Torbjørnskjær Lighthouse, sentinel to the Oslofjord
Torbjørnskjær Lighthouse is in the archipelago municipality of Hvaler, Østfold, Norway. It is located on a small skerry (skjær) about 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Utgard, Vesterøy.
- Torbjørnskjær was built in 1872 and automated in 1990. It stands 58.7 feet (17.9 meters) tall and 58.7 feet ( 25.7 meters) above the high tide mark.
- This lighthouse marks the east side of the entrance to the Oslofjord at the entrance from the Skagerrak, with Færder Lighthouse in Tjøme marking the western side.
- The light is powered by solar power. Landing conditions are very difficult, and nowadays service calls are made via helicopter. The lighthouse and surrounding buildings, which include residences, outhouse, a well, and engine house are now protected as a national park. After a period and neglect and having suffered damage from severe storms, the Coastal Administration began to renovate the lighthouse in 2007.
- This active lighthouse has a focal plane 26 m (85 ft); continuous white light with a brighter flash every 10 s. 18 m (59 ft)
- It consists of a square cylindrical granite tower with lantern and gallery, rising schoolhouse-style from the front of a 1-1/2 story granite keeper’s house. 3rd order Fresnel lens. The lighthouse is unpainted dark gray stone; lantern painted red. .
- The site and tower are closed.
Hvaler municipality is a group of islands in the southwestern part of Østfold county, Norway. The name is the plural form of hval which means “whale”.
The Oslofjord (Norwegian: Oslofjorden) is an inlet in the southeast of Norway, stretching from an imaginary line between the Torbjørnskjær and Færder lighthouses and down to Langesund in the south to Oslo in the north. The Oslofjord is not a fjord in the geological sense. In Norwegian the term fjord can refer to a wide range of waterways.
Ytre Hvaler National Park
- Ytre Hvaler National Park (Norwegian: Ytre Hvaler nasjonalpark) is a national park in Hvaler and Fredrikstad in Østfold, Norway. It is mostly a marine park, covering the outer parts of the skerries of the Oslofjord’s eastern shore. To the south, the national park’s border lies on the Norwegian-Swedish border next to Kosterhavet National Park. Ytre Hvaler covers an area of 354 km2 (137 sq mi), of which 340 km2 (130 sq mi) is sea and 14 km2 (5 sq mi) is land.
- The park was established on 26 June 2009 and is the only marine national park in the country.
- Ytre Hvaler National Park officially opened ub 2009, the ceremony attended by King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway.
- Settlements in the area may have been as old as the Bronze Age. There are more than 50 shipwrecks in the park, the most prominent being the frigate Lossen.
- Within the park are two lighthouses: Torbjørnskjær and Homlungen, both which are operated by the Norwegian Coastal Administration. The islands remain in use for grazing.
- The park includes the largest known coral reef in sheltered waters in Europe, which is located near the island Tisler.
- Scientists have discovered that there are over 6,000 different species living in the protected area, both in water and on land, and that 200 of them are found only here.