Saturday, August 20, 2011

GERMANY

Silt is the largest German island in the North Sea, occupying an area of about 38 square miles. When Sylt belonged to the Danish realm in 1853, King Frederick VII ordered the construction of a lighthouse on Sylt's highest elevation, the red cliff, in the northern third of the island (54.946197°N 8.340836°E). The 40 m (131 ft.) round stone tower was first lit on June 4, 1856 and originally constructed using yellow stones from the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.  The tower was reinforced with iron rings in 1875 and still bears the royal crest of Frederick VII of Denmark. Until 1953 the lighthouse used to be greyish-yellow when the current black and white pattern was applied. The light station was electrified in 1929 and automated in 1977. The lighthouse was called by its Danish name Rotes Kliff (red cliff) until 1975, when the name was changed to Kampen, the name of the nearby village. In 2006, Kampen celebrated the 150th anniversary of its famous lighthouse after being completely renovated and freshly painted.

GERMANY

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a federal state in northern Germany facing the Baltic Sea with steep bluffs, beaches with fine sand dunes and islands such as Rügen and Usedom. From the end of World War II until the reunification of Germany in 1991, it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Mecklenburg includes the western portion of this coast (the Wismar, Warnemünde, and Rostock areas), while Vorpommern (Lower or Western Pomerania) includes the eastern section from the Stralsund area to the Polish border. The postcard features eight beautiful lighthouses (“schöne leuchttürme“) of the German northeastern coast.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NORWAY

Feistein Lighthouse is situated on a flat island near Klepp, southwestern coast of Norway and was lit for the first time in 1859 - when it was simply mounted in a tower on top of a house. The current 25 m (82 ft.) round cast iron tower was first lit in June 1915. The red and white lighthouse is attached to a 2-story keeper's house and connected to another keeper’s house by a raised walkway. The lighthouse was automated in 1989 and the keeper’s houses are available for overnight accommodations. The buildings that remain today, the lighthouse tower, lighthouse keeper's residence, the annex, boatshed and a smithy are preserved as cultural heritage buildings.

USA

Just offshore on Florida’s southwest coast, 12-mile long Sanibel Island today is regarded as a vacation paradise by lovers of white sand, turquoise water, fresh seafood and plentiful seashells. Located on the eastern tip of the island, the Sanibel Island Lighthouse is a 102 ft (31 m) square pyramidal skeletal tower first lit on August 20, 1884. A central metal-walled cylinder provides access to the lantern via a winding staircase of 127 steps. Two nearby keeper’s house were built on piles to protect them from storm-driven high waters. This lighthouse was the first of a class of skeletal lighthouses built in many parts of the country, especially in Florida. In April 1949, the light station was automated (fed from acetylene gas) and only in 1962 was electrified.

USA

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the nation. It is located in the town of Ponce Inlet, Florida, on the north bank of Ponce Inlet where the Halifax and Indian Rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean. Using red brick shipped south from Baltimore, construction crews erected in four years an impressive 175 ft (53 m) tower, first lit on November 1, 1887. In 1933, the tower light was electrified and the original first-order fixed lens was replaced by a 3rd order Fresnel lens. In 1953, the lighthouse was completely automated. In 1970, the Coast Guard discontinued the light station and established a new light at the Coast Guard Station on the south side of the Inlet.
After decades of restoration the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse was recommissioned in 1983 and stands today as one of the best preserved most complete Light Stations in the nation. In 1998 the light station was designated a National Historic Landmark as one of only a handful of 19th Century Light Stations to have all its original buildings still intact. The light and the museum are open to the public year round and visitors can climb 203 steps to the top of the tower.

NEW ZEALAND

The Cape Reinga lighthouse stands on a spectacular site overlooking the meeting of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, at the northern extremity of New Zealand. First lit in 1941, this lighthouse replaced the Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse built in 1879 on nearby Motuopao Island. The 10 m (33 ft) octagonal concrete tower with black lantern roof was originally powered by diesel-generated electricity. The station was automated and the last keeper was withdrawn in 1987. In April 2000, the light was powered from battery banks charged by solar panels. Approximately 10,000 people visit the Cape Reinga lighthouse each year.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

NETHERLANDS

 Vlissingen is a city in the southwestern Netherlands in Zeeland province. With its strategic location between the Scheldt River and the North Sea, Vlissingen has been an important harbour for centuries and has a rich maritime heritage. In the 17th century Vlissingen was a main harbour for ships of the Dutch East India Company. Vlissingen is mainly noted for the wharves on the Scheldt where most of the ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) are built.
 Vlissingen is the birthplace of Michiel de Ruyter, the most famous and one of the most skilled admirals in Dutch history. On March 24, 2007 the city celebrated with a large ship parade, the 400th anniversary of birth of its famous citizen.
The 11 m (36 ft) pentagonal pyramidal red cast iron lighthouse is located on the west mole on the Boulevard de Ruyter, marking the entrance to the old commercial harbor (Koopmanshaven) of Vlissingen.

USA

Situated on a cliff 185 ft above the blue Pacific, the cylindrical white Point Vicente Lighthouse is crowned by a handsome lantern with cross-hatched windows. The 67 ft (20 m) concrete tower was first lit on April 14, 1926 and its original 3rd order Fresnel lens is still in use. Automated in 1971, the well preserved light station is open to the public the second Saturday of each month and is allowed to climb the tower's 74 steps. The lighthouse is located north of Terranea Resort, next to Point Vicente Interpretive Center, off Palos Verdes Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

USA

Located in the heart of Florida's Gold Coast the city of Pompano Beach houses the beautiful Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse, on the north side of Hillsboro Inlet. The light marks the northern limit of the Florida Reef, an underwater coral formation on the lower east coast of the state.
The pyramidal tower was built at Russel Wheel & Foundry Co in Detroit, Michigan, and was shipped via Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Illinois and Mississippi River, to the Gulf of Mexico on a 4,000 nautical-mile trip. The 137 ft (42 m) octagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with a central cylinder was assembled and erected in 1906 and first lit on March 7, 1907. Electrified in 1932 and fully automated in 1974, the lighthouse is considered one of the most powerful lights in the world with a beam that can be seen 28 miles (45 km). The nine-foot diameter Fresnel Lens stopped rotating due to a failure of the electric drive mechanism in 1992. After hard work and expensive repairs the original 2nd order Fresnel lens was relit on August 18, 2000.