Saturday, February 16, 2013
Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the south-eastern corner of the North Sea, 46 kilometers (29 mi) off the German coastline, consisting of two islands: Hauptinsel (main island) and the Düne. In 1811, when Heligoland was under British rule, the first lighthouse on the island had been built by Trinity House. The construction of the new lighthouse had been ordered by the Prussian administration in 1902. This lighthouse was in service from 1902 until April 18, 1945, when the tower was destroyed by the Royal Air Force during a bombing raid.
The present lighthouse was actually built in 1941 as an antiaircraft observation tower; somehow it escaped the bombing and survived to be converted into a lighthouse in 1952. The 35 m (115 ft.) square 9-story steel and concrete building was first lit on May 24, 1952. It features the strongest light on the German North Sea coast with a range of 28 nautical miles (52 km). The top of the building is also crowded with communications and radar antennas. The top of the building is also crowded with communications and radar antennas. The building serves as a ship traffic control center. 54°10′54.6″N 7°52′56.5″E