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Did You already know this? Facts about Tankar

1. The location of Tankar
The island of Tankar is situated in the outer archipelago of Öja in the south of the Bay of Bothnia, approximately 15 km north-west of Kokkola harbour. In the 16th century, the island, which was raised out of the sea as a result of geological uplift, was known by the name Klippan (the Rock).

2. Tankar derived from the name Tankokari
According to tradition, the current name Tankar is derived from the name Tankokari, which refers to the seamark which was formerly located on the island – a stone landmark, atop which was a barrel affixed to the end of a long pole.

3. An old tradition used to bring luck
Visitors to Tankar have made their contribution to the current dimensions of the Tankar seamark (Kivikummeli). The custom is that, when visiting the island for the first time, as large a stone as possible must be carried from the shore to the mound. Nowerdays this tradition does not exist anymore.

4. The light improves safety
The lighthouse is still operational and is one of Finland’s brightest lighthouses. The beacon is 27.5 metres above ground level. The lighthouse was lit up for the first time on 15.10.1889. The lighthouse was converted to electrical operation in 1961, which also more than doubled the range of the beam to 27.5 nautical miles.

5. A monument for pilots  
When the Finnish piloting service was converted to the Russian system in 1912, more than half its staff resigned in protest. In their honour, a large stone next to the station was converted into a monument, bearing the names of those who resigned and the text: “A memorial to those pilots who would not submit to Russky oppression”.

6. The design of the lighthouse 
In 1888 the pilotage service ordered an iron lighthouse tower and beacon equipment from Osberg’s Helsinki workshop. The iron components were manufactured in Germany. The tower, which is covered with metal plates, was constructed without landings and its spiral staircase has 122 steps. The lighting element, which was manufactured in Henry Lepaute’s factory in Paris, was one of the most powerful of its time – its beam carried for 13 nautical miles. The lighthouse itself is designed by F. Barbier.

7. Harbour regulations and The "Karikokous" meeting 
Tankar’s fi rst set of harbour regulations were accepted in 1726. By that time the fi shing community had grown so large that it was necessary to create rules for interaction between people. Amongst other things, the harbour regulations set down statutes about harbour bailiffs and members’ harbour rights, not observing the Sabbath, swearing and breaking others’ fishing equipment. Additionally theft, abusive language, fighting, gambling and drinking all had their own regulations. The current set of harbour regulations date from 1983, and its primary prescribed purpose is to protect Kokkola’s highly valued cultural environment and natural area. Read more about the Harbour regulations here.

The island of Tankar is divided in two in terms of ownership: the north is owned by the Finnish Maritime Administration, and the south by the City of Kokkola. Even today, the area owned by the City is governed in accordance with the autonomy of an old Ostrobothnian village. The village elder is equivalent to the harbour bailiff, and together with the council members they are responsible for maintaining order on the island. The Karikokous (Rock Meeting) convenes once a year on the last weekend of July, and is open to all who may be interested. At the meeting the various offi cials of the Rock Committee, or council, are selected.

8. The History of the Lighthouse Island
Read more about the history of the island here.

Merestä noussut saari

Tankarin kivikummeli

Tankarin majakan valolaite, suun. Henry Lepaute

Muistolaatan paljastus v. 1912

Tankarin majakan tekninen piirros

Tekstisi tulee tähän.

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