Bengtskär Lighthouse

 Bengtskär Lighthouse

Hanko Area, Finland

1906 (Florentin Granholm). Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 46 m (151 ft) round granite tower with lantern and gallery, attached to one end of a 3-1/2 story granite keeper’s house. The lighthouse is unpainted; lantern dome is greenish metallic. Clamshell Fresnel lens in use. This lighthouse, the tallest of all Scandinavian lighthouses and one of Finland’s best known lighthouses, was built after the steamship Helsingfors wrecked nearby in 1905. The light marks the north side of the entrance to the Gulf of Finland from the Baltic Sea. It is also marks the southernmost inhabited land in Finland. The lighthouse was shelled by German ships during World War I but was not badly damaged. In World War II, Soviet troops attempted to storm the island on 26 July 1941, but they were driven off after a fierce battle. Soviet air raids damaged the keeper’s house but spared the tower. After repairs, the lighthouse was reactivated in 1950. Automated in 1968, the lighthouse gradually deteriorated, and it was in poor condition by 1985, when it was leased to the Pro Bengtskär Association. When the Association failed to raise sufficient funds for a restoration, the lease was transferred to the Centre of Extension Studies of the University of Turku. Restored in the early 1990s, the lighthouse now includes overnight accommodations, a lecture hall, conference rooms, a café, museum, and post office. Located on a small island about 25 km (15 mi) west southwest of Hanko. Passenger ferry service to the lighthouse is available from Kasnäs in the Åland Islands.

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