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Aerial view of the Eider Barrage. In the background Eiderstedt
Eiderstedter Harden in the 13th century with Utholm, Hever, Evershop (Giæthning / Garding) and the actual Eiderstedt (Thynning / Tönning) (map from the 19th century)

Eiderstedt ( Low German : Eidersteed , Danish : Ejdersted , North Frisian : Ääderstää ) is a peninsula on the North Sea coast in the district of North Friesland in Schleswig-Holstein . It is about 30 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide and was created around 1200 through land reclamation with embankments ( Koog ) and amalgamation of two islands and a peninsula Utholm (around Tating ), Westerheversand and Everschop -Eiderstedt (around Tönning and Garding ). In 2010, 22,356 people lived in the peninsula's 24 cities and towns.


Today's Eiderstedt originally consisted of two islands and a peninsula.

  • Eiderstedt and Everschop in what is now the eastern and central part were a common peninsula that was connected to the mainland via non-habitable marshland. It bordered in the northeast on the Edomsharde , the Lundenbergharde , the Südergoesharde and Stapelholm . The Nordereider was created in 1362 during the First Mandränke (Second Marcellus Flood). It connected the Heverstrom with the Treene near Koldenbüttel . The Treene flowed into the Eider at Sax ferry. See also Everschop , Husum and Uelvesbüll .
  • Utholm and Westerheversand in today's western part were two islands separated by the Fallstief (now Tümlauer Bucht ), which originally formed the common island of Holm. Utholm and Westerhever were separated from Everschop-Eiderstedt by the Süderhever.

These two islands and the peninsula were administered as three Harden independent administrative districts (Eiderstedt, Everschop and Utholm), which is why the area of ​​the Eiderstedt peninsula was also called the three countries in the Middle Ages until modern times . In the course of today's outer sands there was an old moraine , roughly where the mouth of the Heverstrom is today. From this old moraine a spit and hooks arose , on which silt was deposited over the millennia, and sand and silt were also deposited on the bank of the Eider ( Flumen Egidora or Egidorae fluminis ). The soils of the Eiderstedter Marsch obtained from the alluvial land enable extremely profitable agriculture.

On the west coast of Eiderstedt there are sandbanks , dunes and salt marshes in front of St. Peter-Ording and Westerhever . These are very popular with tourists and, especially off St. Peter-Ording, they have more similarities with Sylt or Amrum than with the marshland of the rest of the west coast. There are a total of 175 hectares of coastal dunes on Eiderstedt . Most of them are now behind the dike , so they are largely cut off from fresh sand and in the state of the lichen-rich permanent stage of a gray dune.

The Magdalenenspitze is the highest dune in Eiderstedt.


Map of Eyderstede Eveschop un Uthholm ( Johannes Mejer , 1648)

The oldest archaeological finds in Eiderstedt come from the long Garding-Tatinger Spit and the sand walls of Brösum. These belong to the younger Stone Age and Bronze Age . There are also settlements and burial grounds from the Iron Age and the Viking Age .

The marshes along the Eider were first landed in the 1st / 2nd Century AD. During this time the village yard Tofting was built . Century remained settled. New foundations of Wurtendörfern began in connection with the historically not exactly recorded immigration of Frisians in the 8th century. Examples of these settlements are the Elisenhof village yards near Tönning , Olversum and Welt .

In contrast to the high marshes on the Eider, the central and northern part of today's peninsula did not offer any settlement possibilities, as there have been here since around 500 BC. BC Moore expanded. Only after the northern Eiderstedt had been flooded by the sea did a sea march, often criss-crossed by creeks , grow up around 1000 AD . Terps were built here in the Poppenbüll , Osterhever and Westerhever areas since the 12th century . Low dykes secured the settlers' land. The area of ​​the middle Eiderstedt was also protected by a dike. This extensive dyke construction allowed drainage of the Sietland and thus a land development. Marschhufensiedlungen arose here in the form of long rows of court sausages such as Oldenswort , Uelvesbüll and Witzwort . Also the islands of Utholm and Westerhever mentioned in the earth book of the Danish king Waldemar II were covered. These islands were dammed up to the rest of Eiderstedt after the 13th century.


Due to the constant threat from the sea, a special form of self-government developed early on in Eiderstedt. The dike in the land could only be guaranteed through comprehensive cooperation. Already in the Middle Ages the three countries (a fourth island of Hever had been united with the also reduced Utholm after heavy land losses) were there as a common unit that developed its own landscape law. Originally settled in Frisian, Eiderstedt was part of the Uthlande and at the same time belonged to the Duchy of Schleswig since the 14th century . A political situation of threat led to the Eiderstedter Crown of Right Truth at the same time in 1426 , in which, as in the Siebenhardenbeläge from the same year, the written right is described as a right inherited from the ancestors and established by way of autonomy. For independent administration, there was a joint landscape assembly, which was led by a lordly stallion , and a well-developed parish administration . Its own landscape law was formally retained until the introduction of the Civil Code in 1900.

