The Rönnskär Daymark is Finland’s oldest wooden day beacon – it was built to guide maritime trade to the city of Vaasa

The Rönnskäret Archipelago lies in the municipality of Maalahti (Swe. Malax) and consists of hundreds of small islands. It is located about 40 kilometres from the city of Vaasa (Swe. Vasa).Founded in the early 17th century, the city of Vaasa quickly became a vibrant commercial city. Seafaring traffic increased further when the city was granted the right to trade internationally in 1765. The increased maritime traffic approaching Vaasa required pilotage.

Pilots have inhabited the largest island in the region, i.e. Fäliskäret Island, since 1752. The burghers of Vaasa built a wooden day beacon on the island in 1784, which resembled a church bell tower. Pilots operated on the island for centuries. They lived in two elongated pilot cabins built with low lookout towers.

The Rönnskär Daymark (Fin. pooki) built in 1784.

Experience the surroundings of Finland's oldest wooden daymark and its ambient nature

The wooden daymark of Rönsskär is coloured bright red. In the low-lying landscape of the Gulf of Bothnia, this beacon can be seen far out at sea.

While its importance as a maritime navigation device is obvious, the lighthouse is also worth seeing purely for its age. It is Finland's oldest preserved wooden nautical navigation sign and, except for the Lyökki Island Daymark, the only surviving day beacon from the period of Swedish rule.

Other outbuildings in the grounds, as well as traces left by former pilots for over two hundred years, such as rock carvings, create an idyllic unit around the day beacon tower.

Rock carvings on Fäliskäret Island.

Pilotage ceased on the island in 1983, after which the Finnish Coast Guard operated there for a few years.

In 1997, the entire island and its buildings became the property of Metsähallitus and a nature centre was opened. The nature station’s dockyard building houses a photo exhibition of the island's history and nature.

The birdlife of the island is very diverse. Visitors can observe both migratory- and nesting bird species on the rocky and treeless outer skerries.

The pilots’ old residential buildings have been refurbished and can be rented out to visitors. Read more about this location in webpage!

How and why is this location protected?

Due to its age, the well-preserved wooden daymark of Rönnskär is an extremely valuable maritime monument. The pilot station and day beacon are part of the nationally significant built cultural environment of the Kvarken Archipelago. The Rönnskär Archipelago also forms a part of the Kvarken World Heritage Site.

Read more about this site’s protection in the Finnish Heritage Agency's register!


Guided cruises to Rönnskär Island are organised together with visits to other nearby islands. Visitors can also privately charter their own transport to the island. Private boaters can moor their boat on the dock of the nature station. In the spring and summer, visitors to the island should only move along the guided paths to avoid disturbing the nesting birds.

Check the Rönnskär webpages to see what it has to offer.

Finnish Heritage agency's mapservice

N: 7007698, E: 187154 (ETRS-TM35FIN)