North Frisian Islands

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The North Frisian island chain in the North Frisian and Danish Wadden Sea

The North Frisian Islands are located off the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein in the North Frisian Wadden Sea , part of the North Sea . They are surrounded by the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park , but are not themselves part of the protected area. In addition to the larger islands of Sylt , Föhr , Amrum , Pellworm and Nordstrand, there are smaller so-called Halligen , which are usually not protected from floods by dykes and whose development is on terps . They all belong to the district of North Friesland .

In part, the Danish Wadden Sea Islands are also counted among the North Frisian Islands. These are located off the west coast of Jutland and belong to the Danish region of Southern Denmark . Unlike the Germans, the Danish islands were not settled by Frisians . The term North Frisian Islands is primarily a geographical one.


Reconstruction of the North Frisian coast in the 13th century on a map from 1850

Car ferries from Wyker Dampfschiffs-Reederei Föhr-Amrum GmbH connect the port of Dagebüll on the mainland with the islands of Föhr (port Wyk ) and Amrum (port Wittdün ) as well as the mainland port of Schlüttsiel with the Halligen Hooge and Langeneß and the island of Amrum. The Halligen Oland , Langeneß, Gröde and Hooge are called irregularly from Schlüttsiel with a supply ship that tourists can also use. Car ferries operated by the New Pellworm Steamship Company operate the connection from the port of Strucklahnungshörn on the Nordstrand peninsula to the island of Pellworm . A speedboat connects the towns of Strucklahnungshörn on north beach with Hallig Hooge, Wittdün on Amrum and Hörnum on Sylt .

Nordstrand has become a peninsula with the Beltringharder Koog, which was completed in 1987 and was previously accessible via a dam with a car road.

The Danish island of Rømø is connected to the mainland by a road through the Rømødæmningen ( German : Rømø dam ), while the island of Sylt has a rail link to the mainland via the Hindenburg dam . Sylt can also be reached by car ferry via a ship connection between List and the Danish island of Rømø .

The Halligen Oland and Langeneß can be reached with a lorry from Dagebüll .

The Hallig Nordstrandischmoor has a lorry connection to the Beltringharder Koog.

When the tide is low , the tidal flats are exposed between some islands, Halligen and the mainland. An 8 km long mudflat path falls between Amrum and Föhr, but depending on the weather and tide, it is not accessible every day. Guided mudflat walks are offered in many places .


The area of ​​the North Frisian Wadden Sea has been subject to great and constant changes over the past centuries. Since the first maps only exist for the 17th century, one has to rely on reconstructions for the time before. Today's islands and Halligen emerged from larger contiguous land masses that were torn apart by storm surges over the centuries . Sun included, for example today's peninsula north beach and the island of Pellworm in time past to a large island or better land mass of jagged then and creeks crisscrossed Coastline, the name beach wearing and their biggest town Rungholt was. The beach was largely destroyed on January 16, 1362 in the second flood of Marcellus (Grote Mandränke). During the Burchardi flood in 1634, the remaining island, the old Nordstrand, then split up into the islands of Nordstrand and Pellworm and the Hallig Nordstrandischmoor.


After the Frisian and Danish colonization of the islands in the 8th century, the Frisian settled Harden (between Eiderstedt and Sylt) together formed the Uthlande . The North Frisians in the Uthlanden were subordinate to the Danish king as King Frisians . Only later did the Uthlande, with the exception of smaller royal enclaves, become part of the Duchy of Schleswig , which belonged to Denmark as a fief. At the time of the division of land in the early modern period, large parts of the islands were subject to the Gottorf shares , others to the royal shares or the royal enclaves already mentioned. As a royal enclave, the south of Rømø belonged directly to the kingdom, while the north of Rømø belonged to the royal portions of the duchy. After the German-Danish wars, the islands from Nordstrand to Rømø became Prussian in 1866 . After the referendum in 1920, the current border between the islands of Sylt and Rømø was established.

The Carl-Haeberlin-Friesenmuseum in Wyk auf Föhr provides an overview of the life, everyday life, language, costumes and customs of the island Frisians .

The islands at a glance

Satellite image

The North Frisian Islands include (from north to south):

See also


  • Klaus Wernicke, Guntram Riecken: North Frisian Islands and Halligen . Neumünster, Karl Wachholtz Verlag. 1992. ISBN 3-529-05505-0
  • Gerhard Eckert : North Frisian Islands and coastal resorts . Frankfurt am Main, Umschau Verlag. 1974. ISBN 3-524-00299-4
  • Albert am Zehnhoff: Sylt, Amrum, Föhr, Helgoland, Pellworm, Nordstrand and Halligen. Nature and culture on Heligoland and the North Frisian Islands. Voyages of discovery through a landscape between the sea and the mainland coast . Cologne, Dumont. 1979. ISBN 3-7701-1093-5
  • Henry Koehn, Carl Häberlin, Julius Tedsen, Georg Warnecke: The North Frisian Islands . de Gruyter, Berlin. 1961. ISBN 3-11-000564-6
  • Henry Koehn: The North Frisian Islands. The evolution of their landscape and the history of their folkhood. de Gruyter, Hamburg. 1954.
  • O. Zeisse: Contributions to the geology of the North Frisian Islands . Reprint of the original edition from 1888. 1990. o. O. ISBN 3-86031-121-2
  • G. Weigelt: The North Frisian Islands then and now. A sketch of the country and its people. Meissner, Hamburg. 1873.
  • Harry Kunz / Albert Panten: Die Köge Nordfrieslands Nordfriisk Instituut 1997 ISBN 3-88007-251-5
  • Gregor Gumpert and Ewald Tucai (eds.): North Friesland and its islands. A literary portrait , Neumünster 2011: Wachholtz. ISBN 3-529-06116-6

Web links

Coordinates: 54 ° 44 '  N , 8 ° 20'  E