When Schleswig and Holstein were divided , Eiderstedt always came to the Gottorf line, where it remained until 1713. In 1572 Utholm and Everschop were united to the western part with a common lower court, while the actual Eiderstedt with Tönning from then on formed the eastern part. In 1590 Tönning and Garding were formally separated from the landscape as cities, but remained administratively connected to it in many ways. Tönning was expanded into a fortress.

Change in culture and language

In the 16th century, Dutch Mennonites settled on Eiderstedt. The Dutch brought about a change in agriculture and instead of ox fattening, dairy farming and cheese production dominated. A Central Dutch chronicle of the Eiderstedt landscape, which began in the 15th century and covers the years from 1103 to 1547, was handed down to Johann Russe . In the 17th century the people of Eidersted gave up the North Frisian language ( Eiderstedter Frisian ) in favor of Low German . The Haubarg was created as a new form of the farm .

District of Eiderstedt

District coat of arms

In 1864 Eiderstedt experienced a deep turning point in its history when the Duchy of Schleswig became part of the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein . Although actually too small for a district, the Prussian administration left the Eiderstedt residents their independence in the form of the Eiderstedt district formed in 1867 . In 1932 the Prussian government merged the neighboring districts of Eiderstedt and Husum in order to save costs. This measure was reversed the following year.

In May 1945 all of Eiderstedt and parts of Dithmarschen were declared a restricted area "G" by the allied victorious powers. This restricted area served to intern and disarm the armed forces units returning from the north (especially from Denmark). At times up to 400,000 former Wehrmacht soldiers stayed here. This internment camp was closed on October 12, 1945.

In 1970 the district of Eiderstedt was merged with the district of Husum and the district of Südtondern to form the district of North Friesland as part of the district reform . At the same time, the Eiderstedt office was created , which has been an administrative community with the city of Tönning since 2010.

Nature, the environment and agriculture

Eiderstedter Heck near Sankt Peter Dorf
Salt marshes on the north coast

The natural area of ​​the Eiderstedter Marsch is slightly larger than the peninsula and includes Simonsberg , Südermarsch , Koldenbüttel and Friedrichstadt in North Friesland and Sankt Annen and Schlichting in the Dithmarschen district . In 2005 there were a total of 477 farms that farmed 27,968 hectares of land. Of these, 102 farms took part in contract nature conservation with an area of ​​4,300 hectares in 2007 .

Conflicts arose because 2,780 hectares of land were designated as a bird sanctuary under the Natura 2000 program. In particular, it is forbidden there to convert permanent grassland into arable land, to remove small bodies of water or to intensify the drainage of the area beyond what was previously usual or to reforest areas. The biggest point of conflict between farmers and nature conservationists are the flocks of barnacle geese , which rest here in spring and autumn and, among other things, feed on the growing plants in the fields. To the annoyance of conservationists and many residents, some farmers drive these geese away, mainly with gas cannons. To the displeasure of many farmers, conservationists have been able to enforce a ban on further measures. Despite the deterrence measures, the barnacle geese population has increased in recent years, with conservationists fear that the geese have also caused populations of the protected species black tern , black godwit and lapwing to decline .

In August 1967, the Schleswig-Holstein State Cabinet, with the consent of the District Administrator of Eiderstedt and Mayor of the Oldenswort community, approved test drilling for the construction of a repository for low and medium level radioactive waste in an Eiderstedt salt cavern near Oldenswort. During the consultation in the local council about the sale of the property at a price that was completely excessive for pasture areas, the secret project came to light. The citizens went to the barricades and the project was dropped.


Beach and mudflat hike in September

Today tourism dominates Eiderstedt . Important places in this context are the towns of Garding , the former district town of Tönning and Sankt Peter-Ording . These places are connected by the Husum – Bad St. Peter-Ording railway line . The landmark of the peninsula is the Westerheversand lighthouse . Further tourist attractions are the Katinger Watt , the Eider Barrage or the seal banks in the Wadden Sea .

The peninsula is connected to the European EuroVelo route North Sea Coast Cycle Route and the tourism organizations recommend numerous local bike tours. Eiderstedt is also the starting point of the Wikinger-Friesen-Weg theme cycle route in southern Schleswig.

The Eiderstedt Landscape Museum in St. Peter-Ording provides information on the development of tourism in the 19th and 20th centuries .


