ft) square skeletal tower, painted red. The south and east sides of the tower are covered by a slatted daymark painted white. Estonian Wikipedia has a page with a photo, a good closeup is available, and Google has a street view from the rear of the tower and a distant satellite view. Located on a cape at Liu, the west side of the entrance to the Bay of Pärnu, about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of the city. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. EMA 865; Admiralty C3605; NGA 12492.

Tõstamaa Parish Lighthouses
* Manilaid (Maniliau) {Manija}
1933. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white, red, or green light depending on direction, 2 s on, 2 s off. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern red. Estonian Wikipedia has a page with a good photo by Ivo Kruusamägi, a fine closeup is available, Vladimir Popov has a winter photo, and Google has a very distant satellite view. Manilaid is a small island just off Munaliau at the western entrance to the Pärnu Laht (Pärnu Bay). The light displays no less than 10 sectors to guide ships around the island in their approach to Pärnu, Estonia's main port on the Gulf of Riga. Located at the southern tip of the island, which is accessible by passenger ferry from Munaliau. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-070; EMA 855; Admiralty C3603; NGA 12464.
Sorgu {Sorkholm} (2)
1904 (station established with a daybeacon in 1864). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two flashes every 9 s, white or red depending on direction. 16 m (53 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, standing on an octagonal base. The lighthouse is unpainted red brick; lantern painted red. 2-story brick keeper's house. The lighthouse has been in poor condition; Vladimir Popov has a 2006 photo that shows severe spalling of the bricks. Google has a distant satellite view. Sorgu is a small island in the mouth of Pärnu Bay, about 8 km (5 mi) southeast of Manilaid and about 30 km (19 mi) southwest of Pärnu. The island is a bird sanctuary, closed to visitors until after the nesting season ends in July. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-050; EMA 860; Admiralty C3602; NGA 12508.

Kihnu Parish Lighthouse
* Kihnu {Küno}
1865. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); two long (1.5 s) flashes every 12 s, white or red depending on direction. 28 m (92 ft) round tapered cast iron tower with lantern and gallery; Fresnel lens in use. Lighthouse painted white; lantern dome is red. Trabas has EMA's photo at right, another good photo is available, also a third photo, Wikimedia has several photos, and Google has a distant satellite view. This lighthouse was prefabricated in England; it is a copy of the Vormsi Light (see below). Forand has a 1931 postcard view. Kihnu is an island in the northern Gulf of Riga, about 12 km (7.5 mi) south of the mainland and 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Pärnu. Most visitors arrive by air, but there is also ferry service from Pärnu in the summer. Located on the south end of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-028; EMA 840; Admiralty C3596; NGA 12500.
Kihnu Light
Kihnu Light, Kihnu
Estonian Maritime Administration photo

Varbla Parish (West Coast) Lighthouses
Sõmeri (Matsiranna) (2)
1954 (station established with a daybeacon in 1941). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with gallery but no lantern, mounted on a square white concrete base. Taavi Liblik has a closeup, another photo is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory of the Sõmeri Poolsaar (peninsula) about 10 km (6 mi) south of Matsi on the north shore of the Gulf of Riga. It is not known if there is land access to this site. Site status unknown. ARLHS EST-051; EMA 835; Admiralty C3595; NGA 12496.
Pöörilaid (Pöörilaiu, Pööriotsa)
1939. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); four white flashes every 18 s, white, red, or green depending on direction. 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. John Caddell has a photo, a winter closeup is available, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the southern approach to the Suur Väin, the strait separating Saaremaa from the mainland. Located at the west end of an island west of Mereäärse. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS EST-047; EMA 830; Admiralty C3631; NGA 12512.

Saare County Lighthouses

Note: The large island of Saaremaa lies off the southwestern coast of mainland Estonia and borders the northwest side of the Gulf of Riga, separated from the Courland peninsula of Latvia by the Irbe Strait. The island is readily accessible via ferry from Virtsu on the mainland to Kuivastu on Muhu Island and a bridge from Muhu to Saaremaa. Historically, Saaremaa was known as Ösel in both German and Swedish.

