Vippfyr, Lever beacon
Wooden coals burn in a wrought-iron brazier that is winched up using a lever. In 1222 Dominican monks began a system of beacons for the Baltic Sea area. They established the first such beacon on Kolabacken hill in the village of Vellinge, in Scania. They did this in cooperation with the Danish king Valdemar II, who conquered Estonia in 1219. In 1561 the King of Denmark, Frederik II, ordered a passage to be established between Skagen in Jutland and Falsterbo in Vellinge; this passage was to be marked with beacons. The imposing lever beacon in Skagen dates from 1627 and has been moved and rebuilt several times, but it can still be admired at the northern tip of Jutland. Lever beacons were frequently used along the passage leading eastwards in the Baltic Sea until the end of the 18th century. New lever beacons have been built in Finland in the 21st century.
The lever beacon in Torngrundet was built in 2001 on the Molpehällorna islets in Vaasa. The lighthouse on Utö began service in 1753. In 2003, at the time of the lighthouse’s 250th anniversary, a new lever beacon was built on Utö. The replica of an eighteenth-century Gotlandish short lever beacon recently erected in the guest harbour in Turku is therefore the third lever beacon to be constructed in Finland.