Thursday, December 22, 2011

NETHERLANDS

The Eierland Lighthouse is located on the northernmost tip of the Dutch island of Texel, near the village De Cocksdorp (53°10′55″N 4°51′19″E). Eierland was formerly a separate island, but it has been joined to Texel since 1630 by construction of sea dikes. The lighthouse construction began in July 1863 on a sand dune and it was first lit on November 1, 1864. The 35m (114 ft) round brick tower is painted red with the lantern and the watch room painted white. In the course of time the red color faded to pink, but in 2004 it was repainted in the original bright red. 
Electrified in 1927, the tower suffered heavy damages in April 1945, after one of the last WW II battles in Europe. The event known as the Georgian Uprising of Texel occurred when Georgian prisoners of war rebelled against their German captors and a bloodshed and destruction spread throughout the island. The tower was extensively repaired in 1948-49 and a new brick wall surrounded the damaged original. In this process the lighthouse lost two of its original nine floors and was reopened on March 24, 1950. The Eierland Light is almost year-round daily open to visitors and after climbing the 153-steps staircase (seven floors), one has a magnificent view over the Wadden and North Sea, the nearby island of Vlieland and Texel.