Ruhnu Parish Lighthouses
Note: Ruhnu is an island in the central Gulf of Riga, 37 km (23 mi) due east of Cape Kolka, Latvia, and about 80 km (50 mi) southeast of Saaremaa. Until World War II it was the home of descendents of the original Swedish settlers, who called the island Runö. Now a popular tourist attraction in the summer, Ruhnu has a permanent population of about 60. Most visitors arrive by air, but there is also passenger ferry service from Saaremaa.
* Ruhnu {Runö} (3?)
1877 (station established 1646). Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); white flash every 4 s. 40 m (131 ft) cast iron quadripod tower with lantern, watch room, gallery, and central cylinder, painted brown; lantern roof is red. A photo is at right, Otto de Voogd has two photos, another excellent closeup is available, and Huelse has a historic postcard view. Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the station. The lighthouse was prefabricated in Le Havre, France, and it is said to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel, although this has not been confirmed. Only a few lighthouses of this quadrupod design were built and this is a very rare survivor. It was heavily damaged in World War I, but was repaired. The lighthouse replaced a 32 m (105 ft) wood tower built in 1860. The earlier history of this station is somewhat obscure. Lights were displayed on Ruhnu as early as 1646, and according to some sources a wood pyramidal tower was built on the present location in 1757. There was also a 24 m (79 ft) octagonal wood tower at the northern tip of the island, built in 1820; its fate is not known. The lighthouse was "reconstructed" in 1937. It was recognized as a national cultural monument in 2003. Located on the hill known as Håubjärre in the eastern part of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-011; EMA 990; Admiralty C3482; NGA 12220.

Ruhnu Light, Ruhnu, 2005
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Naine

Pöide Parish Lighthouse
* Kübassaare (2)
1924 (rebuilt 1939; station established 1915). Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white light, 2.5 s on, 6.5 s off. 18 m (59 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lower half of lighthouse painted white; upper half, lantern, and gallery painted black. 1-story keeper's house and other structures. Sven Vaarandi's photo is at right, a more distant view is available, and Google has a distant street view and a very distant satellite view of the station. This lighthouse is about 25 km (15 mi) southwest of the Viirlaid Light. The original lighthouse was wooden; it was destroyed by a fire started by lightning in 1923. The present lighthouse was 11 m (36 ft) high; it was extended to 18 m (59 ft) in 1939. Located at the easternmost tip of Saaremaa, at the end of the Kübassaare Poolsaar (peninsula). Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-029; EMA 987; Admiralty C3630; NGA 12636.

Laimjala Parish Lighthouse
** Laidunina
1907. Inactive since about 1924. 24 m (79 ft) round brick tower with gallery, mounted on a 1-story hexagonal stone base. Lantern removed. Sven Vaarandi has a 2000 photo, the lighthouse appears on a 2002 postage stamp, and Google has a distant satellite view of the station. This lighthouse was deactivated after it was found to be ineffective in warning ships away from nearby shoals. The lens and lighting equipment were transferred to the Kübassaare Light (previous entry). A preservation group, Laidunina Tuletorni Ühing, has leased the lighthouse and is seeking funds for its restoration; Kenti Paet's 2006 photo and Vaarandi's 2007 photo show some work in progress. The lighthouse was recognized as a national cultural monument in 2005. Located on a point of land about 16 km (10 mi) west southwest of Kübassaare. Site open, tower reported open in the summer. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS EST-030.
Kübassaare Light
Kübassaare Light, Pöide, August 2005
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Sven Vaarandi
* Kõiguste Range Rear
Date unknown. Inactive. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted red. The front of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted white with a red vertical stripe, although the colors have faded. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The front range light was on a similar but smaller tower. Located near a shallow, now rarely-used harbor about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) south of Kõiguste. Site open, tower closed. ex-Admiralty C3629.1.

Valjala Parish Lighthouse
Kõiguste-Allirahu
1954. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 7 s. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted red. The upper 4/5 of the tower is covered on all four sides by a slatted daymark painted in black and white horizontal bands. Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a sandbar near the end of a dangerous shoal, about 3 km (1.8 mi) off the coast southeast of Siiksaare. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. EMA 980; Admiralty C3628; NGA 12648.

