Lighthouses of Germany: Bremen

Germany has two coastlines, one facing northwest on the North Sea and the other facing northeast on the Baltic Sea. Bremen, on the estuary of the Weser River, is one of its historic North Sea ports. This page describes lighthouses of Bremen and the Weser estuary between Bremen and the deeper water port of Bremerhaven; lights of Bremerhaven and the Außenweser (the approach to the Weser) are on a separate page.

Bremen was one of the members of the Hanseatic League, which dominated trade in northern Europe from roughly the 13th through the 17th centuries. Today the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (Freie Hansestadt Bremen) includes the two cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven, but not the territory between them: that area is part of the state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). Of the lighthouses listed, only the Mäuseturm (seen at right), the Gitterbake light, and the two Seehausen mole lights are in city of Bremen; all the rest are in the Wesermarsch or Osterholz districts of Lower Saxony.

Interest in lighthouses is strong in Germany, and most of the towers are in good condition. A federal law provides blanket protection to historic lighthouses. There is concern, however, that many of the lights may be deactivated in the coming years as navigators depend less and less on them.

In German, a lighthouse is a Leuchtturm ("light tower"), plural Leuchttürme. The front light of a range is the Unterfeuer and the rear light is the Oberfeuer. There are many modern range lighthouses, and most of these towers are crowned by a topmark: a large, distinctive structure that serves to mark the range clearly in the daytime. Some topmarks are conical, others are funnel-shaped, and some consist of one or more gallery-like rings around the tower.

Lighthouses in Germany are operated by the regional harbor authority, called the WSA (Wasser- und Schiffahrtsamt). This page includes lights maintained by two WSA's: Bremerhaven and Bremen. The WSA's are linked to and regulated by a federal agency, the Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamtverwaltung des Bundes (WSV).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume B of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals.

General Sources
Leuchtturm-Atlas
A large site with excellent photos and information on nearly all German lighthouses, maintained by Frank and Birgit Toussaint.
Online List of Lights - Germany North Sea
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Leuchttürme.net - Deutschland
Outstanding photos by Malte Werning.
Leuchtturmseiten von Anke und Jens
Good photos and and brief accounts for many of the lighthouses, in English.
Deutsche Leuchttürme/Feuerschiffe
Photos posted by Klause Huelse.
Deutsche Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images, also posted by Klaus Huelse.
Leuchttürme und Seezeichen
Photos by Udo Borchers.
Lighthouses in Germany
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Die Land-Seezeichen des WSA Bremerhaven
Lighthouse information from WSA Bremerhaven.
Interessengemeinschaft Seezeichen e.V.
Germany's national lighthouse preservation organization.
Lightships in Germany
An outstanding site on German lightships, maintained by Iris Klempau.

Der M
Der Mäuseturm, Bremen, March 2010
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Romwriter

