The lighthouse which moved

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The most famous lighthouse in Denmark is the Rubjerg Knude fyr. It is located on the top of Rubjerg Knude which is a small limestone rock formation at the North West coast of Jutland.

Wind swept tree

The lighthouse was built 200 meters inland in 1899 – but the strong winds in the area meant the sand were drifting and after a while the sand started to build up to such a height the lighthouse was no longer visible from the sea – hence the lighthouse no longer had any use to help guide the ships in the sea off shore. So the light in the lighthouse were turned off permanently.

The lighthouse was left standing on the hill and the old buildings which used to house the tender of the lighthouse were converted into a museum for the drifting sands. The sand didn’t seem to appreciate the museum which had to be closed because the sand was destroying the museum.

The famous light house now safe for a while

Generally the sea and wind in this area are very rough – and the lighthouse didn’t stay 200 meters away from the coast. The storms kept knocking off a couple of meters of the cliff every year and by 1999 the lighthouse was at the edge of the cliff bound to be destroyed after a couple of more winter storms.

Sand dunes at Rubjerg Knude

It was decision time – either the locals should just accept their biggest tourist attraction would fall down the cliff and into the sea to be destroyed for ever – or something had to be done. The locals decided to act to save the lighthouse. But just how do you save a lighthouse from falling into the sea?

The light house and a paraglider at the edge

Well they decided to move the lighthouse further inland. A local contractor got the job to move the lighthouse for a total of 5 million DKK or around 670,000€. He put down some rail tracks and moved the lighthouse about 70 meters inland. Now the lighthouse should be safe for another approximately 40 years.

The dramatic coast at Rubjerg Knude

Now the lighthouse is further inland its location isn’t quite as dramatic as before the move when it was located at the edge of the cliff. I guess you will need to wait about 30-35 years to see it really close to the cliff again before they might move it one more time.

The landscape around the lighthouse is still amazing when you walk up to the top of the cliff you can see the sand dunes and look out over the landscape along the shore with the sandy beach and inland where you can see the cliff is actually a high point in the area and it is easy to understand why you built the lighthouse here in the first place.

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