At the southern tip of the island of Kihnu is a slim, cast-iron lighthouse, fabricated in England and assembled onsite in 1864. Visitors can climb the tower's interior spiral staircase to the balcony, take a look at the lantern room, enjoy an astounding view of the wide waters, and purchase Kihnu handicrafts or locally made treats from the old kerosene shed adjacent to the lighthouse – this was built in 1882, when liquid fuel started to be used for lighting.
The Kihnu lighthouse was built due to the interest of Tzarist Russian, Latvian and Estonian traders in marking a safe passage through the Väinameri. First requested as far back as 1833, the lighthouse was finally built 30 years later, as construction technology moved forward and the Gordon cast-iron modular system was introduced. This was both faster and cheaper than building lighthouses out of stone. A Fresnel lensed lighting system was ordered from England. The Kihnu lighthouse has retained its original appearance; only the lighting equipment has been upgraded.
The slender beacon was also an important feature of the islanders' life, as before the installation of telephone cables, it was the only means of communication with the mainland.