The Sõrve lighthouse is located on the southern tip of Saaremaa's Sõrve peninsula. The long spit of land extends into the sea, as if it is the end of the world, with nothing but water beyond it. The tower is one of the most important markers on Estonia's western shore, and helps ships to navigate through the frequently shallow Courland Straight. The 52-meter tall, black-and-white painted tower was constructed in 1960 using reinforced concrete, and is among the highest towers on the Baltic.
The lighthouse and nearby visitor center provide an overview of Estonia's most important lighthouses, and the area's seafaring history. 248 steps take you to a viewing platform at a height of 45 meters, from where on a clear day you can see Latvia!
The first signal fire is known to have existed here as early as 1646 – a metal fire basket raised on a wooden boom using counterweights. To refill the basket, the boom was lowered; once the firewood had caught, the basket was hoisted back up. In 1650, this was replaced with a stone tower. The lighthouse was destroyed during the World Wars. Temporary towers were replaced in 1960 with one of Estonia's tallest reinforced-concrete towers. The lantern room housed a spinning lamp, powered by a diesel generator and batteries. The light source stood at 52 meters above sea level, visible from 19 miles away.