The North Atlantic Lighthouse in Hanstholm
The North Atlantic Lighthouse in Hanstholm was built in 1842 close to Hansted church high on the Hanstholmknuden. A house for the lighthouse keeper was built south of the lighthouse, and the garden belonging to the house is a wonderful, sheltered spot where visitors can rest and eat their packed meal.
The lighthouse was built to guide the ships on their dangerous voyage around Hanstholmknuden, but it is also the landmark of the town, guiding us forward and bidding us welcome. The lighthouse is 23 m tall, and thanks to its high location the lighthouse shines out light 65 metres above sea level.
Hanstholm lighthouse was the first rotating-lens lighthouse in Denmark, in which the light is broken and focussed in beams using lenses. In 1889 the light was out of date, so the lighthouse was raised and the dioptric apparatus was the first in Denmark to be electrified. A clockwork motor made the apparatus rotate and flash, and the lighthouse showed three short flashes every ten seconds, just as it does today.
At that time the lighthouse had the strongest light in the world. The new technology was considerably more comprehensive, and the building went through substantial expansion, for example with an engine room for the steam engines. Moreover, a telegraph station and a weather service were added to the lighthouse. The light from Hanstholm Fyr was thus important for passing ships, but the lighthouse also had other key functions for the traffic at sea.
During the Second World War the lighthouse had to be turned off following orders from the German occupation forces that had a large battery at Hanstholm. When the harbour of Hanstholm was opened in 1967, the light intensity had to be lowered to prevent ships and cutters from being blinded when they called at the harbour. Today the light from the lighthouse can be seen 40 km away and it is still the strongest light in Denmark.