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
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.
Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse