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Per-Olof Remmare

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Per-Olof Remmare Powered By Docstoc
					Per-Olof Remmare

SHORT REPORT ON THE PRESENT SITUATION
OF THE LIGHTHOUSES IN SWEDEN




What is the current situation regarding the preservation        Taube was born there. An association – “Friends of
of lighthouses and lightships as monuments for cultural         Vinga” runs a small Evert Taube museum and guided
heritage?                                                       tours around the island. The lighthouse is open to the
                                                                public. Some of the houses are used for vacations by
In Sweden there are about 40 lighthouses that are               employees of Gothenburg Harbour and Stena Line.
protected by law because of their cultural value. Most          There is also a guest harbour. In the summer there are
of them were protected in 1935. Within a couple                 daily tour-boats from Gothenburg to Vinga. The Vinga
of years we think that this figure will increase to             lighthouse station is owned by the Swedish Maritime
approximately 80 protected lighthouses. The National            Administration.
Heritage Board is currently working on this issue.                  The dramatically situated lighthouse station of Hög-
About a dozen of the lighthouses suggested for future           bonden (on a rock more then 30 m high) was recently
protection are around or in the big Lake Vänern.                opened as a very sucessful youth hostel. The ligthouse
    During 2001-2002 the National Heritage Board                tower itself is unfortunately not open to the public.
has pointed out 25 lighthouse stations which can be
considered to be part of the “National Heritage”. This
has been done together with the Swedish Maritime
Administration and the National Property Board.
The co-operation has resulted in a written agreement
– dated November 2002 – stating that these 25 light-
house stations shall remain in public ownership in
the future and also be open to the public. Today 24 of
them are owned by the Swedish state. The exception
is the Falsterbo lighthouse which is owned by the
municipality of Vellinge in the south-west corner of
Scania.
    Sweden has two remaining and preserved light-
ships, owned by the Swedish Maritime Administration
and being taken care of by the Maritime Museum.
                                                                Måseskär lighthouse station on the Swedish west coast has a char-
One of the lightships is at the Wasa Museum in                  acteristic Heidenstam lighthouse. It is an example of a lighthouse
Stockholm and the other one at the Maritime Centre              run and taken care of by a private foundation.
in Gothenburg. They are both open to the public.

Can you give some good examples of lighthouse
preservation?

Good examples of protected lighthouses with new uses
are; Måseskär on the west coast (north of Gothenburg),
Vinga (just outside Gothenburg), Högbonden on the
east coast (north of Härnösand) and Långe Jan at the
south point of the island of Öland.
    Måseskär is taken care of by a private foundation
which maintains the Heidenstam tower. Today the
lighthouse station is used as a youth hostel during
the summer season. If you pre-book, the lighthouse is
opened to the public.                                           Högbondens lighthouse north of Härnösand, on the Swedish
    Vinga lighthouse – at the sea-approach of Gothen-           east coast, is one of the most dramatically situated lighthouses
burg – is one of the most famous lighthouses in                 in Sweden. A few years ago the lighthouse keepers' building was
Sweden. The well known writer and singer Evert                  opened as a very successful youth hostel.


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       Vinga lighthouse and beacon is found at the sea approach to Gothenburg. The lighthouse is open to the public in the summer
       time and there are also daily boat connections with Gothenburg. At Vinga there is a small Evert Taube Museum – run by
       the private association Friends of Vinga. The famous Swedish singer and writer Evert Taube was born at Vinga where his
       father was a lighthouse keeper. Photo Dan Thunman.


