Šlītere lighthouse
Opening hours (from May):
Mo — closed
Tu, We, Th, Fr, Sa, Su 10.00 – 18.00

Admission fee:
1.20 €  for adults,
0.60 € for school-children
Preschool children and persons with disabilities — free of charge.

Stories about the robber David who was making false fires in order to cheat ships provide a special secret to the location of the lighthouse.

On sea maps this place is referred to as Domkalns hill, i.e. Baznīckalns [Church Hill]. Prior to the construction of Slītere tower, there was a huge oak-tree on the slope of Šlītere Zilie kalni [Blue Hills], and it was marked on sea maps. Slītere church built by Danish Vikings has served as an orientation for several centuries.

Slītere tower constructed of boulders in 1849 which became a lighthouse only in 1961 today should be considered the second oldest preserved navigation structure in Latvia (Ovīši lighthouse being first).

This was among the highest lights at the Baltic coast line (more than 100 m above the sea level) because the 26 metres high tower was supplemented by the slope of Šlītere Zilie kalni [Blue Hills] which rise 76 m above the sea level at the foundation of the building. From the heights of the lighthouse the lighthouses of Miķeļtornis, Ovīši, Kolka and even Saaremaa could be seen. The slope of Šlītere Zilie kalni [Blue Hills] is the reason for another peculiarity: none of the lighthouse of Latvia is located as far from the sea as this one (5.3 km).

In 1999 the lights were turned off at Šlītere lighthouse and the lighting devices were dismantled. The elimination of the light at the lighthouse does not present any threat to the navigation safety at the coasts of the Northern Kurzeme because nowadays ships are equipped with modern navigation devices, thus the number of light orientations can be reduced. Earlier lighthouses remain as good daylight orientation for fishermen.

Since 2002 the lighthouse is a tourism attraction at Slītere National Park. There is also an exposition about sea lighthouses in Latvia, in the Baltics and the whole world there.

Live broadcast from Šlītere lighthouse. View of the forests of Slītere National Park.

At Slītere National Park there are several routes for walking, cycling, boating and car tours.
Šlītere lighthouse. Photo: Ainars Gaidis
«Šlīteres bāka», Šlītere, Dundagas pag., Dundagas nov., LV-3270
+371 28385025
Old Kolka lighthouse
The history of Kolka lighthouses dates back to the 13th century when signal fires were made there for seafarers to be able to identify the turning point between Irbe strait and the Gulf of Riga. The horn from which a shallow extends along 6 km has always been dangerous for shipping, the ship cemetery that has emerged near it is the biggest of the kind in the Baltic Sea.

Here, on the underwater slope, there is the meeting point of  Sur mer and Piški mer (in the Liiv language - the Great and the Small Sea).

The first wooden tower of the lighthouse at the top of which a fire was made has been mentioned in 1532. In the middle of the 16th century there were two lighthouses which formed a line of guiding lights along the axis of the shallow. In 1818 fires were replaced by oil lamps - the light was continuous, or as seafarers define it - hard. The operation of Kolka lighthouse was assumed by the owner of Dundage manor Osten-Sacken who received more than 3 thousand silver roubles per year for this.

During the Crimea war the British seafarers had destroyed the lighthouses, the towers were repaired in 1858 and the coast at the tower of the North lighthouse was secured. Twenty years later the tower was destroyed by the sea. A point for monitoring the ship movement and ice was arranged in the South tower.

Just fragments of ruins of the old lighthouse have survived until today.
Old Kolka lighthouse
Kolka lighthouse
The present Kolka lighthouse is the only lighthouse in Latvia that was built on an artificially created island. It is located in the sea, 5.14 km from the ruins of the old lighthouse. The island was built from boulders that were transported by boats or by sledge from Kurzeme and Estonia. The construction was started in 1872 and the light was first lit in the tower 3 years later. A living house for attendants was built and a a fog horn brought from Paris was installed on the island.

The completed lighthouse was put into operation in 1884. The fog horn was replaced by a steam syren, in 1915 the still lens was replaced by a blinking light and in 1934 beam emitting lenses installed on a rotating table became the source of the incandescent light. The lighthouse was upgraded in the 1960-ies and in 1979 it started operating in an automated mode without any service personnel.

The boulders of the island were continuously washed out by waves and the stream, therefore wooden protection walls were replaced by a concrete wall, later reinforced concrete blocks were put there with stones and concrete sacks in between them.
Kolka lighthouse. Photo: Kaspars Priede
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