Pihtla Parish Lighthouse
* Sääretüki
1954. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 18 m (59 ft) Virtsu-type square concrete tower with gallery but no lantern, mounted on a square concrete block base. Entire lighthouse painted white. Jordi Escuar's photo is at right, Sven Vaarandi has a 2008 photo, a 2009 photo shows the tower freshly repainted, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of a peninsula on the south side of Saaremaa, about 32 km (20 mi) east of Kuressaare. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-054; EMA 977; Admiralty C3627; NGA 12658.
Allirahu (4)
2007 (daybeacon established 1887, light station 1912). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, surrounded on all sides by a slatted daymark. Entire lighthouse painted red. An August 2007 photo shows the new light under construction, and Bing has a satellite view. Trabas has a photo of the third (1984) tower. Located on a sand island about 8 km (5 mi) southeast of the Vätta peninsula. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. EMA 970; Admiralty C3626; NGA 12656.

Kuressaare City Lighthouses
* Roomassaare {Arensburg} Range Front (3)
1984 (station established 1896). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, occulting once every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted red. The tower carries a rectangular slatted daymark painted black with a white vertical stripe. Sven Vaarandi has a closeup photo, an aerial view of the harbor is available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Michel Forand has a historic photo of the second (1904) light. Roomassaare is an important ferry terminal south of Kuressaare. Located on the quay. Site open, tower closed. EMA 961; Admiralty C3622.
Roomassaare {Arensburg} Range Rear (3)
2003 (station established 1896). Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 30 m (98 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower. The tower carries a rectangular slatted daymark painted black with a white vertical stripe. Sven Vaarandi has a photo, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the water's edge, 720 m (0.45 mi) northwest of the front light. Site status unknown. EMA 962; Admiralty C3622.1.
* Roomassaare {Arensburg} Range Rear (2)
1904 (station established 1896). Inactive since 2003. 23 m (75 ft) square skeletal tower with a wood lantern room, gallery, and the tattered remnants of a rectangular slatted daymark. Sven Vaarandi has a photo, a more distant view is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the road to the ferry terminal, about 1.8 km (1.1 mi) north of the front light. Site appears open, tower closed.
Sääretukk Light
Sääretüki Light, Pihtla, August 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jordi Escuar

Kaarma Parish Lighthouses
* Abruka {Abrö} Range Rear (2)
1931 (station established 1897). Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 36 m (119 ft) slender round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery but no lantern. Tower painted white with three black horizontal bands on the upper half. Trabas has EMA's photo, a view from the gallery is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Forand has a historic photo of the present lighthouse. The front light is on a tall post. The 1897 lighthouse was a tall, octagonal wood structure of unusual design. Abruka is an island off the south coast of Saaremaa, about 6 km (4 mi) south of Roomassaare. The island has a small permanent population and is accessible in the summer by passenger ferry from Roomassaare. Located on the east side of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-065; EMA 972; Admiralty C3616.1; NGA 12660.
Kirjurahu
2007 (daybeacon established 1872). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); five quick white flashes every 12 s. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, partially enclosed on all sides by a vertically-slatted daymark painted or stained a dark red. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. This is a longtime daybeacon to which a light was added in 2007. Located on a sandy reef about 4 km (2.5 mi) southeast of Abruka. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. EMA 949; Admiralty C3618.
Vahase
1973. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); four white flashes every 12 s. 15 m (49 ft) post light; the upper portion is surrounded by a box-like daymark. Lighthouse painted yellow with a red band at the top. A photo is available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the southern tip of Vahase, a smaller island off the southwest coast of Abruka. EMA 947; Admiralty C3607.

