Lighthouses of Sweden: Northern Bothnia

This page covers lighthouses of Norrbotten (North Bothnia) county (Norrbottens Län) in northern Sweden. Norrbotten faces southeast on the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia, adjoining Finland at the head of the gulf. This northernmost extension of the Baltic Sea is known in Sweden as the Bothnian Bay (Bottenviken). It is shallow, with numerous shoals and islands, creating a need for many navigational aids.

Aids to navigation in Sweden are maintained by the Swedish Maritime Administration (Sjöfartsverket). Many of the major lighthouses have resident attendents, and guided tours can often be arranged. The Swedish Lighthouse Society (Svenska Fyrsällskapet) works for the preservation of the lighthouses.

The Swedish word for a lighthouse is fyr. The front light of a range is the nedrefyr (lower light) and the rear light is the övrefyr (upper light).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. SV numbers are from the Sjöfarsverket light list (Fyrlista) as reported by the Swedish Lighthouse Society. 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
Swedish Lighthouse Society (Svenska Fyrsällskapet, SFA)
The Society is active in promoting the preservation of Swedish lighthouses.
Online Lists of Lights - Sweden
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Leuchttürme und Leuchtfeuer in Schweden - Svenska Fyrar
A large collection of photos and data; text in German; referenced below as LLS.
World of Lighthouses - Sweden
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouses in Sweden
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Lighthouses in Sweden
Photos posted by Marinas.com.
Kassunfyrar i Sverige
From the SFA web site, this page links to articles on the many Swedish caisson lighthouses.
Schwedische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.


1872 Rödkallen Light, Luleå, July 2008
Panoramio photo copyright Jukka Liedes; used by permission

Haparanda Lighthouses
* Nikkala Vattentorn
Date unknown. Inactive since 2012. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) mushroom-shaped water tower (vattentorn). Entire structure is light gray. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the south side of Nikkala, a town about 25 km (15 mi) east of the Finnish border. Site open, tower closed. ex-Admiralty C5702.4; ex-NGA 11972.
Lehtikari
Date unknown. Inactive since 2012. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted red, lantern white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island north of the large island of Seskarö and about 10 km (6 mi) south of Säivis. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ex-Admiralty C5717; NGA 11944.

Kalix Lighthouses
Malören (1)
1851 (Nils Gustaf von Heidenstam). Reactivated (inactive 1891-1910); focal plane 22 m (72 ft); two long (2 s) flashes every 12 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 17 m (56 ft) tapered octagonal wood-shingled tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted red; lantern dome painted white. Jukka Liedes's photo is at right, the National Property Board (Statens Fastighetsverk) has an article, Wikipedia has an article, and Google has a distant satellite view. There was a daybeacon at this site as early as 1735. In 1769 a chapel was built that served also as a daybeacon. This chapel still stands, and Liedes has a photo showing both the chapel and the lighthouse. The 1851 tower was the first lighthouse built by the great Swedish lighthouse engineer Nils Gustaf von Heidenstam. The lighthouse was replaced in 1891 in order to reduce maintenance costs, but it was not removed. After mariners complained that the new lighthouse was too low, the light was returned to the older tower in 1910. Note: the word malören means "misfortunes" in Swedish, a reference to the frequency of shipwrecks nearby. Located on an island in the northernmost Gulf of Bothnia, about 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Kalix. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Statens Fastighetsverk (National Property Board). ARLHS SWE-046; SV-0143; Admiralty C5710; NGA 11872.
Malören (2)
1891. Inactive since 1910. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal cylindrical wood tower attached to a 1-story wood keeper's cottage. Entire structure painted a dark red. As noted above, the lighthouse proved to be too short; its focal plane was only 13 m (43 ft) instead of the former 22 m (72 ft). The light was moved back to the old tower (previous entry) in 1910. Located near the original lighthouse. Site open, tower closed.
Trutskärsbådan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); two flashes every 3 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted red, lantern white. Trabas has a distant view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a skerry off Frevisören, about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Kalix. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5712.8; NGA 11896.
* Karlsborg (Kvarnören Övre)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); red light occulting once every 5 s. Light mounted on or in the gable of a building, presumably the keeper's house. Trabas has a photo of the house, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the Norrlandsgaten in Karlsborg. Site presumably open, tower closed. Admiralty C5720.1; NGA 11916.
Malören Light
1851 Malören Light, Kalix, July 2011
Panoramio photo copyright Jukka Liedes; used by permission
Dyråsholmen Övre
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); quick-flashing white light 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower carrying a rectangular daymark painted white with a red horizontal band. Trabas has a photo, but the tower is not seen in Google's distant satellite view of the island. Located on a small, wooded island about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of the Karlsborg waterfront. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5719; NGA 11909.
Lutskärsgrund
1959. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, 2 s on, 6 s off. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. The lantern and upper portion of the lighthouse are painted white and the lower portion red, with one black horizontal band in the middle. Tomas Isaksson-Savela has a distant view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a gravel bar in the northernmost Gulf of Bothnia, about 8 km (5 mi) southeast of Risögrund. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SWE-271; Admiralty C5725.5; NGA 11868.
Storö (Storön)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three flashes every 9 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Upper half of the lighthouse painted white, lower half red. A good photo (misidentified as Skagsudde) is available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the location. Located on a skerry off a promontory about 5 km (3 mi) south of Storön. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5727.5; NGA 11840.

