Solitary lives in Åland’s lighthouses
The oldest of the staffed lighthouses in Åland were built in the mid 1800’s. Here, way out at sea, lived the lighthouse-keepers in a harsh environment, far from the rest of the society.
The lighthouse-keepers either lived alone in their lighthouse, isolated from their family and the surrounding world for months on end, or small lighthouse communities developed on the islands, where the lighthouse keepers' families also lived.
The lighthouses were often staffed with three or four keepers. Their lives were often hard and they had to endure many trials and dramas on the islands.
In the 1950’s the staff was reduced in line with the automation of the lighthouses. The last staffed lighthouse in Åland was Märket, which was automated in 1976.
Nowadays there are some 50 lighthouses along Åland’s and Finland’s coastlines, all automated and unstaffed.
When you arrive at Åland you will see four lighthouses which used to be staffed. Each has its own story:
Do you want to read more about the lighthouses of Åland?
Read: ” Finnish lighthouses” by Seppo Laurell, ”Lågskär i Ålands hav” by Håkan Slotte and ”Sälskär – fyrvaktarlivet 1868-1949” by Bengt Häger.