On 24 May 2019, Osmussaar lighthouse was opened for the public as the 11th lighthouse that welcomes visitors in Estonia. In addition to the lighthouse in the island of Osmussaar, also Kihnu, Ruhnu, Sõrve, Vormsi, Tahkuna, Ristna, Kõpu, Pakri and Suurupi rear and front lighthouses can be visited by sightseers. There are also plans to open the lighthouse on Naissaar Island on 1 June 2019. The lighthouses that are open for the public are very popular sights visited by approximately 100,000 people annually.
Opening the doors of lighthouses for tourists is organised in cooperation between the local communities and the Estonian Maritime Administration (MA). “This is possible only when the local authority (or a non-profit association or a foundation supported by the local authority) contacts the MA with a view to fostering local economy and tourism or contributing to the development of the local community,” explained Mr Andry Rütkinen, Head of the Aids to Navigation Department of the MA. “They need to make the necessary preparations: write a business plan, make sure visiting a lighthouse would be safe, organise ticket sale, clean up the place, etc. And they need to make sure the profit made is used for the upkeep and renovation of the lighthouse. As the main function of all lighthouses opened for visitors is still that of a navigational aid, the lighting equipment is maintained by the MA.”
Facts about Osmussaar lighthouse:
- Osmussaar lighthouse is a black and white striped concrete tower with a lantern room and a balcony, situated in the Baltic Sea (59° 18.215943′N; 23° 21.670569′E) on the northwestern peak of Osmussaar Island.
- The original lighthouse was erected in 1765; it was renovated in 1804, 1850, 1954 and 1998
- The lighthouse received its current look during the reconstruction works in 1954
- Height of the lighthouse from base: 35 m
- Focal plane: 39 m
- Visibility of light in darkness: 11 M (360 degrees all round LED light)
Information about visiting Osmussaar can be found on the island’s website (currently in Estonian only).