Ristna Lighthouse, located on Hiiumaa island in Estonia


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At the western tip of Hiiumaa, close to the Kõpu beacon, is the bright red Ristna lighthouse. The tower consists of two metal cylinders placed one on top of another, with a spiral staircase inside; its distinguishing features include eight wrought-iron support pillars and a five-meter service room extending outwards from the top of the tower, with the lantern room on top of that. There is also a small eatery next to the tower. The nearby Kõpu lighthouse was frequently obscured by fog, so it was decided to build a new lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula. The new structure also had an extra job: its red blinking light would warn of the dangers of obstructing ice movements in the Gulf of Finland. The lighthouse's dainty frame was severely damaged in WWI, so in 1920 the buttresses were encased in a strong concrete jacket. Unlike the imposing Gordon type cast iron towers, boiler plate lighthouses were significantly cheaper and faster to erect, with less assembly work and cheaper materials. In 1884, a 20-pood (328-kilogram) fog bell was installed in the Ristna lighthouse. A year later, the lantern room received spinning occluding screens with a clockwork and weight-based mechanism; these were engaged when the Gulf of Finland was experiencing ice flows. In 1889, an iron-sheet shed was completed next to the tower; this held Estonia's first steam siren.

 

 

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