Jomfruland Lighthouse – On a Great Leisure and Fun Island

Norwegian tourists love the island of Jomfruland.

Jomfruland Lighthouse is located on Jomfruland island, the outermost of a group of islands off Kragerø municipality, Telemark. It was built in 1839,  and automated in 1991. It’s an active lighthouse, 101.7 feet (31 meters) tall and 157.4 feet (48 meters) above the hight tide mark.

The lighthouse is located approximately on the island’s center. Actually, there are two white lighthouses — one old and one new. Only the newer is in use today. The lighthouses are area landmakrs and can be seen from all sides. The station also consists of the two towers, residential assistant and other homes and outbuildings grouped around a courtyard. The lighthouse  is protected under the Cultural Heritage Act.

Jomfruland Island

Jomfruland is a low, small elongated  island off the mouth of the Kragerøfjord. It is a glacial moraine.  It measures about 4.6 mile by .6 mile (7.5 km by 1 km) by 1 km. Jomfruland provides shelter to the many islands of the Kragerø archipelago from the Skagerak seas. The island is popular as a summer resort and as a birding destination. The outer shore of the island consists of smooth stones and boulders, while the inner shore has sandy beaches along its entire length.

Access to Jomfruland is by water taxi, car ferry, or by private boat. Ferries make regular daily trips between it and the mainland. The island has several guest harbors. The island has various attractions, including splendid beaches, developed docks with restaurant and kiosk facilities, rolling stone beaches on the island’s north side, as well as good hiking possibilities for tourists and residents alike.

In Fyrhagen, there are summer concerts, “Under Two Ttowers.” Many famous musicians and artists have performed here. Program for this year’s concerts can be seen here.

Tårnbrygga, the wharf nearest the lighthouses, is the center of many attractions and the usual starting point for visitors’ tours. The surroundings of the nearby Haga Inn are well-suited for outdoor activities and recreation, while the sandy beach with its gradual and shallow slope is a perfect place for families with children. A marked and handicap-friendly nature/culture trail out to the Lighthouse Pond (Tårntjerna) starts in the leafy forests close by.

Plant and animal life

Jomfruland is famous for it abundance of European thimbleweed. Every spring, in the beginning of May, the white thimbleweed spreads out like a blanket across the island.

A favourable climate and lush vegetation have attracted a great variety of birds, More than 300 species having been spotted. Jomfruland Bird Station (Jomfruland Fuglestasjon) is a facility run by the Telemark chapter of the Norwegian Ornithological Society. The station which was established in 1969 is located at Øitangen on the northern peak of the island. Much of the bird migration each spring and autumn follows the coastline and passes by the island’s northern peak. From March through November the stations is manned continuously

Species seen here include the Barred Warbler, a regular at Jomfruland, perhaps being the only location in Norway where this bird breeds. Also Thrush Nightingale, Common Rosefinch and Red-backed Shrike are regular breeding species, Stock Pigeon, Northern Shoveler and Barnacle Goose (the latter two on nearby islands). A vast number of birds breed on islets and skerries around Jomfruland, one of these being the Black Guillemot.

The old lighthouse

Built in 1839 and inactive since 1938. 72 feet (22 mt) round brick tower with gallery, painted white, lantern removed. Weather instruments and a communications antenna are mounted on the capped tower. The old tower now houses a lighthouse museum, and the adjoining keeper’s house is an art gallery. During the summer, open-air concerts are held on the grounds of the station.The tower is open during the summer. From the top there are great views over large parts of the island and the archipelago around. When built, it was equipped with a foghorn, Norway’s first mechanical foghorn.

The new lighthouse

Round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. 2nd order Fresnel lens in use. Lighthouse painted white, lantern dome red. The light guides ships approaching the Kragerøfjord and Kragerø; the continuous light also aids ships sailing toward Oslo.The tower closed.


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