Stenen Baak

This is the oldest preserved stone lighthouse in the Netherlands! The lighthouse or baak was used to indicate the shipping route from the sea to Briel harbor. The Stone Baak was built in 1630 and replaced earlier lighthouses made of wood. In defense of the fortified town of Brielle, the tower was also given a military function in the 18th and 19th centuries and became part of a defensive work with a fort. Today, the tower is an annex of the Historical Museum Den Briel.
Drone photo: Irene de Hoop



Year built



Maerten Cornelisz. Payese


The city government

Original function


Special feature

The oldest preserved stone lighthouse

Owned by Monumentenbezit

Since 2016

Wheelchair accessible


Visitor information

The tower is an annex of the Historical Museum Den Briel and open to the public on certain days between April and October.

Visiting address:

Brielse Maas 1, 3233 LW Brielle

The Stenen Baak on the island of Voorne is a former lighthouse or beacon from 1630. The lighthouse was used to indicate the shipping route from the sea to Briel harbor. Because of its height, the tower was visible from afar during the day. At night the beacon was lit by a fire.

The tower has had both wooden and stone predecessors. For example, a stone lighthouse was built in 1559. This square tower was built with bricks that came from the partially demolished castle of Oostvoorne. The tower stood there for only a very short period, because in 1568 it was already demolished again due to the threat of the upcoming Eighty Years' War. The reason for repeatedly rebuilding the beacons was that they were necessary for shipping to reach the port of Brielle.

The present Stenen Baak was designed by Maerten Cornelisz. Paeyse (?-1638), commissioned by the Brielle city council. He was Brielle's city carpenter and was also involved in its construction. Because the construction of the towering cost, the city of Brielle turned to the States of Holland and West Friesland for financial support. On November 11, 1630, the construction of the Stenen Baak was completed.

The Stone Jaw was an important landmark for boaters entering the Meuse River. But the site was not only important for shipping. The location also had a strategic significance in military terms. Until the 18th century, enemy ships could pass unhindered. The fortified town of Brielle would come under fire first.

The southern part of the Meuse estuary could be defended from the location of the Stone Jaw, which made this spot the ideal situation for a military fortification. Therefore, a battery was constructed here. A battery was the place where cannons were set up.

In 1781, the battery at the Stone Hook was renewed, with the construction of three guardhouses, two powder magazines and several sheds for the storage of equipment and ammunition. After 1783, a ball annealing furnace was realized at the battery. In this furnace, bullets were heated before being fired with a cannon so that they could set enemy ships on fire.

The battery at the Stenen Baak was part of the Stelling van de Monden van de Maas and the Haringvliet. This defensive line consisted of twelve batteries built around the island of Voorne to hold out against possible attacks from the sea. In 1918, the battery at the Stenen Baak was officially disbanded as a fortification. Currently, all the outbuildings of the former battery are gone. However, a reconstruction of the ball annealing furnace was made in 1957.

When the beacon was still in use as a lighthouse, a wooden superstructure with stained-glass windows, the so-called lantern, stood on the tower. In it, the watchmen constantly stoked a coal fire at night. Thanks to the stained glass windows, the fire was visible from a great distance. With the construction of the battery, the Stenen Baak lost its function as a lighthouse. At the beginning of the 19th century, the lantern was removed.

Then the position of the Stone Staff also came into question. Perhaps the whole tower had to be demolished... In 1906, the Ministry of War even decided to demolish the tower because of its dilapidated condition. This was opposed by fishermen from Brielle, as the tower was still a useful landmark for them.

After years of decay, the more than 15-meter-high Stone Beacon was in need of a major restoration. In 1939, the State Building Department decided to restore the tower. Later, in 1965 and 2003, additional restorations were done. Since 2016, it has been owned by Monumentenbezit. We performed masonry and pointing repairs here in 2020, especially on the upper half of the tower.

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