Lighthouse Complex, Hel
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Lighthouse Complex

Hel

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The lighthouse is characterised by an exquisite slender silhouette and is the dominant feature in the area in terms of height. The structure along with the accompanying buildings and equipment constitutes a well-preserved complex showcasing associated with lighthouses. The entire complex is perfectly integrated into the surrounding green area and seaside landscape.

History

The lights and lighthouses, called “blizy” in Kashubian, allowed the sailors safely go past the Hel Peninsula and the shallows located near its shores. Formerly, a signal fire on the dunes, and then atop the tower of the church in Hel, was used as a warning. In 1647, the first wooden lighthouse was built to the south of the town; the lighthouse had the shape of a shadoof supporting a bucket of burning coal. The lighthouse was destroyed and rebuilt several times. The construction work on a brick lighthouse began in 1806 and was completed in 1826. The building was located on the edge of a tall dune and fitted with Argand lamps and alternating light. Next to it was a fog signal stations, with two cannons to fire warning shots during poor visibility. Probably in the mid-19th century, the residential and utility buildings preserved to this day were built for two lighthouse keepers and their families. In 1926, the lighthouse was fitted with a new lighting system with a karosene lamp and Fresnel lens. Electric light was installed in 1938. A modern siren facility with a fog signalling system was built in the 1920s. In September 1939, Hel defenders blew up the lighthouse for strategic reasons. In 1942, the lighthouse which has been preserved to this day was erected next to the foundations of the destroyed structure. Next to it, a signal radio beacon mast was mounted in 1957. A radar was installed in 1989. The lighthouse continues to be used to this day. It emits white isophase light (flashing at intervals of 5 seconds), with a range of 17 Mm.

Description

The complex is located complex on the promontory of the Hel Peninsula, about 350 m to the east of the buildings of the town of Hel, at the end of the present-day Bałtycka Street. The complex consists of the lighthouse and the accompanying structures, forming four functional and spatial groups: 1) lighthouse with the adjacent square, which is occupied by the foundation of the non-existent lighthouse from 1826; 2) buildings of the lighthouse keepers from the mid-19th century: residential two-family house and utility buildings (fuel store with toilets, livestock building, laundry, celler, and smokehouse), 3) cellars and fuel store (late 19th c.), building of an engine house and radio beacon (1933-1934), signal radio beacon mast (1957), 4) lighthouse keepers’ buildings from 1910: house, livestock building, cellar, fuel store. In addition, to the north of the lighthouse was an obelisk commemorating the accident and tragic death of lighthouse keeper May in 1910. The lighthouse with the adjacent buildings is enclosed by forest. The structure is built of brick, on a stone foundations, and painted in red. The wall thickness ranges from 200 cm at the base to 65 cm at the top. The building was erected on an octagonal plan, in the form a slender eight-storey tapering towards the top. It is topped with a steel glazed lantern room, covered with a conical roof. At the base of the lantern room is an octagonal open gallery, which rests on a massive cornice and supports. A stone plaque commemorating the visit of Józef Piłsudski in 1928 was installed at the door. The interior features a reinforced concrete spiral staircase. The lighthouse is approx. 40 metres high.

The monument is open to visitors. Viewing of the monument is only possible in May, June, and September from 10 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m, in July and August from 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.

compiled by Beata Dygulska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 05-05-2015.

Bibliography

  • Czerner M., Latarnie morskie polskiego wybrzeża, wyd. 2, Poznań 1971, s. 76-84;
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. V: Województwo gdańskie, z. 2: Puck, Żarnowiec i okolice, oprac. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, B. Rol, I. Strzelecka, Warszawa1989, s.10;
  • Komorowski A. F., Pietkiewicz I., Szulczewski A., Najstarsze latarnie morskie Zatoki Gdańskiej, Gdańsk 2009, s. 16-28;
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury Zespół latarni morskiej w Helu, opr. J. Potylicka, 2005, Archiwum NID

General information

  • Type: other
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bałtycka 4, Hel
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district pucki, commune Hel
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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