Lighthouses of Southern Finland: Helsinki Region

Finland has coastlines facing south on the Gulf of Finland and west on the Gulf of Bothnia, both arms of the Baltic Sea. Finland also administers the Åland Islands (Ahvenanmaa), an archipelago at the junction of the two gulfs. After centuries of rule by Sweden, Finland was conquered by Russia in 1809 and made an autonomous grand duchy within the Russian Empire. The country declared its independence from Russia in 1917, at the start of the Russian Revolution.

This page includes the lighthouses of Uusimaa Region from Helsinki westward. Also included are the Bengtskär, Utö, and Suomen Leijona lighthouses at the southwestern tip of Finland; these lighthouses are in the Southwest Finland (Varsinais-Suomen) Region.

Lighthouses in Finland are maintained by the Waterways Section of the Finnish Transport Agency (Liikennevirasto). The Finnish word for a lighthouse is majakka (plural majakat). Saari is an island, niemi is a cape or headland, and satama is a port or harbor. Swedish is a second official language in Finland, and some of the lighthouses are commonly known by their Swedish names.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. 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
Online List of Lights - Finland
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Finnish Lighthouses
Excellent photos of the some of the better known lighthouses, posted to Flickr by Mikko Rauhala.
Latarnie Morskie - Bałtyk
This Polish langauge site by Gola Burkhard has photos of lighthouses in southwestern Finland and the Åland Islands.
Lighthouses in Finland
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Finland
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouses in Finland
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Weitere Europäische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Finnish Lighthouse Society
The national lighthouse preservation association.

Helsinki Light
Helsinki Light, Gulf of Finland, June 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by jje

Helsinki Area Lighthouses
Hattusaari (Hattholmen) (Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white light, 2 s on, 4 s off. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower carrying a daymark colored red with a yellow vertical stripe. Trabas has a photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a small island south of Vuosaari, the eastern neighborhood of Helsinki. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5220.1; NGA 14348.
Helsinki
1959. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 3 s on, 9 s off. 27 m (89 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, incoporating keeper's quarters, with lantern, three galleries, and a helipad above the lantern. Lighthouse painted white with a red horizontal band in the upper third. A photo is at the top of this page, Larry Myhre has a 2008 photo, Trabas has a distant photo, and Marinas.com has aerial photos. The lighthouse replaced a historic lightship station (see the Hamina to Porvoo page for the lightship, since renamed Hyöky). Located in the Gulf of Finland about 15 km (9 mi) south of Helsinki. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5184; NGA 14516.
Harmaja (Gråhara) (Range Front) (2)
1883 (substantially altered in 1900). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, 4 s on, 2 s off. 15 m (49 ft) 2-stage tower: a 7.5 m (25 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery centered on a square 7.3 m (24 ft) stone tower. The stone is unpainted; the cast iron tower is painted red with a white horizontal band; the lantern roof is greenish metallic. Harvey Barrison's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup photo by Helmut Seger, Mikko Rauhala also has an excellent closeup, Timo Sillanpää has a 2017 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Wikimedia has several photos including a nice aerial view of the entire island, Finnish Wikipedia has a page with several photos, and Google has a satellite view. Harmaja is a small island about 10 km (6 mi) south of Helsinki. It is one of many small islands in the neighborhood, but it happens to lie beside the main ship channel into the city. Stone daybeacons were built on the island as early as the 1500s to guide arriving ships. The original stone lighthouse proved to be too short, so in 1900 its lantern was removed and replaced by the cast iron tower. The Helsinki pilot station and a tall communications tower also occupy the island. Located at the eastern end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS FIN-008; Admiralty C5190; NGA 14528.
Remmarholmen
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two quick flashes every 4 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 5 m (17 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted red, lantern and gallery white. Trabas has Neal Doan's photo, Vyacheslav Korolev has a view from the sea, a 2014 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on Reimarisaari, a small island off the southwestern tip of the larger island of Vallisaari, about 3.5 km (2 mi) southeast of Helsinki. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5195; NGA 14572.