Salme Parish Lighthouses
Note: The narrow Sõrve Peninsula projects southward 32 km (20 mi) from the southwestern side of Saaremaa, closing off half the width of the Irbensky Strait, the entrance to the Gulf of Riga. Salme Parish occupies the northern half of the peninsula, and Torgu Parish occupies the southern half.
* Anseküla (Range Rear) (2)
1953 (station established 1921). Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); white flash every 1.5 s. 28 m (92 ft) Virtsu-type square concrete tower with gallery but no lantern, topped by a square skeletal tower and mounted on a square concrete block base. Lower 2/3 of lighthouse painted white, upper 1/3 black. This lighthouse carries a general purpose light that also serves as the rear light of the Lõu-Anseküla Range. Reijnen's September 2006 photo at right shows the skeletal tower, which was apparently added to the lighthouse earlier in 2006. Wikipedia has a page with two photos, Trabas also has a photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. The original light was on a church, but that bulding was destroyed in 1944, during World War II. Located beside highway 77 at Anseküla, on the east side of the narrow neck of the Sõrve peninsula. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-020; EMA 932; Admiralty C3710.1; NGA 12680.
Anseküla Light
Anseküla Light, Salme, September 2006
Flickr photo copyright Joke Reijnen; used by permission
* Lõu (Range Front) (2)
1934 (station established 1921). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); four quick flashes every 15 s, white to the west northwest along the range line, red to the left and green to the right of the range line. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with green and yellow trim. Trabas has an excellent closeup, a 2009 photo is available, Claußen also has a photo, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Forand has a historic photo. At least since 1953 the lighthouse has also served as the front light of the Lõu-Anseküla Range. Located just off the beach on the west (Baltic Sea) side of the Sõrve peninsula, north of the village of Lõu and 3.1 km (2 mi) west northwest of the Anseküla Light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-075; EMA 931; Admiralty C3710.

Torgu Parish Lighthouses
* Kaavi
1954. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 15 m (49 ft) Virtsu-type square concrete tower with gallery but no lantern, mounted on a square concrete block base. Lighthouse painted brown with a broad white horizontal band. Sven Vaarandi's 2008 photo shows that the light has been raised a few feet on a short mast. Trabas has Klaus Kern's photo, and Google has a closeup street view and a fuzzy satellite view. Located on a promontory on the southeast side of the Sõrve peninsula about 4 km (2.5 mi) east of Mäebe. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-023; EMA 943; Admiralty C3705.3; NGA 12668.
* Mõntu Range Rear
1971. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The side facing the range carries a slatted daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. Trabas has Klaus Kern's photo, and Google has a good street view and a fuzzy satellite view. The front light is on a smaller skeletal tower. Located just east of highway 77 on the north side on Mõntu. Site open, tower closed. EMA 942; Admiralty C3704.51; NGA 12671.
** Sõrve {Sworve, Swalfer Ort} (5)
1960 (station established 1646). Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); white flash every 15 s. 53 m (174 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. Lighthouse painted black with a broad white horizontal band at the base. 2-story crew quarters and other buildings. A photo is at right, Otto de Voogd has a 2006 photo, Reijnen has an excellent photo, Claußen has a page for the lighthouse, Wikimedia has numerous photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This handsome tower, one of Estonia's best known lighthouses, marks the north side of the entrance to the Gulf of Riga through the Irbensky Strait (Irbeni Väin); the similar Mikeltornis lighthouse in Latvia (built in 1955) marks the south side. The third Sõrve lighthouse, built in 1863, was destroyed during World War II, when German troops made their last stand in Estonia on this site; Klaus Huelse has a historic photo of that tower. It was replaced by a temporary wooden tower in 1949. Formerly a highly restricted Soviet military zone, the Sõrve peninsula has been opened to the public. The lighthouse seems to be open as well. On clear days the Latvian lighthouses of Slitere and Mikeltornis should be visible across the strait. Located on the southernmost point of Saaremaa, at the end of highway 77 about 2 km (1.2 mi) south of Sääre. Site open, parking available, tower apparently open. ARLHS EST-013; EMA 935; Admiralty C3704; NGA 12672.
* Loode
1955. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) Virtsu-type square concrete tower with gallery but no lantern, mounted on a square concrete block base. Lower 3/5 of lighthouse painted white, upper 2/5 red. Sven Vaarandi has a 2008 closeup, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on the southwestern tip of the Sõrve peninsula between Tammuna and Türju and about 11 km (6.5 mi) northwest of the Sõrve lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-032; EMA 934; Admiralty C3704.2; NGA 12674.
Sõrve Light
Sõrve Light, Torgu, August 2010
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Robert Reisman

Lümanda Parish Lighthouse
* Karala
1953. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); white flash every 5 s. 28 m (92 ft) square skeletal tower. The upper 2/3 of two sides of the tower are covered by a slatted daymark. Sven Vaarandi has a 2009 photo, Trabas has Klaus Kern's photo, the culture ministry has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located beside a highway west of the village of Karala on the west coast of Saaremaa. Site open, tower closed. EMA 930; Admiralty C3712.

