Lighthouse

First references about a lighthouse on Garðskaga exist from the year 1847, where a cairn(pile of stones), with an iron pole on top, was showing the mariners their way.
An article in the newspaper from August 1847 mentions that a welded iron construction, arriving by post ship, was to be set up at Garðskaga, to guide the boats into the bay of Faxaflóa. The whole construction, with a foundation beneath, was supposed to be about 9 meters high. This was not really considered a lighthouse, but was used as a guiding sign for several years.

Finally, in 1897, a real lighthouse was built on the edge of the Garðskaga peninsula. It was a square building, made out of concrete, 12.5 m high and 3.25 m wide on each side. Connected to the building was a small room for the lighthouse keeper. Around the lighthouse was a 3 m high platform, all made out of cut stones. The tower had good quality light equipment that was fueled by gas. It consisted of a lens turned by a weight-driven clockwork. The keeper had to hand wind the clockwork mechanism every four hours, which made it necessary for him to stay in the lighthouse, even at night. In later decades, it was not thought to be without danger to stay in the lighthouse when breakers were high, so the keeper dwelt in the keeper’s house.

The new lighthouse on Garðskaga was built in 1944. One of the main reasons for its construction was the fact that the ocean had managed to erode more and more of the coast. The new tower is made out of concrete, is cylindrical and 28 m high, including the light construction. The Garðskaga lighthouse (the building itself) is the highest lighthouse in Iceland. The light equipment from the former lighthouse was moved into the new one, but the power source was soon changed from gas to electricity. A radio station was opened in Garðskaga in 1952 with the help of  “ICE-SAR” (Icelandic Association of Search And Rescue). Four years later it was replaced by a modern station and provided with new equipment that had much better quality and covered a larger area.

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