• Alexander Alexanov

Norwegian lighthouses.

Updated: May 12, 2019

Lighthouses were originally built as family stations. The many strangely shaped timber lighthouses that Norway is famous for were almost always looked after by the keeper and his family. All of them, including the children, helped keep the light burning.

Orange sunset

At large lighthouse stations the work was divided among the menfolk. Here, the lighthouse was the center of a community. The men worked in the tower. Around the tower was a smallholding, and even sometimes a school.

The lighthouse keeper was in charge of the station. His quarter were always a bit bigger and fancier than his assistant’s. All lighthouses not only look different – they were also very different to live in.

Fjøløy lighthouse. Located on the southwest side of Fjøløy, an island directly across the Kvitsøyfjord from the Tungenes lighthouse. The island is accessible from Stavanger by the Byfjord Tunnel and a series of bridges. Site open, tower closed. Fjøløy Lighthouse lies on the outermost point of Fjøløy about 2.7 kilometers (c.1.7 miles) from Utstein Monastery. The lighthouse stands right in the entrance and can be a wonderful experience both on warm summer evenings and the stormy days of autumn. It was strategically placed at the entrance of the sea lane to Stavanger and Ryfylke. It also has a good panoramic view over Karmøy, Kvitsøy and Randaberg.

Fjøløy Lighthouse. Established in 1849. In 1867 the original light was replaced by larger wooden lighthouse. The first Fjøløy Lighthouse was just a regular lantern which was only illuminated a few months during the herring fishing every winter. This was envisioned as a temporary solution. The lighthouse was manned by lighthouse keeper until 1977, when it was automated. The station consists of a dwelling, outbuilding, boat, machinery and the light itself.

Tungenes Lighthouse. It is a wooden building and stands on the headland Tungenes in Randaberg, Norway. It was established in 1828, closed down in 1984, and stands 39 feet (12 meters) tall. Today, a fully-automated light operates on a little island called Bragen which lies a bit out in the sea from the old lighthouse building.

Obrestad lighthouse. There is a museum that exhibits everyday life at the lighthouse, the building work, artefacts and pictures showing activities during World War II and a mural in the basement, painted by a German soldier. The first floor contains the lighthouse engine and in the attic is the large pressure tank for the fog-horn. A program of contemporary art is presented each summer, where artists are invited to show art projects both inside and outside.

Feistein Lighthouse, is situated on an island 2 km west of Sele marina, was lit for the first time in 1859 - when it was simply mounted in a tower on top of the residence. In 1914 a 25-metre high steel tower was built. Among other amenities, Feistein had its own smithy. The buildings that remain today, the lighthouse tower, lighthouse keeper's residence, the annex and boatshed are preserved as cultural heritage buildings.

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© 2020 By Alexander Alexanov.

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