Luleå Lighthouses
Note: Luleå is the capital of Norrbotten and the largest port at the north end of the Gulf of Bothnia. The population of the city is about 75,000.
Larsgrundet (2)
2000 (station established 1964). Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); three long (2.5 s) flashes every 20 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 19 m (62 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and two galleries. Tower painted black with one red horizontal band, lantern painted white. Per Pettersson's photo is at right, and Trabas has a distant view. SFA has a page with photos of the original lighthouse. Located on a shoal in the channel between the islands of Junkön and Storbrändön, about 12 km (7.5 mi) east southeast of Luleå. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SWE-234; Admiralty C5734; NGA 11700.
Vitfågelrannan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); quick-flashing light, white, red or green depending on direction. 15 m (49 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted red, lantern white. Tomas Isaksson-Savela has a closeup photo, SFA has a page for the lighthouse, and Trabas has a distant view. Located on a shoal adjoining the Luleå approach channel about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) northwest of the Larsgrundet lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5735; NGA 11696.
Sandögrundet
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting once every 4 s. 6 m (20 ft) lantern centered on a square equipment shelter and mounted on a square concrete pier. Lantern painted white. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a shoal in Luleå harbor. Site open, tower closed. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5770; NGA 11680.
Larsgrundet Fyr
Larsgrundet Light, Luleå, summer 2008
Luleå Kommun photo by Per Pettersson (no longer online)
Skvampen Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); quick-flashing red light. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) slender square skeletal tower carrying a triangular daymark, point down. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located in the Börtskärs industrial park in Luleå. Site status unknown. Admiralty C5741.1; NGA 11744.
Björnhallan Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower with a pyramidal base. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the island of Sandö south of Luleå. Site status unknown. Admiralty C5736.1; NGA 11712.
Germandö (Germandön) (2)
1920 (station established 1882). Inactive. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery; lantern removed. Lighthouse painted red, watch room white. 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located near the southeastern tip of Germandö, a large island about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Luleå. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SWE-152.
Rödkallen
1872 (Nils Gustaf von Heidenstam). Inactive since 1974. 21.5 m (70 ft) round cast iron skeletal tower with lantern, enclosed watch room, gallery, and central cylinder. Lighthouse painted red; lantern dome is greenish metallic. Several 1-story wood keeper's houses and other station buildings are preserved. The original rotating 1st order Fresnel lens is still mounted in the tower; it was tested in 2005 and found to be still operational. A photo by Jukka Liedes is at the top of this page, there's also another photo and a good photo of the station, a 2008 photo shows the lighthouse floodlit at night, and Google has a satellite view. The historic lighthouse is about 850 m (1/2 mi) northwest of the modern Rödkallen Södra light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SWE-323.
Rödkallen Södra
1972. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); one long flash every 10 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 18 m (59 ft) 5-story pilot and administration building with a lantern and communications gear on the roof. Upper third of the building painted red, lower 2/3 yellow; lantern painted white. Göran Wallin's photo is at right, Jukka Liedes has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, another aerial photo shows both Rödkallen lighthouses, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the south shore of the island of Rödkallen, the outermost of the many islands fringing Luleå, about 16 km (10 mi) southeast of the port. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS SWE-054; SV-0354; Admiralty C5745; NGA 11628.
Borussiagrund
1969. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white light, 4 s on, 4 s off. 17 m (56 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted red with one white horizontal band. Several photos (halfway down the page) are available, and Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. The lighthouse formerly had a directional light, white, red or green; it was converted in 2011 to show white in all directions. Located on a shoal about 5 km (3 mi) west northwest of Rödkallen. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5749; NGA 11644.
Farstugrunden
1974. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, 2 s on, 6 s off. 29 m (95 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with three galleries and a helipad on top. Upper portion of the lighthouse painted red, lower portion white. Tomas Isaksson-Savela has a fine 2006 photo. Located in the Gulf of Bothnia about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Luleå. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SWE-128; Admiralty C5748; NGA 11640.
Rödkallen Södra Lighthouse
Rödkallen Södra Light, Luleå
Luleå Kommun photo by Göran Wallin (no longer online)