  • Owen Günther (born January 25, 1532 in Eiderstedt, † July 8, 1615 in Helmstedt), German philosopher


  • Eiderstedt (= values ​​of the German homeland . Volume 72). 1st edition. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-412-09906-0 .
  • Uwe Carstens : The cultural support for refugees in the district of Eiderstedt . In: Nordfriisk Instituut (Hrsg.): Nordfriesisches Jahrbuch. Bredstedt 1993, pp. 225-240, ISSN  0078-1045 .
  • Eiderstedter Heimatbund (Ed.): View over Eiderstedt. Contributions to the history, culture and nature of a landscape. Boyens, Heide 1965.
  • Otto Fischer: Eiderstedt . Reimer, Berlin 1956.
  • Manfred Jessen-Klingenberg : Eiderstedt 1713–1864. Landscape and sovereignty in royal and absolutist times. Wachholtz, Neumünster 1967.
  • Carl Ingwer Johannsen , Eckardt Opitz (Hrsg.): The great Schleswig-Holstein book . Ellert & Richter, Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-89234-688-7 .
  • Dirk Meier: The North Sea coast. Story of a landscape. Boyens, Heide 2006, ISBN 978-3-8042-1182-7 .
  • Dirk Meier: De Dam closed between Eyderstede and Husum ... The dike on the 'Nordt Eyder', Eiderstedt (Schleswig-Holstein) (2007), PDF (accessed on May 6, 2012).
  • Gustav Oberdiek among others: The art monuments of the Eiderstedt district . Berlin, Deutscher Kunstverlag 1939 (= The Art Monuments of the Province of Schleswig-Holstein).
  • Hans-Walter Wulf: Churches in Eiderstedt. Lühr & Dircks, St. Peter-Ording 1981, ISBN 3-921416-13-2 .
  • Nordfrisk Institute (ed.): The history of North Friesland. Boyens, Heide 1996, ISBN 3-8042-0759-6 .
  • Hans Joachim Kühn: The beginnings of dyke construction in Schleswig-Holstein. Boyens, Heide 1992, ISBN 3-8042-0561-5 .
  • Becker and Kaster: Eider-Treene-Sorge cultural landscape. Wachholtz, Neumünster 2005, ISBN 3-529-02518-6 .
  • Rainer Naudit: Eiderstedt and the Eiderdamm. Hansen and Hansen, Münsterdorf 1997, ISBN 3-87980-510-5 .

Web links

Eiderstedter house decoration in St. Peter village
Commons : Eiderstedt  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Eiderstedt  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hans Joachim Kühn: The beginnings of dyke construction in Schleswig-Holstein. Boyens, Heide 1992, ISBN 3-8042-0561-5 , pp. 43-44.
  2. ^ Landesvermessungsamt Schleswig-Holstein (ed.): Topographischer Atlas Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. Wachholtz, Neumünster 1979, ISBN 3-529-05101-2 , p. 172 Left column and map p. 172.
  3. ^ Eiderstedt, a regional study. Edited by the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography Leipzig and the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne, Weinmar and Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-412-09906-0 , pages 334-335.
  4. Neuhaus, Beinker, Bründel, Lange: Dunes at the Schleswig-Holstein west coast . In: Federal Environment Agency and national park administrations of Lower Saxony Wadden Sea / Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea (ed.): Wadden Sea Environment Atlas . Vol. 1: North Frisian and Dithmarsches Wadden Sea . Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1998/1999, ISBN 3800134918 , pp. 92-93.
  5. from New Trade description of the two duchies of Schleswig and Holstein from Caspar Danckwerth 1652
  6. Max Pappenheim: Die Siebenhardenbelieben from June 17, 1426. Festschrift for the five hundredth anniversary . Verlag Kunstgewerbemuseum, Flensburg 1926, p. 7.
  7. ^ Robert Dollinger: History of the Mennonites in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Lübeck . In: Sources and research on the history of Schleswig-Holstein, Volume 17, Neumünster 1930
  8. Klaus Werdt: 'Gemeine Eiderstedtische Chronik'. In: Burghart Wachinger et al. (Hrsg.): The German literature of the Middle Ages. Author Lexicon . 2nd, completely revised edition, ISBN 3-11-022248-5 , Volume 2: Comitis, Gerhard - Gerstenberg, Wigand. Berlin / New York 1980, col. 1191.
  9. Landtag Schleswig-Holstein: Printed matter 16-1723 "Implementation of the Bird Protection Directive on Eiderstedt" (PDF; 182 kB)
  10. shz.de: Secret thing about Atom , Husumer Nachrichten, 23 September 2009
  11. ^ NDR: North Sea Coast Cycle Route in Schleswig-Holstein. Retrieved June 26, 2017 .
  12. ^ Cycling: St. Peter-Ording and Eiderstedt, Eiderstedt tourist office. Retrieved June 26, 2017 .

Coordinates: 54 ° 21 '  N , 8 ° 50'  E