Cloos Tower – Frederikshavn, Denmark - Atlas Obscura
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Frederikshavn, Denmark

Cloos Tower

Plans for this local observation tower were debated for so long, the allocated funds lost value and the design had to be changed. 

In the early 20th century, a Frederikshavn merchant and consul named Christian Cloos set aside funds and plans to have a tower built after his death. He wanted what many men have wanted over the centuries: a monument to himself and his family that would also serve as a destination the local community could enjoy for generations.

Cloos had big ideas, especially for his time. The lifelong bachelor not only wanted the town to build an observation deck to honor the memory of his parents, he wanted the structure to include a revolving restaurant at the top.

After Cloos died in 1941, though, his grand plans were the subject of fierce debate among the municipal leaders tasked with bringing the ambitious vision to life. They argued about the tower’s features over the course of what ended up being 20 years, and during those two decades, the value of the allocated funds diminished rather significantly. The tower finally opened to the public in 1962, but by then, it did not include a restaurant, revolving or otherwise.

Today, there is not even a cafe at the base of Cloos Tower (Cloostårnet). There is, however, a nice little playground, and some picnic tables and barbecue grills, following a 2003 renovation that improved the aesthetics and safety of the 315-step staircase to the top. 

And Cloos Tower does indeed offer the public an unprecedented view of the region. In terms of geography, Denmark is a fairly flat nation, and the northern part of Jutland is no exception. This viewing tower, rising nearly 200 feet (60 meters) above the farmlands in Frederikshavn, offers incredible panoramas of Vendsyssel (the name for the area north of the Limfjord). On a clear day, you can see the Grenen sandbar beach in Skagen, all the way to the Rudberg Knude Lighthouse on the west coast, and south to Aalborg.

Know Before You Go

Fee for entry is 30 kroner for adults, 10 kroner for children. There is an elevator to the lowest of three viewing levels if you want or need to skip taking the 315 stairs. The top two levels, virtually identical to the lowest level, are only accessible via a small interior staircase.

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