They warn against danger and help ships find their way. Lighthouses are coastal landmarks and popular postcard scenes, and they’re simply romantic places. Lighthouses on the coast of Niedersachsen are as much a part of the North Sea as tidal flats, mussels and shrimp boats.
For centuries they’ve watched over coasts and islands, and their beacons indicate the right path to sailors. They’re usually located at dangerous places or those that are important for navigation. They warn ships against hazardous shallows such as reefs and sandbanks and aid navigation by helping them determine their exact position at sea. Even though navigation is now satellite-based, a few lighthouses are still in operation.
Niedersachsen’s lighthouses afford magnificent views of the North Sea and the coast. Many lighthouses are now open to the public, and a few are also listed buildings of special interest to visitors. Even if it’s not possible to always see the inside, they’re still worth a visit.
Germany’s best known lighthouses are probably here in Niedersachsen on the North Sea. A good example is the Pilsum Lighthouse in East Frisia, which is reminiscent of a yellow-and-red-ringed buoy on the dyke. It figured in the German film "Otto - der Außerfriesische" starring the popular comedian Otto Waalkes. The Old Lighthouse on Wangerooge features a register office and a viewing platform at a height of 39 metres. Lighthouses are also popular today as museums. In the Old Lighthouse on Borkum, the heritage society presents exhibits from its history or East Frisian tea ceremonies.