Märket – 60° 18,2’ N 19° 08,2’ E

Märket is situated in the Åland Sea, at the border of Finland and Sweden. At this small island the border in between the two countries was drawn in 1809 and in 1982 the line was measured out again, the three lighthouse buildings on the island are on the Finnish side.

The fairway, which was right next to the island, was dangerous for sailors. Despite the fact that an iron mast was erected on the island in 1862, the striking continued. Not until 1885 was a lighthouse built. Before the construction was finished, there was a storm and in a great drama the workers survived by jumping into their boat and pulling it up into the iron mast.

Staffed for a long time

The lighthouse was not lighted during WW1, but in WW2 it was staffed. The lighthouse-keepers had to live right at the front.

The keepers lived a hard life and manually took care of the lighthouse around the clock.

In the beginning of the 50’s, storage room and an engine room were built and the two new buildings were attached to the lighthouse with a bridge.

Märket is the lighthouse that was staffed the longest in Åland. The lighthouse keepers left the island in 1976. Since then Märket has been a paradise for radio amateurs.

Save the Märket Lighthouse

The Finnish Lighthouse Society has started a campaign to save the lighthouse of Märket, which is in bad shape and needs to be repaired. After the lighthouse was empty for 30 years, the society made sure that the lighthouse got a new “lighthouse-keeper” in 2007. In 2009 it will probably be the third summer that the society staffs the lighthouse with guards who receive and guide visitors to the lighthouse.

Read more about Märket at the Lighthouse Society’s webpage: www.majakkaseura.fi
In the summer you can also call directly to Märket to hear if you can moor your boat at the island, phone +358 40 8499 333, 9 am-9 pm in June-August.

Photo: The Finnish Lighthouse Society

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