Lighthouses of Norway: Svalbard

Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean roughly 800 km (500 mi) north of Norway's 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 cruise ships.

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 by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Norway
Photos by various photographers available from

Akseløya Fyr
Akseløya Light, 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. A Kystverket photo is at the top of this page, Manfred Bartels has a photo, Baptiste Aubourg has a 2011 photo, and the light is barely visible in Google's much-too-dark satellite view. Akseløy 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, and another photo and a third photo (near the bottom of the page) are available, but the light is not seen in Google's dark 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 78°03.8' 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) (1)
Date unknown. Inactive. 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. The active light (focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 5 s) was moved in 2012 to a hexagonal post with solar panels mounted on its south face. Wikimedia also has a photo of the new light. 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.
Kapp Linné Fyr
Kapp Linné Fyr, Isfjord
photo copyright Baltic Touring Company; permission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining page: South: Hammerfest Area

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Posted September 2, 2010. Checked and revised November 10, 2014. Lighthouses: 5. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.