Lighthouses of Norway: Svalbard
an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean roughly 800 km (500 mi) north of North
Cape and a similar distance from the North Pole. Under a 1925 treaty,
Svalbard is part of the Kingdom of Norway, but other countries have the
right to exploit mineral resources (meaning coal). The only nation exercising
this right is Russia, which has a mining settlement of about 600 residents
at Barentsburg. The Norwegian town Longyearbyen, with a population of
about 1800, is the northernmost town in the world. Both Barentsburg and
Longyearbyen are on the Isfjord, which cuts across the main island from
west to east. In recent years Svalbard has become accessible by adventure
All the lighthouses are on Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard
archipelago. (In fact, the entire territory is sometimes called Spitsbergen.)
In Norway a lighthouse is simply called a fyr (fire). Aids to
navigation are maintained by the Kystverket (Coast
Directorate), an agency of the Fiskeri
og Kystdepartementet (Fisheries and Coast Department).
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. NF numbers are from the Norsk Fyrliste.
Admiralty numbers are from volume L of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog
Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 115.
- General Sources
- Lighthouses in Svalbard
- Photos available from Wikimedia.
Akseløya Fyr, Bellsund
Kystverket photo, from 2011 Norsk Fyrliste
- Date unknown. Active (unofficial); white light. Post light attached
to one corner of one of the buildings of the Polish
Arctic Station. Wikimedia has a closeup photo, but Google's satellite view has no detail in this area. This light
is not listed as an official aid to navigation, but it obviously helps to
guide vessels arriving at the station. Located on the north side of
the Hornsund (Isbjørnhamn), a fjord entrance about 100 km (60 mi) south of Bellsund.
Site open, tower closed.
- Kapp Martin (Bellsund)
- 1946. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two white flashes every 10
s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with an enclosed upper
portion. Lighthouse painted black, enclosure red. A white band mentioned
by the Admiralty and by NGA is not seen in Manfred Bartels's photo.
Google has only a very distant satellite
view of the location. Located on the cape on the north side of
the entrance to the Bellsund, about 50 km (30 mi) south of Kapp Linné.
Probably accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SVA-009;
NF-9956; Admiralty L4302; NGA 17816.
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every
5 s. 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with an enclosed upper
portion. Lighthouse painted black, enclosure red. Manfred Bartels has
Baptiste Aubourg has a 2011 photo, and the light is barely visible in Google's much-too-dark satellite
is a long, narrow island that blocks most of the entrance to the Van
Milenfjord from the Bellsund. Located at the northern point of the
island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SVA-006;
NF-9958; Admiralty L4304; NGA 17820.
- Isfjord (Kapp Linné)
- 1933. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white light every 5 s. 15 m (49
ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with an enclosed upper portion.
The original lantern has been removed, and the light is now displayed from
a short post mounted on the gallery. A photo is at right, Ellen Osmundsen
has a photo,
another photo is available, and Norphoto AS has a more distant view,
but clouds obscure Google's distant satellite
view of the location. There
is also a historical
account with a photo of the light as it appeared with its lantern.
There is a historic radio
station near the lighthouse, and accommodations are available at the station. This
is often considered to be the world's northernmost traditional lighthouse, standing in latitude
N, although the Vestpynten light and other small lights are farther north.
Located on the point of the cape, marking the south side of the entrance
to the Isfjord. Accessible only by boat or helicopter, or perhaps by snowmobile
from Barentsburg. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SVA-005; NF-9860; Admiralty
L4314; NGA 17804.
- * Vestpynten (Longyearbyen)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 5 s. 5
m (17 ft) wood skeletal tower with a light mounted on a small equipment cabinet.
Skeletal tower painted black with an orange railing; cabinet is white. Tommy
Dahl Markussen has an excellent photo,
and Google has a fuzzy satellite
view. Located on the west side of the entrance to the harbor of Longyearbyen
from the Isfjord, adjacent to the airport. Site open, and visitors can climb
the stairs to the gallery. ARLHS SVA-004; NF-9864; Admiralty
L4318; NGA 17812.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining page: South: Hammerfest Area
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Posted September 2, 2010.
Checked and revised August 24, 2012. Lighthouses: 5. Site copyright 2012 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.