Cultural Heritage in the Baltic Sea States
   
 
    Decommissioned and automated lighthouses can be preserved for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations. In many countries lighthouses and lights have been listed as cultural monuments and protected by law. Any such selection is based on the relative merits of individual lights. The comprehensive documentation of existing lights is fundamental to this process and can determine the most appropriate means for their preservation.

In Norway today there are 83 protected lighthouses. Sweden has had 24 lights listed as national monuments since 1935, following a reassessment this may now increase to 73. Poland has 13 lighthouses listed as historical monuments, 12 are open to the public. The Finnish Maritime Administration is responsible for 49 automatically operated lighthouses, and proposals for their protection are being looked into. Estonia has identified 31 lighthouses for protection. Lithuania has five lighthouses, two are registered monuments.

A major and costly challenge for lighthouse preservation is the buildings’ constant exposure to the harsh maritime climate. In some countries the state provides funding for lighthouses protected by law. Public funding is often available for sites that demonstrate they have a role to play in today’s society. In some cases international funding agencies such as the EU Structure Fund and the Interreg IIIb Programme for the North Sea and the Baltic can provide financial assistance. However it is only by finding suitable new uses for former lighthouses that we can hope to successfully preserve a greater number of them.
 
Laidunina, Estonia.
© Danckert Monrad-Krohn.
Tahkuna is Estonia’s tallest cast iron lighthouse.
© Danckert Monrad-Krohn.
Uostadvaris, Lithuania.
© Kestutis Demereckas, Libra Memelensis.
  © Polish Maritime Museum