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Lindesnes Lighthouse


The southernmost tip of the Norwegian mainland has always been an important landfall for sailors in the North Sea and Skagerak.
Here Norway's first lighthouse was lit in 1656 A three-storied wooden tower with 30 flickering candles on top was soon replaced by an open coal fire But strong complaints from tax-paying ship owners caused the King to have the light extinguished after only a few months.


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The lighthouse service was not resumed until 1725 It was then decided to have two coal fires burning to avoid confusion with the light at the Skaw
In 1854 a first-order lens apparatus was installed and in 1915 a new cast iron tower was erected from where the concentrated beams of light still sweep over the horizon.


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Today Lindesnes Lighthouse is protected by the Cultural Heritage Act. It has become a major tourist attraction with more than 50.000 visitors every year In 2000 Lindesnes was chosen as "Millenium Site" by the Vest-Agder County Municipality and will be further developed as a national lighthouse museum.


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As long as the lighthouses were using a constant light source, one could only distinguish one lighthouse from the next by varying the number of lights, thus from 1725 to 1844 there were two lights at the Naze and while at Lista there were three towers.
In the second half of the nineteenth Century lighthouse technology was developed, enabling the larger glass lenses to be rotated and thus emit flashes of light at different intervals. Thus each separate lighthouse gained its own distinctive signal and navigators could know which light they had seen.


Sound navigation

With the first steamships in the mid 1800s came an increasing demand for safe navigation - also in poor visibility.
The penetrating sound of foghorns, bells and sirens was to be heard all along the coast. In 1920 a fog siren was installed at Lindesnes, replaced in 1954 by a powerful diaphone. However, foghorns are inaccurate as navigation aids, and today modern navigation techniques have taken over. The fog Signal at Lindesnes became silent in 1988.




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Copyright 2007, Hanspeter Hochuli, Ennetburgen, Switzerland
last updated:  20.07.2007