Harmaja Light, Helsinki, May 2013
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Harvey Barrison
* Kustaanmiekka (Gustavsvård) Range Front
Date unknown (station established 1889). Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); quick-flashing light, white or red depending on direction. 6 m (20 ft) square pyramidal tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a square stone base. Lighthouse painted white; the side facing the range has two vertical red stripes outlining a white stripe. Jeanie Mackinder's closeup shows this range mark well, Trabas has a photo by Helmut Seger, Miikka Skaffari's photo shows the all-white rear of the tower, and Bing has an aerial view. Kustaanmiekka (Gustav's Sword) is an island seaward of Suomenlinna; the channel leading onto Helsinki harbor passes through a narrow opening between Kustaanmiekka and neighboring island of Vallisaari. The Suomenlinna fortress is actually built on the eastern tip of Kustaanmiekka to guard this passage. The lighthouse is on the tip of the island below the walls of the fortress. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5196; NGA 14564.
* Länsi Mustasaari (Västra Svartö)
Date unknown (station established 1891). Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, occulting once every 2 s. 4 m (13 ft) octagonal lantern, painted white with one red horizontal band. A closeup photo is available, Trabas has a closeup photo by Thomas Philipp, and Bing has an aerial view. Located at the southwest side of Länsi Musta, an island on the southeast side of Helsinki harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5166; NGA 14472.
** Suomenlinna (Sveaborg) (Harmaja Range Rear)
1929. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); four white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 27 m (89 ft) light mounted atop the dome of a square cylindrical stone tower, centered on a square stone church. David Murphey's photo is at right, Trabas has Thomas Philipp's photo, a closeup of the lantern and a photo of the light in action are available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The church of Suomenlinna, a well known Helsinki landmark, was built as a Russian Orthodox cathedral in 1854, but it was converted to a Lutheran church when Finland became independent. The cathedral served the Russian garrison manning the nearby Suomenlinna Fortress. The light serves as the rear light of a range, with the front light being the Harmaja lighthouse 4.8 km (3 mi) to the south. Located at the highest point of the island of Suomenlinna, southeast of Helsinki. The island is accessible by bridge. Site open, church open for tours Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and for Sunday services; tower closed. ARLHS FIN-063; Admiralty C5190.1; NGA 14532.
* Valkosaari (Blekholm) Range Rear
Date unknown (station established 1891). Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, 2 s on, 2 s off. 4 m (13 ft) octagonal lantern, painted white with one red horizontal band. Trabas has a good photo, and Bing has an aerial view. The front light is in a tiny lantern only 2 m (7 ft) tall. Located on a small island on the east side of Helsinki. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5170.1; NGA 14480.
*** Majakkalaiva (Lightship) Relandersgrund
1888 (Crichton & Co. AB, Turku). Decommissioned 1937. 27.1 m (89 ft) iron lightship with a cylindrical light tower amidships. Vessel painted red. Niklas Sjöblom has a good closeup photo, Larry Myhre has a photo, Neal Doan also has a photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has an aerial view. The ship served 26 years on the Relandersgrund station. In 1917, its Russian crew, celebrating the onset of the Revolution, sailed the ship across the Gulf of Finland and drunkenly ran it aground and sank it on the Estonian coast. The following year the new Finnish government had it raised and repaired in Tallinn. Returned to Finland, it served as the reserve lightship until it was decommissioned in 1937. Less is known about its career thereafter, but it remained at sea until it was sold for scrap in 1978. Somehow rescued from the wreckers, it reappeared with its old name in Kotka, where it was renovated as a restaurant. In 2005 it was towed to Helsinki, where it continued to function as a restaurant. The ship was drydocked for maintenance and restoration in 2007 and returned to the Helsinki waterfront in May 2009. Located on the Meritullintori waterfront in downtown Helsinki. Site open, vessel open during the dinner meal daily. ARLHS FIN-108.