Eastern Wesermarsch District (Weser West Bank) Lighthouses

Nordenham Area Lighthouses
Note: Nordenham is a town on the west bank of the Weser and on the east side of the Butjadingen peninsula, a short distance upstream from Bremerhaven. The peninsula separates the Jade Bight from the Weser estuary. For Butjadingen lighthouses of the Jade, see the Borkum to Wilhelmshaven page.
* Reitsand Unterfeuer
1981. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s. Approx. 14 m (45 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a large single-ring topmark, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Trabas also has a good photo by Klaus Kern, and Google has a satellite view. This is an upstream (southbound) range guiding ships from Bremerhaven southwestward toward Nordenham. Located onshore on the west side of the Weser between Blexen and Nordenham. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-196; Admiralty B1279.9.
Reitsand-Flagbalgersiel Oberfeuer
1981. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s. Approx. 23 m (75 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a double-ring topmark, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Werning's photo is at right, Trabas also has a good closeup photo by Klaus Kern, and Google has a satellite view. This tower is the rear light for both the upstream Reitsand and downstream Flagbalgerseil ranges. Located about 480 m (0.3 mi) southwest of the Reitsand Unterfeuer and 580 m (0.35 mi) north of the Flagbalgerseil Unterfeuer. Site and tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-197; Admiralty B1280.
Flagbalgersiel Unterfeuer
1981. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a large single-ring topmark, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Trabas has a good closeup photo by Karin and Ingo Becker, and Google has a satellite view. This is the front light of a downstream (northbound) range. Located behind a dike and adjacent to an industrial property on the west bank of the river somewhere to the north of Nordenham. Site and tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-330; Admiralty B1280.1.
* Einswarden Oberfeuer (lantern)
1896. Inactive since 1978. Lantern with gallery, painted white with a green dome. This is the lantern of the original Einswarden Oberfeuer lighthouse, now displayed in front of the town museum in Nordenham. Werning also has a page with a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was of the same design as the surviving Großensiel Unterfeuer, which served originally as the Einswarden Unterfeuer (see below). Located at 18 Hansingstraße, Nordenham. Site open; visitors can climb several steps to the gallery of the lantern. Owner/site manager: Museum Nordenham.
Reitsand Oberfeuer
Reitsand-Flagbalgersiel Oberfeuer, Nordenham
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission
* Nordenham Oberfeuer
1980. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 39 m (128 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a large funnel-shaped 3-ring topmark, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Trabas also has a good closeup photo by Ulrich Bode, Werning has a good photo, Borchers has a 2008 closeup, and Google has a satellite view. This is the rear light of a downstream (northbound) range. Located on the west bank of the river close to the railway station in Nordenham. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-170; Admiralty B1286.1.
* Großensiel Unterfeuer
1898 (relocated 1914). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 17 m (56 ft) triangular skeletal tower with lantern, enclosed watch room, gallery, and partially enclosed central stairway. Lighthouse painted white; the lantern dome is greenish metallic. Trabas has an excellent closeup photo by Manfred Schüler, and Google has a satellite view. This is an upstream (southbound) range. The lighthouse is one of a series of lighthouses of this design installed in or around 1898. It served originally as the front light for the Einswarden range, near Nordenham. It was relocated in 1914. Located on the west bank of the river about 2 km (1.2 mi) south of Nordenham. Site and tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-333; Admiralty B1284.
* Großensiel Oberfeuer (2)
1962 (station established 1914). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 23 m (75 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery, painted black. Werning also has a good photo, Trabas has Manfred Schuler's photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located just off the Treuenfelder Weg 427 m (1400 ft) south of the front light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FED-296; Admiralty B1284.1.
Nordenham Unterfeuer
1980. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 17 m (56 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a large conical 2-ring topmark, painted red with one white horizontal band. Trabas also has a photo by Klaus Kern, and Google has a satellite view. Located in the water on the west side of the river at Großensiel, 1850 m (1.15 mi) south of Nordenham. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-169; Admiralty B1286.

Elsfleth Area Lighthouses
Note: Elsfleth is on the west bank of the Weser about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Bremen.
Warteplate Unterfeuer
Date unknown (1959?). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s, synchronized with the rear light. 14 m (46 ft) triangular pyramidal steel skeletal tower, mounted on a triangular concrete pier. The upper third of the tower is enclosed by a horizontally slatted daymark. Lighthouse painted white. Trabas also has a photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, and Google has a satellite view. This range guides vessels bound upstream as they approach a sweeping left turn in the river. In 1999, the light was relocated 115 m (375 ft) downstream due to a change in the channel alignment. Located in the river just off the west bank near Elsfleth. Site and tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremen. Admiralty B1299.79.
Großensiel Unterfeuer
Großensiel Unterfeuer, Nordenham
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission
Soltplate Oberfeuer
1959. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s, synchronized with the front light. 31 m (102 ft) triangular pyramidal steel skeletal tower. Three of the tower's six sections are wrapped with a screened daymark. Lighthouse and daymark painted black. Trabas also has a photo by Erich Hartmann, but the dark, triangular tower is hard to spot in the trees in a Google satellite view. This tower carries the rear lights for both the upstream Warteplate and downstream Soltplate ranges. Located in trees just west of the Weser, about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of the Warteplate front light. Site status unknown. Operator: WSA Bremen. Admiralty B1299.8.
Hohenzollern (Stempelsand-Soltplate) Unterfeuer
1898. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s, synchronized with the rear light. 15 m (49 ft) triangular skeletal tower with lantern, enclosed watch room, gallery, and partially enclosed central stairway. Lighthouse painted white. Werning's photo is at right, Trabas also has a good photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, Borchers has a photo, and Google has a good satellite view. This lighthouse serves as the front light for both the upstream Stempelsand range and the downstream Soltplate range. Located on the west bank of the Weser south of Elsfleth. Site and tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremen. ARLHS FED-325; Admiralty B1299.81.
Stempelsand Oberfeuer
1959. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s, synchronized with the front light. 21 m (69 ft) triangular pyramidal steel skeletal tower. Trabas also has a photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, and Google has a satellite view. The upper half of the tower is wrapped with a screened daymark. Lighthouse and daymark painted black. Located on the beach on the west bank of the Weser, 150 m (490 ft) south of the Hohenzollern front light. Site status unknown. Operator: WSA Bremen. Admiralty B1301.81.

Lemwerder Area Lighthouses
Note: Lemwerder is on the west bank of the Weser roughly halfway between Elsfleth and downtown Bremen.
* Juliusplate Oberfeuer
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s, synchronized with the front light. 32 m (105 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a single gallery as topmark. Lighthouse painted red with one white horizontal band. Trabas has a good photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, and Google has a fine satellite view. This is the rear light of a downstream (northbound) range. Located on the southwest side of the Weser opposite Farge, northwest of the ferry terminal. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremen. ARLHS FED-301; Admiralty B1302.41.

