Søndre Katland Lighthouse, Farsund
Søndre Katland Lighthouse (also spelled Kattland), is a guide lighthouse for Farsund and Loshavn located on an exposed rocky islet in the mouth of the Lyngdfjorden about 3 miles (4.5 km) southeast of Farsund. It is accessible only by boat. It has poor harboring and several haboring facilities have been destroyed by storms.
Katland was built in 1878 and fully automated just after World War II, in 1947. The lighthouse was built in concrete at the same time Grønningen Lighthouse outside Kristiansand. Both of these lighthouses came into operation September 1, 1878. There is another lighthouse in Farsund municipality: Lista Lighthouse is located on the far western edge of the area.
Katland stands 47.6 feet (14.5 meters) tall and 63.4 feet (19.4 meters) above the high tide mark. There is a square cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery rising from one corner of a two-story masonry keeper’s house. In spite of its height and height above the high-tide level, the islet is subject to waves washing over it.
This lighthouse is in quite bad shape, but certainly has some amazing stories to tell. Arthur Danielsen has posted a history of the lighthouse station (in Norwegian but try Google chrome which does an admirable job of translating).
- During particulary bad storms in the 1936-37 winter season, the sea came throught the second story windows creating substantial water damage. The entire lighthouse was flooded and sea water entered the water storage tank. The wooden harbor building was destroyed by rough seas and was replaced by a bunker-like concrete structure that would protect the boats.
- For the lighthouse keeper, life could be very difficult. Nevertheless a series of lighthouse keepers lived, married, had children, raised and educated them here. The first keeper Abraham Severin Tønnessen and his wife Lina raised five children here—four born at the lighthouse!
- During World War II, the Germans took over the lighthouse and the lighthouse was dark except when the Germans needed it for their purposes.
- When the lighthouse was manned, extra food was important. Greens were grown in the kitchen garden in soil boxes that were filled with imported soil every year.
Søndre Katland Association (Foreningen Søre Katland)
Søndre Katland Association has been formed by individuals interested in protecting and preserving Katland. The website has wonderful historical documents pertaining to the lighthouse history, and a picture galleries (bildegalleri) with both contemporary and historical photos. Norwegain language only. They would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in contributing to this work.