Once the largest in the world
The coastal area off Lista may seem inviting in fair weather, but the lighthouse sends its warning beacons across one of the most feared stretches of coast during the days of sail. During the autumn of 1781 a total of eight ships stranded here. In 1836 the coastal stretch was improved by means of a 34 metres high lighthouse, cut in granite.
Gradually it became difficult to make out one lighthouse along the coast line from another. To avoid this confusion, two additional towers were erected at Lista in 1853. The arrangement of three lighthouses lasted until 1873, and in this period, Lista Lighthouse Station was the largest in the world.
The three lighthouses at Lista were standing in an obtuse triangle facing the sea. They were all installed with a fixed flashing light. In 1873, however, improved lighthouse technology made two of the towers unnecessary. The remaining tower was equipped with a modern lens which gave Lista Lighthouse its own unique character, one beacon every four seconds.
The two superfluous towers at Lista were dismantled. “The twin tower” was moved and re-erected at Halten, northwest of Trondheim, with a new lens house.
The stone blocks from the oldest tower make up a major part of the stone wall surrounding the lighthouse area, while the lantern house was moved to Svenner lighthouse in the Oslofjorden.
Lista Lighthouse Station previously had a fog signal and a signal station (semaphore) from which the lighthouse staff could send messages to passing ships by hoisting different combinations of flags in the semaphore on the mound. Furthermore, the fog signals were coordinated with the radio beacons to enable the ships to calculate the distance to the shore by measuring the time space between the radio signal and the fog signal.
In the flat, unique and rich cultural landscape at Lista, “Fyren” (the Lighthouse) stands as a characteristic landmark. The lighthouse is the only high stone tower in the region and rare in the history of Norwegian lighthouses.
The house of the lighthouse keeper with all its outbuildings is among the very few buildings at the lighthouse stations in this country dating from the beginning of the nineteenth century, and therefore it has a high historic preservation value. In 1996 the lighthouse was placed under the protection of Riksantikvaren (the National Antiquarian).