Piteå Lighthouses
Norströmsgrund
1971. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 3 s. 29 m (95 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with three galleries and a helipad on top. Lighthouse painted black with one red horizontal band. Kari Kolari has several photos. Located in the Gulf of Bothnia about 30 km (19 mi) south southeast of Luleå and 40 km (25 mi) east southeast of Piteå. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SWE-051; Admiralty C5744; NGA 11624.
Renöragrund
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); three quick flashes every 4 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted red, lantern white. A closeup photo is available, Trabas has a photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a shoal about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of the entrance to Piteå. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5791; NGA 11558.
Leskär (2)
Date unknown (station established 1879). Active; focal plane 12m (39 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off. 9.5 m (31 ft) concrete tower. Lighthouse painted white with one red horizontal band under the gallery. Trabas has a distant view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a skerry about 6 km (3.5 mi) southeast of the entrance to Piteå. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5790; NGA 11488.
** Skags (Skags Udde, Skagsudde, Jävre) (1) (relocated)
1871 (Nils Gustaf von Heidenstam). Inactive since 1971 (?). 17.5 m (57 ft) round cast iron skeletal tower with lantern, enclosed watch room, gallery, and central cylinder. 3rd order Fresnel lens mounted in the lantern. Top third of the lighthouse painted black, lower 2/3 white. A photo is at right, Patrik Engman has a good photo, Christina Bylund has a 2009 photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse formerly stood on the island of Gråklubben about 25 km (15 mi) east southeast of Örnsköldsvik in Västernorrland. When it was replaced in 1957, it was dismantled and stored. It was reassembled for display in Jävre, a town about 25 km (15 mi) south of Piteå, in 1971. The lighthouse is clearly well maintained. Located just off the main E4 highway on the south side of Jävre. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS SWE-035.
Skags Fyr
Skags Light, Jävre, October 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jonas N (no longer online)

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Björnklack (1969-1986), off Luleå. This was a 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with one black horizontal band. The lighthouse was pushed off vertical by ice pressure during the winter of 1984-85. According to the SFA page it was "demolished using explosives." The light was replaced by a buoy in April 1991. Bing's satellite view shows the buoy.

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Western Finland | South: Western Bothnia

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Posted August 20, 2007. Checked and revised July 18, 2016. Lighthouses: 23. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.