15 meters of total height, thereof a the height of the light itself at eleven meters – the Pilsum Light Tower (Pilsumer Leuchtturm) is definitely not a to impressive building by technical data. Nonetheless, the tower is one of the most visited and most popular places in East Frisia. During a trip in July 2021, I just had to take a walk along this iconic building. What would be a better way to praise it than a Pictured Story with reduced text and larger sized pictures.
Pilsum Light Tower – Location & Access
Pilsum is a borough of the village of Krummhörn, which is located in the Northwest of East Frisia. There are some other popular tourist destinations around – the most famous one is likely Greetsiel, a picturesque fisher harbor village.
Many people explore East Frisia by bike, you may simply enjoy a ride along the bike. If you come by car, you cannot access the Pilsum Light Tower directly, but have to use a metered parking lot nearby. The parking is signposted, but as many GPS systems will try to guide you to the private access roads, the slightly hidden sign may be a bit of surprising. Parking was one Euro per hour at my time of visit. There has been the scattered opportunity to get inside the tower, but at least in the sake of the pandemic in 2021, this was not possible.
Pilsum Light Tower – Some Facts
The Pilsum Light Tower was built in 1888 and 1889 and was in service from 1891 until 1919. It was a part of a series of five light towers built in Germany and the Netherlands to guide ships from the lower Ems river to the North Sea. Two of the light towers have been destroyed in WWII. The most prominent other tower is the Light Tower in Campen, which is named to be the Eiffel Tower of East Frisia. As the route has changed in the meantime, the Pilsum Light Tower went out of service in 1919. The tower was in rather terrible conditions and there were even thoughts to turn it down, but it got renovated in 1973. At that point, the light tower received its red and yellow painting – until that, it was painted in red only.
Especially its small size and its unconventional painting made the tower become well-known nationwide. The strongest supporter of the popularity of the tiny tower is definitely East Frisia artist Otto Waalkes (see my review of his Otto Huus in Emden). In two of the movies, Otto – Der Außerfriesische and Otto – Der Katastrofenfilm the tower had TV appearance. There are also other appearances in German movies. You may also have your (civil) wedding at this place – this also reflects why there are so many love locks (see pictures below).
Pilsum Light Tower – Area
The tower is located right at the North Sea. Walking along the dike is a really lovely experience on a sunny day. The area is also great for bird watching. As it is part of a conservation area, you are not allowed to bring dogs with you, especially during bird breeding times.
Pilsum Light Tower – The Light Tower
Here are some closer looks of the light tower. You also see how popular the place is among visitors, especially in summer.