Rubjerg Knude: The Lighthouse Consumed by Shifting Sand

(Image: David Reimann, cc-sa-3.0)

Two hundred feet above the North Sea in the Jutland municipality of Hjørring, northern Denmark, stands the iconic Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse – a victim of continually shifting sands that have buried the lower part of the abandoned structure.

(Images: Christoph Grimlowskicc-sa-3.0; Skagman, cc-3.0)

Built in 1899 and first lit on December 27, 1900, the lighthouse operated on gas until 1908 due to a gasworks on the site. Standing on the top of Lønstrup Klint (cliff), it operated until 1968 before serving as a museum and coffee shop.

(Image: John Nuttall, cc-3.0)

But the intense problems caused by shifting sands caused the Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse and associated buildings to be abandoned in 2002. The latter have been severely damaged by the intense pressure pushing down on them, while the lighthouse itself emerges from the sand like the last remnant of a lost civilisation.

(Images: Gunnar Bach Pedersen (left & right), public domain)

Intense coastal erosion has also caused serious problems in the area. Nearby, Mårup Church, built around 1250, was once one kilometre from the cliff top, but has since been dismantled to prevent it from tumbling into the ocean. Only the walls remain, with the internals and roof stored pending eventual reconstruction.

Keep reading – check out The Semi-Submerged Church of Curon Venosta and explore 7 Wonders of the Industrial World (including the Bell Rock Lighthouse).

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