Lewis and Harris

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Lewis and Harris
Leòdhas agus na Hearadh
The island's capital, Stornoway
The island's capital, Stornoway
Waters Atlantic Ocean
Archipelago Outer Hebrides
Geographical location 58 ° 10 ′  N , 6 ° 39 ′  W Coordinates: 58 ° 10 ′  N , 6 ° 39 ′  W
Lewis and Harris (Scotland)
Lewis and Harris
length 97.3 km
width 46.8 km
surface 2 178  km²
Highest elevation Clisham
799  m
Residents 21,031 (2011)
9.7 inhabitants / km²
main place Stornoway
South of harris
South of harris

The Isle of Lewis and Harris ( Scottish Gaelic : Leòdhas agus na Hearadh ) in the Outer Hebrides is the largest Scottish island and the third largest contiguous landmass in the British Isles after Great Britain and Ireland . In 2011, 21,031 people lived on Lewis and Harris.


The island is 2178 km² in size. The Minch estuary lies between the island and mainland Scotland .

By using two names it is often mistakenly assumed that there are two separate islands called Lewis and Harris . In fact, it is the name for one and the same island, of which the (much larger) northern part of the island is called " Lewis " and the southwestern part " Harris ". The dividing line between the two island parts initially runs in a west-east direction, starting north of the island of Scarp through the Loch Resort (Reasort), along the western part of Glen Kentarvie , to the north / south separation of Loch Langavat and then follows in a southerly direction the Loch Seaforth (Shiphoirt). Harris is divided again into two parts by the narrow isthmus at Tarbert , which is only 850 m narrow and consists of alluvial land .

The two names are probably the result of the completely different landscape forms of the two parts of the island, with the impassable low mountain range rising up in the south without a transition forming the natural dividing line. Harris is largely mountainous, with more than 30 peaks that are over 300 meters high, Lewis is comparatively flat except for an area east of Loch Seaforth, which topographically should belong to Harris.


Callanish , located on Lewis , may be mentioned when Diodorus of Sicily reports of a round temple and goes on: “From this island the moon should appear at a very short distance from the earth, and some mountain-like elevations should be visible on it. "

Footnotes and individual references

  1. 2011 census data
  2. quote and to Callanish @ sternwarte-recklinghausen.de; see also communications from the Astronomical Association Karlsruhe No. 41, page 3 (PDF, 758 kB) ( Memento from March 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) and Diodorus Siculus. Library of History. Book II, 47.5 @ uchicago.edu “They say also that the moon, as viewed from this island, appears to be but a little distance from the earth and to have upon it prominences, like those of the earth, which are visible to the eye. "(accessed March 10, 2014)