Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse
If you want to see Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, as it is today, it might soon be your last chance. The lighthouse is expected to fall into the ocean with few years. There is a small chance for the lighthouse’s survival, but nothing is sure yet.
The story of the lighthouse
The building of the lighthouse was started in March 1899 - and already on December 27, 1890, it was lit up for the very first time. The lighthouse was built 200 meters from the back-then coastline - a good 60 meters above sea level.
The lighthouse was from the beginning staffed was three men and their families. The guardroom, which was in the tower, should be manned. Therefore, the staff worked in shifts. They had to watch the gas supply, the lens device’s clockwork had to be checked every third hour, and if mist occurred, they had to watch out for ships that could be in trouble. Birds, who had flown into the lens house, also had to be collected for the Zoological Museum.
The ocean moves closer…
Shortly after the lighthouse was built, it was clear that the sand would be a problem. In the beginning, the lighthouse was located 200 meters into the land and there were no larger dunes surrounding it. Over time, the ocean moved closer and the wind in the area moved large amounts of sand up from the cliffs. The sand started surrounding the lighthouse - filling the well and destroying the kitchen gardens.
To attenuate the sand drift, pine trees and lyme grass were planted with the result that the dunes grew larger. The more they planted, the more it grew. At last, the sand was so tall that it was impossible to see the light beam from the lighthouse from the ocean. August 1, 1968, they forfeited the battle - and the lighthouse was turned off for good.
The renovation of the lighthouse
After the operation of the lighthouse was ended in 1968, the place was turned into a museum. Now it was possible to see the consequences of the sand drift, as the buildings had become completely covered with sand. At last, the Museum of Sand Drift was moved to Strandfogedgården about 1300 meters south of the lighthouse. In many years, the lighthouse was abandoned, and the sand slowly buried the tower. It became difficult to enter the lighthouse.
Later years, the breakdown of the coast has come so far, the lighthouse has gotten closer to the edge. This has meant that the wind has started to blow the sand away from the lighthouse and further into the land, so it is once again possible to enter the tower.
To give the audience the possibility to once again experience this fierce nature from above, a stairway has been built inside the lighthouse - giving access to the top platform. Also, a light prism has been created, forming amazing views inside the tower. The prism sheds light into the lighthouse, where it previously shed it over the ocean. The project has created a new, exciting attraction. An extra dimension to the experience is the expiration date not so far in the future…
With only 8 meters from the lighthouse to the coast’s edge, there is not much space left. And even though it is now safe to enter the lighthouse, it probably must be teared down and moved within a few years, if it should not end up in the ocean. If the slope gets closer than five meters, Hjørring Kommune will have to shut down the access to the lighthouse of safety purposes.
Hjørring Kommune is working on a plan for the future of the lighthouse - before the ocean takes care of it. Everything must be agreed with the Nature Department in Denmark, who owns both the lighthouse and the area surrounding it.
From Strandfogedgård to Exhibition
In 2000, Vendsyssel Historic Museum and the owner of Strandfogedgården, Verner Nielsen, made an agreement for the coming 20 years to rent Strandfogedgård for the purpose of using it as an exhibition space. Strandfogedgård was a replacement for the lighthouse, Rubjerg Knude Fyr, which the museum had to leave.
Up until 2007, only small exhibitions have been displayed at Strandfogedgård - e.g. about sand drift and beaches. In 2007, the first stage of the exhibition ’Rubjerg Knude’s culture- and natural history’ opened to the public.
Up to 2009, this exhibition with a lot of interesting stories from the lighthouse was developed. In the previous barns at Strandfogedgård, stories from the local community is told. Stories regarding Rubjerg Knude Fyr, Rubjerg Church, the first vendelboer (citizens of Vendsyssel), and about the powers of nature.
In the room, a time machine can be found. Here, the visitors have the possibility to travel back in time to see how the landscape has changed in the area through the last 17.000 years.
Gps: 57.448957, 9.774782
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