Hafen von Burg auf Fehmarn

Niobe monument on Fehmarn: tragedy, history & hike

The Niobe Memorial on Fehmarn is an important landmark that commemorates one of the most tragic shipwrecks in the waters around Fehmarn. It stands as a symbol for the 69 crew members of the sail training ship Niobe who lost their lives on July 26, 1932.


What was the Niobe?

The Niobe was a sail training ship of the German Navy, which was built in 1913 at the Frederikshavn Shipyard and Floating Dock (Frederikshavn Værft og Flydedok). It was originally named “Morten Jensen” and belonged to the shipping company “F. L. Knakkegaard”. After various conversions and changes of ownership, the Niobe was used as a sail training ship.


What happened to the sail training ship Niobe?

On July 26, 1932, the training ship Niobe capsized in the Fehmarnbelt due to an unforeseeable Thunderstorm squall. Of the 109 crew members, 69 died and only 40 people were rescued by a lightship. The accident was observed from the beach by many people who were actually watching for the passing of the ship. Dornier Do X the largest commercial airliner in the world at the time.

About 4 weeks after the accident, the ship was salvaged and brought to Kiel. There, 50 of the 69 deceased were recovered and buried in Kiel before the ship was sunk by a torpedo boat on September 18, 1933.


How has the Niobe monument developed?

The Niobe Monument was erected and unveiled on October 15, 1933 to commemorate the tragic history and the lost souls.

In 1966, the Niobe monument was repositioned and given a bronze plaque with the highly controversial inscription: "It is not necessary for me to live, but it is necessary for me to do my duty".

Since this year, the Niobe monument has remained virtually unchanged. Every year, a wreath is laid at the monument on the anniversary of the accident.


Where is the Niobe monument on Fehmarn?

The memorial is located within sight of the accident site at the Gammendorfer beach on Fehmarn and is freely accessible to everyone.


Parking to get to the Niobe monument

The parking lot closest to the monument is the Parking lot near Niobe.


How are the reviews of the monument?

The Niobe Memorial is not only a place of remembrance, but also a popular photo opportunity. Many visitors describe it as a "beautiful memorial to the Niobe disaster in the Baltic Sea". It is often described as a "very beautiful sight on Fehmarn".

On TripAdvisor it is rated with 4 out of 5 possible stars.


Hikes & pictures of the Niobe monument on Fehmarn

On this page you will find some hiking routes that pass the Niobe Monument. There are also some reviews from other visitors, as well as over 100 pictures of the monument and the surrounding area.


The Niobe monument and the myth of Niobe

While the monument directly commemorates the shipwreck, it could also be given a deeper mythological reference. Niobe is a figure from Greek mythology who was punished for her pride and arrogance. Like the tragic fate of the ship, the name could also be seen as a reminder of human arrogance and the forces of nature.

Fundamentally, however, the training sailing ship Niobe and the Myth of Niobe have nothing to do with each other.

Do you want to Rent a bike to visit the monument? Then follow the link to get to an overview of all bike rental companies on Fehmarn.