Friday, 19 April 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FINLAND

Sälskär Lighthouse is considered to be one of the Baltic Sea’s most beautiful lighthouses. The 31 m (102 ft.) round white brick tower is situated in Hammarland in the northern part of Åland, an archipelago lying at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia, midway between Sweden and Finland (60° 24’ 42”N 19° 35’ 30”E). 
The tower was designed by the Finnish architect Axel Hampus Dalström and built in 1868. The lighthouse was damaged by storms in 1894 and ten years later the tower was strengthened by steel cables. This could be the reason that the lighthouse has survived until our time. The wires were removed in the 80’s and the lighthouse was renovated at the end of the 90’s.
Sälskär is a few hectares large and as the name suggests it used to be a base for seal hunters. The nature is strikingly beautiful with only low-growing vegetation and today there are no inhabitants in the island. This tower was the first lighthouse in Finland to be automated in July 1949.
Bothnian Sea National Park is the 37th national park in Finland and it was established in 2011. The name of the park is Selkämeri in Finnish. It is the fifth marine national park in Finland and it stretches over a distance of 160 kilometers on the western coast of Finland. A total of 98 per cent of the national park lies under the surface: the park protects the marine nature.
Finland Postal Administration issued on May 7th, 2012 a 1st class stamp (0,80 €) featuring the Bothnian Sea National Park. The stamp is the third issue in the National Park stamp series (started in 2009) and shows a coastline scenery and an underwater image. 

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