Suomenlinna Light, Helsinki, June 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by David Murphy
Lokkiluoto (Range Front)
Date unknown (station established 1937). Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); quick-flashing white light. 6 m (20 ft) rectangular concrete tower. Wikimedia has a photo, and Bing has an aerial view. This is the front light for Abrahaminluoto and also the rear light for Tiirakari. Located midway between those two lights. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5188.1; NGA 14544.
Abrahaminluoto (Abrahamsholm) (Lokkiluoto Range Rear)
Date unknown (station established 1937). Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off. 9.5 m (31 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted red, lantern white; the tower carries a large slatted daymark facing the range line, painted black with a white vertical stripe. Trabas has a distant view, and Bing has an aerial view. This is an outbound range, guiding ships as they leave Helsinki. Located on a small island about 2 km (1.25 mi) south of the Helsinki waterfront; Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5188; NGA 14548.
Tiirakari (Tirgrund) (Range Front)
Date unknown (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); two very quick flashes every 3 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, base black. Trabas has a distant photo, Larry Myhre has a photo, and Bing has an aerial view. Located at the northern tip of a small island about 1.6 km (1 mi) southwest of the entrance to Helsinki harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5160; NGA 14440.
Koirakari (Hundskär)
Date unknown (station established 1959). Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); flash every 3 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 7 m (23 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white with a narrow black horizontal band. Trabas has Rainer Arndt's photo, and Bing has an aerial view. Located at the tip of a small island about 1.6 km (1 mi) south of the entrance to Helsinki harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C5156; NGA 14428.

Porkkala Area Lighthouses
Note: The Porkkala Peninsula projects southwestward into the Gulf of Finland about 25 km (15 mi) west of Helsinki; the Gulf of Finland here is only 36 km (22 mi) wide). Soviet troops occupied Porkkala in 1944 under an armistice agreement between Finland and the Soviet Union, and the Soviets continued to occupy the area as a military base until 1956.
Porkkala (Kallbådan) (3)
1928 (lightship station established 1858). Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); three quick flashes every 20 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 21 m (69 ft) square stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from one end of a 2-story stone keeper's house, all mounted on a large square stone pier. Lighthouse and keeper's house painted red; the roof of the house is white, and the lantern dome is greenish metallic. A photo from the Finnish edition of Wikipedia is at right, a page for the lighthouse has a good photo, Esko Paunonen has an excellent closeup, and Tero Koski has a good photo, but the islet is only a faint blur in Google's satellite view. The lighthouse appears to have been inactive during the Soviet occupation; afterward Finnish authorities found it in very poor condition and put in back in service with an automated light. The lighthouse is built over a skerry about 8 km (5 mi) southwest of the tip of the peninsula. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIN-043; Admiralty C5130; NGA 14656.
Porkkala Light
Porkkala Light, Gulf of Finland, August 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Islander
Rönnskär (2)
1814 (significantly heightened in 1828) (station established 1800). Inactive since 1928. Approx. 27 m (89 ft) two-stage tower; the lower half is square cylindrical unpainted rubblestone, and the upper half is round cylindrical cut stone, painted white. Lantern removed, but radar and communications equipment is mounted atop the tower. Raimo Mäkelä's photo is at right, Esko Paunonen has a fine closeup and a view from the sea, Wikimedia has several photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The original lighthouse, built by Sweden, was destroyed during the war between Sweden and Russia in 1808-09. The present lighthouse, built on the same plans under Russian rule in 1814, was replaced by the Porkkala light in 1928. The tower now carries a radar antenna and communications gear. Located on a small island about 7.5 km (4.5 mi) north of the Porkkala lighthouse. Accessible only by boat; the island is a military post and permission is required for visits. ARLHS FIN-087.