Kihelkonna Parish Lighthouses
** Vilsandi {Filsand}
1809. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); two short white flashes followed by one long (2 s) white flash every 15 s. 37 m (121 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern and gallery black. Sven Vaarandi's photo is at the top of this page, Trabas has a good photo by Klaus Kern, Reijnen also has a fine photo, Wikimedia has Ivo Kruusamägi's photo, Forand has a historic postcard view, Huelse also has a historic postcard view, and Google has a distant satellite view. A historic and well known lighthouse, located on the island of Vilsandi off the northwest coast of Saaremaa. Originally there were two towers, but the lower tower was demolished in 1840. The joints in the surviving tower reflect several increases in height, the most recent being in 1870, when a 1st order lantern was installed. Artur Toom, who was the keeper here from 1906 to 1941, put up nestboxes for birds all over the island, and in response the Russian government of Estonia declared the area a bird sanctuary in 1910. The Soviets sent Toom to Siberia in 1941, but today his island is a national park and a popular destination for birders and other tourists. Located on the west end of the island, facing the Baltic; a map is available. Island accessible by passenger ferry from Papisaare. Site open; tower open by arrangement with the caretaker. Site manager: Vilsandi Rahvuspark (National Park). ARLHS EST-061; EMA 925; Admiralty C3714; NGA 12684.
* Kihelkonna Range Rear
1955. Inactive since 1998. Approx. 24 m (80 ft) square cylindrical church steeple with a tall square pyramidal spire. The light was formerly shown through a small opening in the steeple. Church painted white. Sven Vaarandi has a 2007 photo, another 2007 photo is available, Forand has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located in Kihelkonna, a fishing port at the end of a long fjord on the west side of Saaremaa. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-067; ex-EMA 923; ex-Admiralty C3708.1.
* Kihelkonna Range Front
1955. Inactive since 1998. 18 m (60 ft) octagonal concrete tower with gallery, rising from a square concrete base. The lantern, if there was one, has been removed. Tower painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line. The tower continues to be maintained as a daybeacon. Sven Vaarandi has a 2007 photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located just off the beach about 3 km (1.8 mi) northwest of Kihelkonna, a fishing port at the end of a long fjord on the west side of Saaremaa. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-068; ex-EMA 922; ex-Admiralty C3708.
* Kiipsaar (Kiipsaare, Undva) {Hundsort} (2)
1933 (station established 1879). Inactive. 25 m (82 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black and white horizontal bands. Nathan Wind's photo is at right, Estonian Wikipedia has a page with several photos including an August 2013 photo by Urmas Haljaste, a March 2010 photo is available, and Otto de Voogd has excellent photos from visits in 1997, 2004, and 2011, and Google has a distant satellite view. Sibling of the 1931 Juminda Light east of Tallinn. This is presently the world's best known leaning lighthouse, but if you want to see it, don't delay. Critically endangered by beach erosion, the lighthouse stands at the water's edge. For several years it was leaning at an angle of as much as 15°, but an August 2007 photo shows a reduced angle, and by early 2008 it had come back close to vertical. However, these shifts are caused by undermining of the foundation by the waves, and it seems very likely the tower will collapse within a few years at most. Located at the tip of the Undva Poolsaar (peninsula) on the northwestern coast of Saaremaa, about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of the town of Undva. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-077; ex-EMA 921; ex-Admiralty C3716.

