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Ytterøyane Lighthouse: Norway’s westernmost lighthouse

Ytterøyane Lighthouse: Norway’s westernmost lighthouse
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Florø, in Sogn og Fjordane, is Norway’s westernmost city and Ytterøyane Lighthouse on Kinn island, the last in the island chain coming west from Florø, is Norway’s westernmost lighthouse. Yetterøyane Lighthouse was built in 1881 and automated in 2004.

  • Kinn is a small island. It lies about 600 metres (2,000 ft) west of the neighboring island of Reksta and the village of Rognaldsvåg, which is the main population center for the area. Kinn is best known for the Kinn kyrkje (church), which probably dates from the 12th century, and the Kinnaspelet, a historical play which is performed every summer.
  • Ytterøyane (literally translated: outer islands) Lighthouse is 101.7 feet (31 meters) tall and stands 188.6 feet (57.5 meters) above the high tide mark. The cast iron tower stands upon an octagonal concrete base. Close by stands the lighthouse machinery, residence, and outbuildings. The road down to the boathouse and landing lies the site of a smithy. The area has rich flora and bird life and is a protected nature reserve in the law of conservation. The lighthouse itself  is protected by law. Norway has maintained a weather station at Ytterøyane Lighthouse since September 1984.

There are two other important lighthouses in Florø municipality:
Stabben Lighthouse, Florø (1867–1975)
Kvanhovden Lighthouse, Florø (1895–1980)

  • The Ytterøyane lighthouse, the biggest in Sunnfjord, and has withstood hurricanes and airplane attacks. The machine house, the residence, and an outbuilding – all built of concrete – huddle together close to the tower. The residence is so big that it is equipped with four chimneys. The roof is covered with slates. The silhouette of this compact, well-formed building complex is visible at long range.
    Ytterøyane Lighthouse

    Kinn has always been a fishing center. The establishment of the large Kinn Church in the 12 century is a testament to the money made from the fishing trade.

  • This lighthouse was one of last along the coast to become automated. The view is spectacular from the ocean in the west to the Jostedalsbre glacier to the east, in the north you can see Stadlandet, and to the south the characteristic mountain island of Alden, and the mountains further south to Sula.
  • The first radio-telephone, the weight casing and the weight driving the “clockwork” for the lens rotation are still stored in the tower.

 

Kinn Island

  • The first thing that strikes you when you go ashore  in summer is the colorful and intense profusion of flowers, especially around midsummer. There is also a rich and varied bird life, and the lighthouse is located in an area which is legally protected as a nature reserve.
  • In the first few years, there was only a lighthouse keeper and an assistant, but later on, it was changed into a family operation. The access to the lighthouse station is fairly good, but in former times it was important to have enough provisions and supplies for long winter months. When the weather was extremely bad, it was impossible to get to or from the islands, so the people at the lighthouse could be isolated for long spells at a time.

 

History

  • Bullet holes in the tower  During the First World War, the crew from a torpedoed boat came to Ytterøyane and was helped by the lighthouse people. During the Second World War, the German Wehrmacht took control of the lighthouse operation. They planted thousands of landmines on the islands, installed an anti-aircraft gun on the roof of the residence, and a bigger-calibre gun just to the west of the tower. Once or twice, they shot at British planes on their return from air raids to Florø. One of the planes turned around and peppered the tower with its machine gun. A German soldier was killed and several others were wounded, and the big and valuable lens was partly destroyed in the shower of bullets. Bullet holes can still be seen in the tower even today.
  • About 150 years ago works commenced to build lighthouses along our long and dangerous coastline. Until then seamen had to find their way with the help of bonfires and coal-burning lanterns lit along the shores, followed by oil-lamps and other provisionary systems. The waters surrounding Florø are particularily treacherous, and a total of 3 lighthouses were built early on to assist sailors coming in to the town.
  • Now the lighthouses are fully automatic, and a trip to see them is both exotic and dramatic. Stabben Lighthouse lies just outside the harbour of Florø, and is the oldest lighthouse in the Sunnfjord Region. Built on a rock that only just has space for the building, this pictoresque lighthouse is a popular motive for paintors and photographers. Ytrøyane Lighthouse is the most westerly lighthouse in Norway, and its classic tower makes a dramatic entry to the waters of Flora. Kvanhovden Lighthouse is the northernmost lighthouse in Flora, and the adjoining house is still in use. Overnight stays can be arranged, for an unforgettable experience of nature and solitude.

 

Exciting Speed Boat Trips

Kysteventyr AS 
The adrenaline rushing through your veins, the engine roaring and the sea spray splashing all around you! This is speed, excitement and fun. With 200 hp and a top speed of 60 knots we go west towards the ocean. The target is Svanøy, Kinn or perhaps Ytterøyane? What about a quick stop at Kvanhovden Lighthouse for fish soup or a quick trip to Alden? In a flash you are in Kalvåg and enjoying a good lunch. A new adventure which you will certainly want to do again! You can borrow equipment, and safety is paramount. For more information please contact the tourist office.

 

Kysteventyr AS

Ytterøyane Contact

 

Kinnakyrkja – The Kinn Church

The Kinna church is built in stone, probably some time in the 12th century. It is the oldest and the only one of its kind in the region of Sunnfjord, and it is one of the most impressive medieval monuments in the west of Norway. It was the main church in the parish of Kinn until 1882, when a new church was built in the newly founded city of Florø.


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