    The tall lighthouse of Långe Jan is one of Sweden’s                    In the summer of 2002 the situation had become
oldest lighthouses. It is situated within a world heritage             acute. The entire tower was lifted on to a barge and
list area – the cultural landscape of the southern part                transported to the mainland for restoration. The cost
of Öland – as well as in a bird sanctuary, very famous                 for this had been estimated to 6,5 millions SEK. The
among ornithologists. Långe Jan is one of the most                     big problem now is the extremely bad condition of the
visited lighthouses in Sweden – mostly because of the                  iron-construction – made evident when the tower had
birds. In addition to the lighthouse there is a small                  been stripped of its remaining paint. The estimated
lighthouse-museum, a bird-museum and a restaurant.                     restoration cost has increased enormously – from 6,5
Långe Jan is a good example of how different tourist                   to 22 millions SEK. The tower is now disassembled
attractions can be used in combination and with very                   and nobody knows if it will ever be back in place ...
good results.
                                                                       What is the main challenge facing the preservation of
Can you give some bad examples of lighthouse                           lighthouses and lightships as cultural monuments?
preservation?
                                                                       The big challenge is of course to find new uses for the
Of course there are many examples where lighthouses                    lighthouse stations when they are no longer needed
have been neglected for too long. “Pater Noster”                       for shipping. The Swedish Maritime Administration
– outside the town of Marstrand and north of                           is financed by fees from the shipping business and can
Gothenburg is the latest sad story. The Pater Noster                   not invest large amounts of money into something that
islets were much feared by seamen in ancient times and                 the shipping business has no need for. Lighthouses are
a lighthouse was planned as early as in the 1750s. In                  often to be found in isolated places and thus expensive
1868 the tall cast-iron tower of so called Heidenstam                  to keep in good condition. So lack of money is the
type was erected. In 1977 it was replaced by a modern                  main problem. The creation of a “National foundation
caisson lighthouse and the intention was to pull down                  for preservation of lighthouse stations” is currently
the iron tower. In order to save it the County Museum                  being discussed.
of Bohuslän then undertook responsibility for future                        The last manned lighthouse station in Sweden was
maintenance of the tower and thus it remained in                       Holmögadd outside the city of Umeå in northern
place. Unfortunately the museum did not possess the                    Sweden. The lighthouse-keeper went ashore on March
means – or the money – to do what they had promised                    1st 2003.
and for 25 years now corrosion has gnawed the cast-
iron construction.


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Pater Noster, Sweden. Photo Jan Norman, National Heritage Board, Sweden.



Pater Noster lighthouse is situated on the Swedish west coast,
close to the old city of Marstrand. The cast iron Heidenstam
lighthouse was erected in 1868. Today there are major difficulties
with the preservation of the cast iron construction. Until last year
the lighthouse was taken care of by Bohusläns Museum, which
had had responsibility for the last 25 years of maintenance.
Unfortunately they were unsuccessful – mainly due to lack of
money. Today Pater Noster has been dismantled and transported
to the main land for reconstruction involving enormous restoration
costs. Photo Dan Thunman.




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                                                                              Which bodies/organisations are responsible for the future
                                                                              of your countries lighthouses and lightships?

                                                                              The Swedish Maritime Administration is responsible
                                                                              for most of the still active lighthouses in Sweden.
                                                                              However the Lake Vänern lighthouses are adminis-
                                                                              tered by “Vänerns seglationsstyrelse”, a sort of private
                                                                              company founded as early as in the 1790s. It is very
                                                                              common that the various buildings of a lighthouse sta-
                                                                              tion have been sold to private owners, and that only the
                                                                              lighthouse tower is still in the hands of The Maritime
                                                                              Administration. When an increasing number of light-
                                                                              houses now are put out the Administration has to find
                                                                              ways to get rid of them since there is very little money
                                                                              for maintenance.
                                                                                  Among private initiatives concerning light-
                                                                              houses “The Swedish Lighthouse Society” (Svenska
                                                                              Fyrsällskapet) with about 1700 members all over
                                                                              Sweden must be mentioned. This private – and very
                                                                              active organisation does a lot for spreading informa-
                                                                              tion and helps to create a broad public opinion and
                                                                              interest for the preservation of lighthouses.

                                                                              What plans do the organisations have for the future of
                                                                              lighthouses and lightships in your countries?

                                                                              The main answers to this question have already been
                                                                              presented. The National Heritage Board intends to
                                                                              double the number of lighthouse stations protected
                                                                              by law – from about 40 to about 80. The state
                                                                              authorities will accept a long-term responsibility for
Långe Jan from the 1760s is one of Sweden’s oldest and also tallest
lighthouses. It's situated at the very southern part of the island of
                                                                              administra-tion and maintenance of the 25 objects on
Öland in a listed world heritage area. The lighthouse is one of               the “National Heritage list”. For the rest of Sweden’s
the most visited in Sweden; mostly because of the bird sanctuary              c. 2000 lighthouses – many of great historical value
around the lighthouse station. Långe Jan is a good example of how             – the future is very uncertain. Here it is of crucial
different tourist attractions can be combined with each other giving          importance that the plans to create a “National
good results for both locals and tourists. Photo Dan Thunman.                 Lighthouse Foundation” can be realized.




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