The lighthouse of Katwijk, the Vuurbaak or also called Vierboet is after the Brandaris (the lighthouse of Terschelling), the oldest lighthouse in the Netherlands. In 1605 the request for construction was submitted to Stadholder Prince Maurits. Only in 1628 approval was granted.
There used to be a grid on the flat roof of the Vuurbaak on which wood was set on fire. Later this became a coal fire and in the 19th century an oil lamp with reflector. Only if ships from their own fleet had sailed out was the fishermen’s light ignited. De Vuurbaak has not been in operation since 1913 because no ships have come ashore in Katwijk since then. Bomschuiten (vessels that were used for herring fishing or scrub fishing) were just lying on the beach.
During the First World War the lighthouse was used as a lookout post by the Koninklijke Marine (Royal Dutch Navy). In the Second World War, the Vuurbaak was used as a machine gun post. Since 1968, the lighthouse has been open to the public in the summer months.
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