- It sits atop a narrow rock 120 feet tall and located 4.5 miles from the mainland.
- There were no helicopters yet during the time it was built.
- It was the inspiration for the best-selling thriller novel “Why Did You Lie?”
If you hate people and love the ocean, this is the perfect retreat of solace for you. A lighthouse perched on top of a high jutting rock – probably an extreme introvert’s dream.
From afar, the Þrídrangaviti lighthouse, also called Thridrangaviti or Thridrangar, is just a bright speck on top of that gray rock. As you get closer, you can see a red roof covering the top of a small structure that may be considered as one of the loneliest in the world.
The rocky cliff where the lighthouse built is located off the coast of the Westman Islands.
It’s about 4.5 miles from mainland Iceland and stands a commanding 120 feet tall.
This was built in 1939, a time when there were no helicopters yet, so doing it was no easy feat.
Project director Árni G. Þórarinsson described in an interview how it was done:
“The first thing we had to do was create a road up to the cliff. We got together of experienced mountaineers, all from the Westman Islands. Then we brought drills, hammers, chains and clamps to secure the chains. Once they got near the top there was no way to get any grip on the rock so one of them got down on his knees, the second stood on his back, and then the third climbed on top of the other two and was able to reach the nib of the cliff above. I cannot even tell you how I was feeling whilst witnessing this incredibly dangerous procedure.”
One can only imagine the courage of those builders who could have easily slipped and plunge into the frigid North Atlantic Ocean below as they faced rain, slippery rocks, and strong winds.
Fast forward to the present, a helipad is used to drop off the coast guard but back in the days, the poor guy assigned to the lighthouse had to sail to the cliff and scale the rocks to reach it.
The Þrídrangaviti lighthouse became popular when it was mentioned in the best-selling thriller novel “Why Did You Lie?” by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir.
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