Cultural Heritage in the Baltic Sea States
    Through the centuries Baltic lights have provided a reassuring means of assistance and guidance to countless mariners the world over. They warn ships of potential hazards and are designed to withstand their local geographical and environmental conditions. The notorious seas around Bengtskär resemble a ship’s graveyard. A lighthouse was not erected here until 1906 following the tragic loss of the steam ship Helsingfors on her maiden voyage.

At night the colour or distinctive flash pattern of a light is used to identify a lighthouse, allowing sailors to confirm their position. During daylight hours lighthouses serve as landmarks and aids to coastal navigation and are identified by their shape, size and colour.

Utö, Finland stands at the entrance to the sea-lane leading to Turku in the northern Baltic. It is easily recognisable with its red and white vertical stripes painted on the three walls facing the sea.

Lightships were often used in places where earlier it was impossible to build a permanent structure. The Kemi was used at several locations in Finnish waters. It was taken out of service in the 1970s and is now moored at Finland’s Maritime Museum as a monument to the era of lightships.

Utö, Finland,
© Ulla Hassinen, Finnish Maritime Administration.
Bengtskär, Finland. © Jukka Grönlund, Finnish Maritime Administration.

Nidingen, Sweden can be identified by its twin towers.
© Dan Thunman.

Kemi, Finland. © Markku Heinonen, Maritime Museum of Finland.
  © Polish Maritime Museum