Details page

Oksøy Lighthouse

Foto: Arve Lindvig
In 1828 the first national lighthouse commission gave the establishing of a lighthouse at the entrance to Kristiansand the highest priority. The result was that in 1832 two lighthouses were built, a larger coastal lighthouse on "the Oxøen reef" and a smaller harbor lighthouse on Odderøya. The first lighthouse on Oksøy was a brick tower equipped with a "Lens apparatus, after a new French System". Oksøy was the first Norwegian lighthouse where a lens was installed that gathered and amplified the light beam. The principle was developed by the French engineer August Fresnel in the 1820s, and when Oksøy threw its first rays of light towards the horizon, it was only in France and the Netherlands that similar technology was in use. To run the lighthouse, "a Man of better education", lieutenant Cornelius Berg, was employed, who was given the title "Lighthouse manager". During his career at Oksøy, he managed to father 25 children, albeit with two different wives. In addition to operation of the lighthouse, an optical signal station was established on the Oksøy island, and in the 1830s pilots started to use the good harbor and the good view from the lighthouse tower. In 1860 they began with meteorological observations, and in 1869 there was a telegraph connection to the island. In 1891 the first fog system (the country's first fog siren) was put into operation, and already in 1896 the telegraph was replaced by a telephone connection to the Kristiansand city. In 1900, a 36-metre high cast-iron tower was erected, and shortly afterwards a beacon was built to give those sailing from the east a free sector outside the shoals along the Randesundslandet. The lighthouse was electrified in 1951, and from 1964 a radio beacon came into operation. After World War II, Oksøy became a permanent pilot station. The wheelhouse from the ship "Agder II" was transported to Oksøy and used as a watchtower. In 1964 a new pilothouse was built. Oksøy lighthouse is protected, both as a seabird area and a cultural monument.

200 years of Fresnel lighthouse lenses



Foto: Arve Lindvig