Bogskär – 59° 30,3’ N 20° 21,3’ E

Bogskär’s lighthouse has been described as the most solitary place in the world. The lighthouse stands on a harsh little rock, just a few square meters large, in the middle of the sea, south of Mariehamn.

When you get closer to the island by boat, the lighthouse seems to rise out of the sea. It looks dreary, there is no vegetation and the waves rush over the little cliff.

In this harsh and exposed environment, four or five men would work for months on end.

The lighthouse, seven stories tall, was finished in 1882. It was widely acclaimed and was initiated in a festive way.

Great drama

But the lighthouse-keepers faced a hard life. It was extremely hard to get ashore and to get supplies was troublesome. Often they had to let food and supplies float with the wind the last bit to the island.

In 1889 the lighthouse was severely damaged in a storm. The strong wind ripped off wall plates and the lights went out. The staff survived but they had to wait for a month until they were rescued. Seppo Laurell describes the drama, in his book “Finska fyrar”.

In 1894 the lighthouse was repaired and the staff also got homing pigeons and a telegraph so that they could better contact the rest of the world.

The lighthouse-keepers left Bogskär at the onset of WW1. In 1915 the Germans shot at the lighthouse so severely that it couldn’t be repaired.

New appearance

After the war the lighthouse was redesigned and got a totally new look. It was considerably shorter and automated. The new lights were switched on in 1922.

In hard winds it was almost impossible to get near the lighthouse – and so it is still today. Those who arrive in their own boat are better off seeing this exposed lighthouse environment at a distance.

Picture: Posten på Åland, Time again for Åland Lighthouses on Stamps

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