Bülk lighthouse

Bülk lighthouse (German: Leuchtturm Bülk) is located on the westernmost headland of the Kiel Fjord at the Baltic Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is the oldest lighthouse at the Kiel Fjord and serves as a guiding light to the entrance into the fjord. A red light sector warns of the Stollergrund shoal. It is a popular attraction for visitors.

History

Already in 1807 the Danish authorities had established a lighthouse and pilot station on the Bülker Huk headland. The tower featured six Argand lamps with curved mirrors but only became operational in 1815 due to the Napoleonic Wars. In 1843 this tower was destroyed by lightning. and it was replaced by a tower with a rotating lens.

The construction of the current tower was begun in 1862 by the Danes but due to the Second Schleswig War it could only be completed in 1865 by Prussia. The tower used to be white with a red band and had a Fresnel lens.

Shortly after the lighting though, the Bülk lighthouse was not sufficient anymore to secure shipping in the Kiel Fjord and a lightvessel was moored in the entrance to the fjord.

In 1910 the Fresnel lens was replaced by a set of four spotlights. The original lens was later sold to private owners Until 1969 the lighthouse served as a direction light. It was rebuilt to a guiding light from 1969 to 1970 and again a Fresnel lens was installed. The tower was covered in a asbestos cement casing, received a black band and was shortened by 2 m. Since then it has been open to the public, managed by a tenant.

Since the last construction works, there are also no lighthouse keepers any more at Bülk. Previously there used to be three keepers who worked in shifts and had their families living with them on the site.

Technical facts

The Bülk lighthouse is 25.6 m tall. The lower platform, which is open to visitors, is located at 22 m height. Since 1999, the Fresnel optic is lit by a 120 V high-voltage halogen lamp with a power of 600 Watt. The characteristic is one flash every three seconds, with a range of 16 nautical miles for white light.