Ekenäs Area Lighthouses
Jussarö (2)
1922 (station established 1881). Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); one long (1.2 s) white flash every 12 s. 24 m (79 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white with one red horizontal band. Finnish Wikipedia has a page with an aerial photo, Rauhala has an excellent photo, a 2008 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The first lighthouse was built on a nearby larger island where there was room for a keeper's house, but that location was not a good one for navigational purposes. Located on Sundharun, a small, rocky island in the Gulf of Finland about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of Jussarö and 8 km (5 mi) southeast of Sommarö. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIN-011; Admiralty C4980; NGA 14892.
Längden
1966. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); three long (1.5 s) flashes every 15 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 17 m (56 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Esko Paunonen has a 2011 photo, and Trabas has a very distant view, but the location is only a faint blur in Google's satellite view. Another photo is posted by Ponvia, an engineering firm that worked on a recent renovation of the lighthouse. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Located on a skerry about 6 km (3.5 mi) southeast of Tvärminne. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIN-026; Admiralty C4991.6; NGA 14944.
Rönnskär Light
Rönnskär Light, Gulf of Finland, June 2010
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Raimo Mäkelä

Hanko Area Lighthouses
Västerbåden (Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light, 2 s on, 4 s off. 22 m (72 ft) skeletal tower carrying a large rectangular daymark colored red with a yellow vertical stripe. Trabas has a very distant view by Thomas-Michael Quatsling, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the area. Located on a reef about 2 km (1.25 mi) south southwest of the Russarö lighthouse (next entry). Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C4915.81; NGA 15220.
* Russarö (Ruussaari) (2)
1863 (station established 1838). Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); four long (1.4 s) white flashes every 45 s. 21 m (69 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery. Upper 2/3 of the tower painted red, lower 1/3 unpainted; lantern dome is greenish metallic. A photo is at right, Rauhala has a fine photo, Trabas has Thomas-Michael Quatsling's view from the sea, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse is often called the "eye of Hanko," and a photo by Niklas Sjöblom captures the effect. Located on the southeastern side of the island of Båklandet (Söderviken) about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of Hanko. The island is accessible by ferry from Hanko. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIN-089; Admiralty C4912; NGA 15212.
Ryssökobb (Range Front)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); quick-flashing white light. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower carrying a large rectangular daymark colored red with a yellow vertical stripe. Trabas has Thomas-Michael Quatsling's photo, but the tower is hard to distinguish in Google's satellite view. Located on an islet off the east side of Ryssö, about 800 m (1/2 mi) south of the Gustavsvärn lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C4919; NGA 15164.
Ryssö (Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white light, 2 s on, 4 s off. Approx. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower carrying a large rectangular daymark colored red with a yellow vertical stripe. Trabas has Thomas-Michael Quatsling's photo showing both range lights, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on Ryssö, 490 m (0.3 mi) west of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty C4919.1; NGA 15168.
Gustavsvärn (2)
1949 (station established 1865). Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two flashes every 10 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red with a greenish metallic dome. The 1-story keeper's house is available for overnight accommodations. Grigory Shmerling has a closeup photo, Trabas has a photo by Thomas-Michael Quatsling, a view from sea is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a skerry about 1.5 km (1 mi) due south of Hanko. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIN-007; Admiralty C4918.4; NGA 15172.
Russarö Light
Russarö Light, Hanko, June 2013
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by Jumilla
Djupkobben Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light, 6 s on, 6 s off. 21 m (69 ft) triangular skeletal tower carrying a large rectangular daymark colored red with a yellow vertical stripe. Trabas has Klaus Kern's photo, and the shadow of the tower is seen in Google's satellite view. Located on the commercial waterfront of Hanko. Site status unknown. Admiralty C4920.21; NGA 15248.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Finland Lakes | East: Hamina to Porvoo | West: Southwest Finland

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Posted September 17, 2007. Checked and revised July 24, 2017. Lighthouses: 22. Lightships: 1. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.