Kõpu lighthouse is situated in Hiiumaa Island, on a hill in the middle of the Kõpu peninsula.
The Hanseatic League first requested that a beacon (a daymark) be erected on the Kõpu peninsula in the 1490s. Construction began in 1514 and lasted, with interruptions, until 1538, with the tower becoming higher and higher.
In the 17th century, the Kingdom of Sweden decided that in the interest of efficient connections with her provinces overseas it was necessary to mark seaways with lighthouses, so the beacon at Kõpu became a lighthouse in 1649. In 1805 the lighthouse was nationalised and extensive reconstruction began. In the southwestern counterfort a stone staircase was built, in the upper part of the tower two rooms were renovated and 25 oil lamps with brass reflectors to shine in three directions were installed in the lantern room.
In 1845 the top of the tower was torn down and reconstructed; in 1860 a gyratory dioptric device of the 1st category was installed, and in 1883 living quarters were built, connected with a telegraph line.
In 1902 a new clockwork dioptric lighting apparatus was installed, acquired at the Paris World Exposition in 1900, which had a visibility of 21 nautical miles. After World War I the lighthouse had to be repaired to some extent, and some reconstruction was also done in 1933. In World War II in 1941, the lighting apparatus and the windows of the lantern room were destroyed, as well as the living quarters of the lighthouse keeper. In 1988–1990 major restoration works were carried out in Kõpu lighthouse, surrounding the walls of the lighthouse with reinforced concrete to avoid the crumbling of the stonework.
Today, the lighthouse and the adjoining buildings (living quarters for the servants, the sauna, the storehouse for fuel, the generator shed, the workshop and the cellar) constitute a cultural heritage site, and Kõpu lighthouse is also on the list of 100 lighthouses considered significant architectural heritage, drawn up by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).
Kõpu lighthouse is one of the three oldest continuously functioning navigation marks in the world and the oldest lighthouse in Northern Europe.
|Region:||Hiiumaa and Läänemaa||Coordinates:||58.915967 N, 22.199683 E|
|Light:||night||Light characteristic:||Fl W 10 s|
|Height from base:||36 m||Focal plane:||102 m|
|Visibility of light:||26 M||Year of construction:||1649|
Information about visiting Kõpu lighthouse can be found on the Visit Estonia website.