Sunday, July 24, 2016

Lighthouse of the Week, July 24-30, 2016: Rubjerg Knude, Denmark

Here's what I did this week:  I searched for "Denmark's best lighthouse".  And I found one right away.  The somewhat ironic part of this search-and-find is that the lighthouse isn't a working lighthouse anymore.

And the reason that it isn't working is the same reason it is an extraordinary photographic subject:  sand dunes.

You see, the Rubjerg Knude lighthouse in Denmark is on a sand dune bluff on the North Sea.  And sand moves when the winds blow.  And here, the winds blow pretty hard.

Here's the history of the lighthouse (at the Web site about it).

Construction started on it in 1899, and was completed late in 1900.  It was built a couple hundred meters away from the shore, and at the time, there weren't any sand dunes around it.

That changed, and the mitigation measures taken to protect the lighthouse from the growing sand dunes didn't help (and might have made the dunes grow faster).  Even though they kept trying, the inevitable result was that they had to close the lighthouse because the dunes got so high that it couldn't be seen from the North Sea.  Not very useful.

They tried to make a "Sand Drift" museum in the lighthouse buildings, but that had to be closed because of the still-encroaching sand.

There are lots and lots and lots of pictures of this one.   I've got four below.

You can definitely see the problem -- and the beauty the problem created -- in this picture

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