Continue 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
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).