Hållö Lighthouse

IALA Heritage Lighthouse of the Year 2021 Nominee

Location: SWEDEN - Vastergatland. Sotenas. Photo credit: Thomas Eriksson

Lighthouse Operator: Swedish Maritime Administration

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Lighthouse Description and History

(Text extracted from nomination form submitted by the Swedish Maritime Administration in 2021)

The waters around the island of Halla on the west coast north of the small town Lysekil have always been known to be difficult for seafarers and many shipwrecks have taken place in its surroundings. Even before the lighthouse Halla was built in 1842, there had been navigation marks on the island of Halla and its surroundings.

Some facts about the lighthouse:

  • Lighted November 1, 1842
  • The height of the tower is 20 m
  • Light height 39.3 m
  • Range of light 10 NM (maximum 21 NM in 1969-2008)
  • 1842: Original optics- parabolic mirrors and 9 oil lamps with 6 minutes turnaround time, all mounted on an iron ring.
  • 1869: second-order lens was installed
  • 1948: electric light
  • 1969: From this year the lighthouse was automated and unmanned. The lens was taken down. A beacon with rotating Sealed Beam lamps (PRB-46 MK1, MK II spare) was installed and the range of light was now 21 NM.
  • 2008: A LED-light was now installed in the lantern and the range of light was decreased to 10 NM


Reason For Nomination

(Text extracted from nomination form submitted by the Swedish Maritime Administration in 2021)

Intrinsic Heritage Interest of the Lighthouse

The tower of Halla lighthouse is founded on rock with a diameter at the bottom of 7 m and has a height of 20m. The lower part of the tower is bricked with granite boulders from the site and has been painted white.
The upper part of the tower is conic and made of sheet metal which is painted red. Twelve-sided iron lantern with flat glass and copper roof which was originally delivered from Stockholm.
At the bottom of the ceiling there are handcrafted cast details in copper in the form of lion heads so-called gargoyles.

The lighthouse has the same appearance today as when it was built in 1842 and it has been heritage listed since 1935. It is not only the lighthouse that is heritage listed. but also the nearby three houses that served as housing for lighthouse keepers, a tool and wood shed and a small combined washhouse and bakehouse. The families who lived on the island also had a barn, had cows and sheeps and their own planting land. In the 19th century, there was also a school for the children of the lighthouse keepers and the pilots. At the most 10 children were taught at the same


As the lighthouse has been heritage listed, very few renovations have been carried out. In the summer of 2010, the lighthouse received a much-needed complete renovation. At this time, the facade, lantern and copper roof were renovated.

Public Access and Education

The efforts that have been made to facilitate public access to the lighthouse and/or to educate the public about the heritage of the nominated lighthouse as well as the wider context of aids to navigation.

The Halla Lighthouse Association runs the business on site on behalf of the Swedish Maritime Administration. The association works for the lighthouse’s preservation and future accessibility. When Halla lighthouse is open to the public, there are guides on site who tell about the lighthouse, its history and surroundings.

The lighthouse, with exhibitions and a lot of information about Halla, its history, geology, flora and fauna, can be accessed by booking a tour via its website. Access is by ferry from Smagen wharf or the Halla express from the city of Kungshamn.