A few kilometers north of the village Gamvik, a spectacular cultural heritage site is located in the middle of a RAMSAR classified Nature Reserve. Slettnes Lighthouse is the world’s northernmost mainland lighthouse station. From the top of the tower, visitors are offered spectacular views of the endless ocean and the rugged but beautiful nature.
The lighthouse was built during the first years of the 20th century, and it was put in operation on the 15th of September 1905. The first lighthouse attendant was Mr. Hans J. Hatteberg. He worked here from 1905 until his retirement in 1921. Until 1973, lighthouse workers and their families lived at the station permanently. Later, employees only stayed during shifts.
In 1922, the lighthouse was improved with a fog horn that produced a signal every 30th minute. During the Second World War, the lighthouse was used by German troops as a lookout point. German naval officers controlled the lighting of the lighthouse. The light was only switched on for short periods, guiding the German convoys passing by. When the Germans withdrew from Finnmark in 1944, the station was completely destroyed.
During the post-war restorations, a temporary gas lantern was mounted at the top of the ruined lighthouse. New residences, outhouses, a machinery house, a boathouse and of course the tower were all rebuilt. The new lighthouse station was designed by the architects G. Blakstad and H. Munthe-Kaas. The cast iron construction is 39 meters high, making Slettnes the fifth highest lighthouse in the country. The sound from the new fog horn, a two-tone nautophone, could be heard far off the coast. Sadly, the horn deteriorated because of the salty environment, and it was finally put out of service in 1985.
A radio beacon was established in 1955. The following year, the lighthouse was electrified, and a reserve diesel aggregate was installed as an extra source of power.
In 2005, the lighthouse became fully automatic. There is also an automatic weather station located at the lighthouse. Slettnes is owned by Kystverket, and the visistor's services have been run Gamvik Museum since 2010. Slettnes lighthouse has been protected by the cultural heritage act since 1998.