Vardø is the most easterly lighthouse in Norway and was established in 1896 after many years of local engagement. The first lantern was placed at one of the walls of the keeper’s house. During the 2nd World War the station was taken over by the Germans, but when they retreated in the autumn of 1944, they did not manage to demolish it, as they did with the other lighthouses in Finnmark. Vardø lighthouse only suffered minor damages, but still the station was rebuilt after the war, with a characteristic square wooden tower. There are only two more of the same kind in Norway, namely Alnes and Moholmen. Vardø lighthouse was de-manned in 1991. The station is owned by the state, and is protected as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Act. The Coastal Administration is cooperating with the local organisation “Hornøyas Venner” to facilitate alternative use of the premises. Guiding the way. Vardø lighthouse marks both the entrance to Vardø harbour and the fairway towards Varangerfjorden. There are strong currents in the waters around Vardø, Hornøya and Reinøya, moving south with the rising tide, and north with the falling tide. The old lens in the tower is no longer in use. Today a small PRB-light serves as aid to navigation.
Vardø fyr was established in 1896. The original buildings survived the war, but were in such a poor condition that they were replaced in 1959. The unusual square tower is 20 meters high, and is one of only three in the country with this shape, the others being Alnes and Moholmen. The station consists of a machine house, dwellings, outhouses, machine house for the cable way and two boathouses by the landing. The foundations of the original lighthouse and the keeper’s cottage are visible right north of today’s structures. The area around the lighthouse is scattered with ruins of a German fortress. The lighthouse was de-manned in 1991 and is today protected by the cultural heritage act. The whole of Hornøya is protected as a nature reserve.