Hohenzollern Unterfeuer, Elsfleth
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission
* Berne-Juliusplate Unterfeuer
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white light occulting once every 4s (downstream) or every 6 s (upstream), synchronized with the rear lights. 14 m (46 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a single gallery as topmark, mounted on a square concrete pier. Lighthouse painted red with one white horizontal band. Trabas has a closeup photo by Ulrich Bode, and Google has a good satellite view. Located 490 m (0.3 mi) southeast of the Juliusplate Oberfeuer, in shallow water (often exposed) on the southwest side of the Weser a short walk on the beach from the Farge ferry terminal. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremen. ARLHS FED-300; Admiralty B1302.4.
* Berne Oberfeuer
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s, synchronized with the front light. 21 m (69 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a single gallery as topmark, mounted on a square concrete pier. Lighthouse painted red with one white horizontal band. Trabas has a good photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, and Google has a satellite view. Located 220 m (240 yd) southeast of the front light, in shallow water (often exposed) on the southwest side of the Weser. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremen. ARLHS FED-323; Admiralty B1302.39.
* Warfleth Oberfeuer (Warflether Sand) (1)
1898. Inactive since 1985. 18 m (60 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted black. Werning's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. This light was built originally at Farge; in 1954 it was relocated as the rear light of the Warfleth Range. It was replaced by another skeletal tower in 1985. Located on a sandy peninsula, the Warflether Sand, on the southwest side of the Weser about 3 km (2 mi) southeast of the Berne lights; the peninsula is a protected natural area. Site open, tower closed. Owner: unknown. Site manager: Landschaftschutzgebiet Warflether Sand. ARLHS FED-328.
* Lemwerder Unterfeuer (2)
1983 (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s, synchronized with the rear light. 16 m (52 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a single ring as topmark. Lighthouse painted red with one white horizontal band. Trabas has a closeup photo by Ulrich Bode, Borchers has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This is the front light of an upstream range guiding ships into the harbor of Bremen. Located on the south bank of the Weser off Industriestraße in Lemwerder, just west of Bremen. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremen. ARLHS FED-135; Admiralty B1303.
Oberfeuer Warflether Sand
Oberfeuer Warflether Sand
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission
* Lemwerder Oberfeuer (1)
1898. Inactive since 1983. 22.5 m (74 ft) triangular pyramidal skeletal tower with square central cylinder, lantern, gallery, and enclosed watch room. Entire lighthouse painted black. Werning has an excellent photo, and Google has a satellite view. This historic lighthouse was restored in 1992. Located on Niedersachsenstraße in Lemwerder, just west of Bremen. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Municipality of Lemwerder(?). ARLHS FED-136.
* Lemwerder Oberfeuer (2)
1983. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s, synchronized with the front light. 27 m (89 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a single gallery as topmark. Lighthouse painted red with one white horizontal band. Trabas has a closeup photo by Ulrich Bode, and Google has a satellite view. Located on Industriestraße at Vulkanstraße in Lemwerder, 430 m (0.25 mi) southeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremen. ARLHS FED-137; Admiralty B1303.1.

Hansestadt Bremen: Bremen City Lighthouses

Bremen Harbor Lighthouses
* Seehausen West
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); continuous green light. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted green. Trabas has a closeup photo by Klaus Potschien, Werning also has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located on the south side of the Weser at the entrance to the Neustädter Hafen (New City Harbor) in Bremen. Accessible by a walk along the dike. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremen. ARLHS FED-326; Admiralty B1307.2.
Seehausen Ost
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red light occulting once every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted red, mounted on a square steel base. Jürgen Howaldt's photo is at right, Trabas has a good closeup photo by Klaus Potschien, Dirk Heuer has a 2006 photo of the tower freshly painted, Werning has a photo, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located at the tip of the long east mole at the entrance to the Neustädter Hafen (New City Harbor) in Bremen. Site and tower closed, but there's a good view from the west light (previous entry). Operator: WSA Bremen. ARLHS FED-327; Admiralty B1307.
* Bremen Überseehafen Südmole (Mäuseturm)
1906. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); continuous green light. 12 m (40 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and two semicircular galleries. Lighthouse unpainted; lantern and gallery railings painted green. A photo is at the top of this page, Werning has a nice photo, Trabas has a photo by Ulrich Bode, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Werning reports that in 2007 public access to the lighthouse was improved. Located at the end of the south mole at the entrance to the old harbor of Bremen; accessible by walking the mole. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremen. ARLHS FED-041; Admiralty B1308.
Bremen Seehausen Ost
Bremen Seehausen Ost Light, Bremen, August 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Jürgen Howaldt
Bremen Überseehafen Nordmole (Gitterbake)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 14 m (46 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower, painted red. The upper portion of the tower is enclosed by a metal daymark, also painted red. Trabas has a closeup photo by Ulrich Bode, Werning has a photo, Wikimedia has several photos, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located at the south end of the detached mole. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FED-324; Admiralty B1307.8.

