February 15, 2016

2296 FINLAND (Uusimaa) - Bengtskär lighthouse

Located in the Archipelago Sea (a part of the Baltic Sea between the Gulf of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland and the Sea of Åland), on the Bengtskär skerry, at about 25 kilometers south west of Hanko, Bengtskär lighthouse is the highest one in the Nordic countries. Its 46m round granite tower, attached to one end of a 3-1/2 story granite keeper's house, is unpainted. Restored in the early 1990s, it now includes overnight accommodations, a lecture hall, conference rooms, a café, museum, and a post office.

This lighthouse was built after the steamship Helsingfors wrecked nearby in 1905. The light marks the north side of the entrance to the Gulf of Finland from the Baltic Sea, but also the southernmost inhabited land in Finland. It was shelled by German ships during WWI but was not badly damaged. During the Continuation War, on 26 July 1941, Soviet landing troops made a surprise attack on the skerry with a goal to blow up the lighthouse so that it would not disturb Soviet military operations.

Finnish troops situated on the skerry managed to defend the lighthouse and, after a fierce battle, drove the Soviets back with the help of support troops. Soviet air raids damaged the keeper's house but spared the tower. After repairs, the lighthouse was reactivated in 1950. Automated in 1968, the lighthouse gradually deteriorated, and it was in poor condition by 1985, when it was leased to the Pro Bengtskär Association. As I said, the lighthouse was restored in the early 1990s.

About the stamps
About the first stamp I don't know anything.

The second stamp (together with the priority label) is part of the series Million Miles Away, designed by Klaus Welp and issued on September 11, 2015. It features six internationally successful Finnish rock bands that got to where they are today through a great deal of determination and perseverance. The Finnish invasion of the global rock music scene began with Hanoi Rocks back in the 1980s. The background of the sheet depicts the green room backstage in the legendary Tavastia rock club, which Welp describes as an archaeological treasure of Finnish rock'n' roll.    
Hanoi Rocks 
The Rasmus
Apocalyptica - It's on the postcard 2296
Children Of Bodom

Bengtskär lighthouse - The Lighthouse Directory
Bengtskär - Official website

Sender: Tiina 1 (postcrossing) FI-2632053
Sent from Lappeenranta (South Karelia / Finland), on 11.02.2016

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