Lights On!

Centres of Ancient Might And Power
Enchanting Tales and Legends
Fascinating Stories

Lights On! -project is all this, shedding new light to the mysteries of history by using modern equipment. Gamification, festivals, competitions, on-site tasks, mobile app and light installations are our tools to invite you to be part of shared past of the North-Eastern Baltic Sea. You are welcome to visit these spectacular ruins, fortresses, hill forts and parks on eight historical sights in Finland and Estonia.

Experience these sites and get hooked by mesmerising tales of power, and join the old and new stories. Take part on attractive story line and live the fascinating past of political power and intrigues.

The Finnish–Estonian project will improve visitor experience and turn these fairly unknown historical sights into true tourist attractions. To reach this goal, we will improve infrastructure and sustainability of the sites. Improved and new trails will delight visitors, and high-quality information points and boards will whisper tales of might and power. We will develop on-site interpretation using modern technology. Mobile guiding and augmented reality will be created, to give a few examples.

The name of the project is not just a clever pun: we will literally bring permanent lighting to four project sites. This will prolong the tourism season and improve visitor experience substantially. An international competition will be organised for the light installation designs.

The cross-border Lights On! project will develop innovative marketing tools. We will use fresh approaches such as gamification, and invite visitors and local people to a series of light festivals and re-enactment events. The goal is to increase visitor numbers, attract new visitor groups and to encourage visitors to travel between the sites.

We strive for designing new tourism products and services together with local entrepreneurs: we bring cultural management and creative entrepreneurship together. This avails local communities to benefit from the sites economically more than they currently do. Tourist operators will be offered an opportunity to participate in a training programme. We will develop and implement principles of sustainable tourism to ensure responsible use of the sites.

Lights On! -project is active in 2015–2018

Light installations in Raseborg and Keila-Joa – an international competition for designers
Events to enliven the history
Creative entrepreneurship and cultural management

Within Lights On! -project an interregional training programme for local tourist operators and new business opportunities is organized. Programme brings increased economical benefits for local communities and entrepreneurs. Tools to create sustainable tourism in historical destinations will be offered. Light-themed festivals are organized to prolong the tourism season.


Project Sites: Finland

  • Kuusisto castle ruin – a medieval bishop’s palace
  • Rapola hill fort – the largest ancient hill fort of the country
  • Raseborg castle ruin – a medieval royal castle
  • Vallisaari fortress – a island with magical nature and military history just outside of Helsinki

Project Sites: Estonia

  • Keila-Joa park – a historical manor park with a beautiful river and a waterfall
  • Lõhavere fortress – a fortress named after the famous medieval chief Lembitu
  • Neeruti hill fort – a fort on hills formed by the epic hero Kalevipoeg, according to local folk lore
  • Varbola hill fort – the largest ancient hill fort of the country located on an old international trade route

The Lights On! Project receives its funding from the Central Baltic Interreg 2014–2020 programme of the European Union. The total budget is 1,873,669 euros.


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Header photo: Kirsi MacKenzie