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.