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Eigeroy Lighthouse


Norway's first cast-iron light tower.
Eigersund local district.
Established: 1854.


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The tower on Eigeroy is Norway's first cast-iron light tower. It was prefabricated at Baerums Verk, near Oslo, and Horten Mekaniske Vaerksted, and transported to Eigeroy where it was bolted together in the mid-1800s.. A lighthouse apparatus of the first order, from Lepaute in Paris, was installed.
A house for the lighthouse keeper, an outbuilding, a boat house and a quay were also bullt at this time. The light was first lit on 16 November 1854. Different manning schemes were used until 1989, when the lighthouse was automated. No one has lived there since then. In 1998 the lighthouse became protected under the Norwegian cultural heritage act. This protection includes buildings, roads and an area surrounding the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is currently owned and run by the National Coastal Administration, while the rest of the Station belongs to the municipality of Eigersund.


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Eigeroy light is a rather lonely gateway to Jaeren. It defies all physics, tightly grasping the rock at the very edge of the little island. The ligh thouse builders who put up the tower did a thorough job. Looking at the tower sides you can see how the cast-iron plates were numbered to make sure they were assembled in the right order.


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The bottom steps into the tower pass through the foundation wall. Higher up you seem to be ascending inside a brick tower, since nor mally you would expect to see nuts and bolts on a cast-iron wall. But the Eigeroy light was given a protective inner sheath of stone. Lieutenant Nielsen who designed the tower was not sure whether it could withstand the full force of the open sea. In fact no sheathing was needed, and the iron tower proved itself plenty strong enough. Inside the Eigeroy tower you can still see the old keepers' tools of the trade. Successive generations of lighthouse technology stand intact. The huge foghorn, the compressed air tanks, the weight cabinet for the turning gear, and the engine room.


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