Osterholz District (Weser East Bank) Lighthouses

Harriersand Lighthouses
Note: Harriersand is a long island that stretches along the east side of the Weser for a distance of about 11 km (7 mi). The island is accessible by a bridge on the Inselstraße, a road leading west from Rade.
* Harriersand Unterfeuer
1898. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s, synchronized with the rear light. 11 m (36 ft) triangular skeletal tower with lantern, enclosed watch room, gallery, and partially enclosed central stairway. Lighthouse painted white, lantern dome green. Werning has a fine photo, Trabas also has a good closeup photo by Manfred Schüler, and Google has a satellite view. Located near the riverbank on the west side of Harriersand Island, 960 m (0.6 mi) south southwest of the rear light. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-098; Admiralty B1299.4.
* Großerpater Oberfeuer
1897. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s, synchronized with the front light. 36 m (118 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, gallery, and enclosed watch room. Lighthouse painted red with one white horizontal band; lantern dome is green. Werning's photo is at right, Trabas has a closeup by Klaus Kern, Borchers has a photo, and Google has a fine satellite view. Located in a pasture near the center of Harriersand Island, 1320 m (0.82 mi) south of the front light. Site appears open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-335; Admiralty B1288.1.
* Harriersand Oberfeuer
1898. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s, synchronized with the front light. 24 m (79 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, gallery, and enclosed watch room. Lighthouse painted red; lantern dome is green. Werning has a nice winter photo, Trabas has a good closeup photo by Manfred Schüler, Borchers has a 2009 view, and Google has a satellite view. This is a downstream (northbound) range. Located near the west side of Harriersand Island, about halfway between the two Großerpater lights. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-099; Admiralty B1299.41.
Großerpater Oberfeuer
Großerpater Oberfeuer, Harriersand
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission
* Großerpater Unterfeuer
1897. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s, synchronized with the rear light. 15 m (49 ft) triangular skeletal tower with lantern, enclosed watch room, gallery, and partially enclosed central stairway. Lighthouse painted white, lantern dome green. Werning's page for this lighthouse has a good photo and a useful list of the lighthouses built of this design. Trabas also has a good photo by Capt. Peter Mosselberger, and Google has a satellite view. This is an upstream (southbound) range guiding ships past Sandstedt. Located near the center of the north end of Harriersand. Site open, tower closed; the island is accessible by passenger ferry from Brake on the west bank or by a bridge from Rade to the southeast. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-334; Admiralty B1288.

Sandstedt (Southern Cuxhaven District) Lighthouses

Sandstedt Lighthouses
* Sandstedt Unterfeuer (2)
1981 (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s, synchronized with the rear light. 17 m (56 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a large octagonal pyramidal topmark. Tower painted white, topmark red. The light is displayed from a tiny window in the middle of the topmark. Werning has a closeup, Trabas has a good photo by Ulrich Bode, M. Gieschler has a 2008 photo, and Google has a satellite view. This is a downstream (northbound) range. The original lighthouse was relocated to the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven (see below). Located on the riverbank on the east side of the Weser south of the village of Sandstedt. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-205; Admiralty B1297.
* Sandstedt Oberfeuer (2)
1981 (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white light occulting once every 6 s, synchronized with the front light. 35 m (115 ft) slender round cylindrical tower with a large octagonal funnel-shaped topmark. Tower painted white, topmark red. The light is displayed from a tiny window below the topmark. Trabas has a good photo by Ulrich Bode, Werning has a good photo, Udo Borchers has a 2009 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located in a field 420 m (0.25 mi) north northeast of the front range light and about 300 m (0.2 mi) southeast of the old rear range light, west of the village of Sandstedt. Site open, tower closed. Operator: WSA Bremerhaven. ARLHS FED-206; Admiralty B1297.1.
* Sandstedt Oberfeuer (1)
1898. Inactive since 1981. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) square pyramidal cast iron skeletal tower with central cylinder, enclosed watch room, lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted red; lantern dome is green. Werning's photo is at right, Udo Borchers has a 2009 closeup, Huelse also has a photo of the light, and Google has a satellite view. Located beside the K53 highway about 700 m (0.4 mi) east of the Sandstedt ferry terminal. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: unknown. ARLHS FED-314.

1898 Sandstedt Oberfeuer, Sandstedt
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

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Adjoining page: North: Bremerhaven | West: Borkum to Wilhelmshaven

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted February 26, 2005. Checked and revised December 13, 2014. Lighthouses: 30. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.