driving towards Kõrgessaare,
in about 2 km the
sign "Tahkuna 11" will lead you to the Tahkuna lighthouse.
Follow the sign. Caution: Most of this road is gravel and
dusty in the summer.
Photo: Tiit Leito / www.fotokogu.com
Tahkuna lighthouse, situated on the
northern tip of Hiiumaa, was completed
in 1875. It was constructed of prefabricated
cast iron parts assembled
according to what was called the
Gordon’s system to make transport
easier. Construction work was said to
have been a breeze. At the same time
a lighthouse was built at Ristna as
well. According to some stories, parts
for the two lighthouses were switched,
so Ristna lighthouse is now slightly
smaller and Tahkuna tower is taller, although it was planned the other
way round. Tahkuna tower is approximately 42.5 high, Ristna tower is
about 30 m.
Legends and stories
According to one story once thought to be a fact but now considered
legend, a Russian soldier jumped from the tower as he was afraid of
the Germans. He later acquired a name - Nikolai Chizh - and status as
Russian war hero, the last soviet "defender" of the island.
There are very many war stories about Tahkuna and it is quite
difficult to establish which of them really took place. Historians have
still not agreed how many soldiers were taken as prisoners of war here,
and how many of them managed to escape by boat. Numerous battles
have left traces here. Sawmills regularly reject timber from this area
since shrapnel embedded in tree trunks destroys machinery.
Many interesting sights are situated around the tower. At the far end of
the peninsula you will come face to face with sad memories from recent
times: a monument on the beach dedicated to the children who perished
in the Estonia ferry disaster in 1994. The monument was erected on
November 1, All Souls Day, in 1995 and funded by donations from the
people of Hiiumaa.
Adjacent to the monument there is a stone labyrinth that is growing
all the time. Constructed by maze aficionados in 1997, it harks back to
times when there was a real labyrinth here (see information board).