Sømærke og badehuse Blokhus strand Jammerbugten
Blokhus

Navigation marks by the North Sea

If lighthouses are the traffic lights, then navigation marks are the road signs of the sea. They were erected to warn sailors of dangerous waters and as a marker of which coastal town they were near, you will find some of these marks in Løkken, Blokhus and Skagen on the west coast.

 

The North Sea can be treacherous and it has caused many ships to meet its untimely end. Until 1705 many of the inhabitants along the west coast enjoyed the crashed ships, as the goods would often float to the beach and they could then earn some money from these wrecks. In 1705 the laws were changed and it was now illegal for inhabitants to sell the goods of the state. 

Shortly after shipping safety became a priority, and navigation marks, which you can find all over the west coast, were erected from 1884-1885. A network of 23 "Båker" the marks, stretched from Skagen in the north to Blåvands Huk in south Denmark. During this time they also added special recognisable marks to lighthouses and church towers. The navigation marks are around 12 meters tall, and of the original 23 marks, there are now only 11 left. The one in Blokhus is a reconstruction of the old one.  

 

Gammel Skagen Sømærke
Skagen
Sømærke over Løkken Strand
Løkken

Navigation marks are the roadsigns of the west coast

The navigation mark in Blokhus was destroyed in 1944 during the second world war, but to keep in touch with the cultural history of the area, a reconstruction was built in 2006. North Jutland is the region in Denmark with the most of these navigation marks still standing. You will find one in Gl. Skagen, Løkken, Stenbjerg, Vigsø and Bøgsted Rende. Three of the navigation marks can be found in National Park Thy which is also offering many other interesting adventures.

Today the navigation marks serve as historic landmarks rather than a navigation mark. Technology made the original navigation marks redundant but nowadays you still use them for showing a safe path through narrow waters, to guide boats into the harbour but they are also a signal for cables at the bottom of the sea, an area used by military or protected areas.