Mustjala Parish Lighthouses
* Merise
1952. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 1.5 s. Approx. 18 m (56 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted red. All four sides of the tower are covered by a slatted daymark, painted white. Sven Vaarandi has a 2007 photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a promontory on the northwest coast of Saaremaa. Site open, tower closed. EMA 913; Admiralty C3717; NGA 12696.
Kiipsaar Light
Kiipsaar Light, Vihelkonna, August 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Nathan Wind
* Panga
1962. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (108 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted red. All four sides of the top half of the tower are covered by a slatted daymark, painted white. Trabas has Klaus Kern's photo, Richard Simso has a photo, Sven Vaarandi has a 2009 photo, and Google has a distant street view and a distant satellite view. Located on a prominent cape northwest of Panga. Site open, tower closed. EMA 911; Admiralty C3717.5; NGA 12694.

Orissaare Parish Lighthouses
* Rannaküla
1954. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted red. Three sides of the tower are covered by a slatted daymark, painted white. Sven Vaarandi has a 2007 photo, ARLHS has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory near Rannaküla on the northeast coast of Saaremaa. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-072; EMA 901; Admiralty C3641.

Muhu Parish Lighthouses
Kõinastu
1979 (apparently unlit until 2005). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 2 s. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted black. Three sides of the tower carry a slatted daymark, painted white with a black vertical stripe; the daymark is in poor condition. Sven Vaarandi has a 2005 photo, a 2006 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the northern point of Kõinastu, a small island off the northwestern corner of Muhu. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. EMA 898; Admiralty C3640.8; NGA 12550.
* Seanina
1953. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted black. Three sides of the tower carry a slatted daymark, the upper third painted black and the lower 2/3 painted white. Jaan Rebane's photo is at right, Sven Vaarandi has a 2007 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the northern tip of Muhu. Site open, tower closed. EMA 825; Admiralty C3639; NGA 12548.
* Raugi Range Front (3?)
Date unknown (station established 1885). Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white light occulting once every 5 s. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted red. The front of the tower carries a long slatted daymark, painted white with a black vertical stripe. ARLHS has a photo, Sven Vaarandi has a 2007 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The range guides vessels southbound in the channel between the mainland and the island of Hiiumaa. Forand has a historic photo of the second (1906) lighthouse. Located on the coast near Raugi, at the northeastern corner of Muhu. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-079; EMA 815; Admiralty C3638; NGA 12540.
* Raugi Range Rear (3?)
Date unknown (station established 1885). Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); white light occulting once every 5 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted red. The front of the tower carries a long slatted daymark, painted white with a black vertical stripe. ARLHS has a photo, a 2006 closeup is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located 755 m (2500 ft) south southeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS EST-080; EMA 816; Admiralty C3638.1; NGA 12544.
* Kuivastu Range Rear
1978. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off. 12 m (39 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted red. The tower also carries a slatted daymark painted white with a red vertical stripe. Sven Vaarandi has a 2010 photo, a distant photo of both range lights is available, and Google has a street view and a distant satellite view. The range guides ferries arriving from Virtsu on the mainland. The front light is on a similar but shorter tower. Located 320 m (1050 ft) west of the front light, near the Kuivastu ferry terminal. Site open, tower closed. EMA 791; Admiralty C3634.1.
Seanina Light
Seanina Light, Muhu, September 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by Jaan Rebane
Viirelaid (Viirelaiu) {Paternoster} (3)
1970 (?) (station established 1857); focal plane 17 m (56 ft); one long (1.5 s) flash every 8 s, white or red depending on direction. 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted red. A 2008 photo and a 2009 closeup are available, and Bing has a satellite view of the station. Viirelaid is a small island just off the southeastern corner of Muhu, at the southwestern entrance to the Suur Väin. The first lighthouse at this station was a wood tower. Huelse has a historic postcard of the second (1881) tower, a cast iron tourelle. The history of the station is available in Estonian, with photos. Located on the eastern point of the island. Accessible only by boat; there should be at least a distant view from the ferry to Muhu from Virtsu. Site status unknown. ARLHS EST-060; EMA 785; Admiralty C3636; NGA 12516.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

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Posted May 1, 2005. Checked and revised February 20, 2014. Lighthouses: 46. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.