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Aerial photograph of Pellworm
Aerial photograph of Pellworm
Waters North Sea
Archipelago North Frisian Islands
Geographical location 54 ° 31 '0 "  N , 8 ° 38' 13"  E Coordinates: 54 ° 31 '0 "  N , 8 ° 38' 13"  E
Pellworm (Schleswig-Holstein)
length 6 km
width 7 km

Pellworm ( Danish Pelvorm , Frisian Polweerm , Pälweerm ) is a German island in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park .

Together with the Halligen Süderoog and Südfall located to the south, Pellworm forms the eponymous municipality of Pellworm .

Islands and Halligen that emerged from the island of Strand
Modern dike on Pellworm


Pellworm is the third largest North Frisian island . Its extension is seven kilometers in west-east and six kilometers in north-south direction.

Pellworm consists mainly of the western part of the former island of Strand , which was destroyed in the Burchardi flood in 1634 . Pellworm, Nordstrand and some of the Halligen are fragments of the former island. Today Pellworm is on average about one meter below sea ​​level . The island is therefore protected by an 8 meter high and 25 kilometer long dike . For this reason, there is no sandy beach , but there are several paved swimming areas on the island.

Pellworm is divided into Köge : Alter Koog , Bupheverkoog , Großer Koog , Großer Norderkoog , Hunnenkoog , Johann-Heimreich-Koog , Kleiner Koog , Kleiner Norderkoog , Mittelster Koog , Ostersielkoog , Süderkoog , Ütermarkerkoog and Westerkoog . Areas that are not diked are in the north (Norderhallig or Norder-Hallig) and at Ostersiel in the east (Junkernhallig or Junkern-Hallig).


Early days

Nothing certain is known about the early history of the Pellworm area. In 2005, the ethnologist Hans Peter Duerr put forward the hypothesis that an important Greek trading post had already been located immediately south of Pellworm in ancient times ; however, this assumption was overwhelmingly rejected by other researchers.

middle Ages

From the early Viking Age , Frisians settled on the southern Jutland and Schleswig coasts. Amrum , Föhr and Sylt were settled in a first, the island of Strand (with Pellworm) and the Böking- and Wiedingharde in a second settlement wave between 1000 and 1100. The immigrant Frisians were directly subordinate to the Danish king as royal Frisians , the Harden settled in Frisian together formed the so-called Uthlande , which retained their own Frisian law and not (like the other Harden in Schleswig) were subject to Jutian law . Pellworm, as the southwestern part of the beach, formed the Pellwormharde. With the establishment of the Duchy of Schleswig as a Danish imperial fief from around 1200, Strand became part of the Duchy. After the division of land in 1544, Strand or Pellworm became part of the Gottorf part of the duchies.

Modern times

After 1713/1721 the island was ruled again by the Danish king in his function as Schleswig duke and Danish liege lord. After the German-Danish War in 1864, the island of Pellworm came under Prussia , and in 1871 under the German Empire . The poet Detlev von Liliencron was Hardesvogt of the island in 1882/1883 .

Storm surges and land reclamation

Pelvorm (Pylwærm) as part of Strands before the flood in 1362
Alt-Nordstrand before the flood in 1634 by Johannes Mejer . The red lines indicate today's coastline.

The history of Pellworm was shaped by dyke building, land reclamation and storm surges . The earliest recorded storm surges in the years 1216 and 1230 cost tens of thousands of lives in the area of ​​North Friesland. Between January 15 and 17, 1362, the later legendary port town of Rungholt went under in a storm surge ( Grote Mandränke ), and the island of Strand was formed.

On November 1, 1436, the All Saints Flood separated Pellworm from Nordstrand. Another storm surge in 1480 tore Pellworm in two. This damage could be repaired through great efforts and in 1550 Pellworm and Nordstrand were reunited.

But the Burchardi flood on October 11 and 12, 1634 finally separated Pellworm from Nordstrand. About 1000 people drowned on Pellworm alone. The cause of the disaster was, among other things, the massive peat extraction in the region, which led to a lowering of the general land level. In addition, the flow conditions in the Wadden Sea had changed. From 1635 to 1637, the island's most important cogs, Großer Koog, Alter Koog, Mittelster Koog, Kleiner Koog and Johann-Heimreich-Koog, were re-coated again with the substantial participation of Dutch new settlers. The area of ​​these kays is also known as Alt-Pellworm . Further dikes followed in 1657, 1663, 1672 and 1687. Small Norderkoog, Westerkoog, Ütermarkerkoog, Hunnenkoog, Süderkoog and Großer Norderkoog were reclaimed.

After that, only two more kays were diked in 1790 and 1939. As part of a land reclamation program , underpinned by the National Socialist blood-and-soil ideology , the Bupheverkoog (Vorländer Buphever and Langeland) was diked and settled in 1939 (see also: Adolf-Hitler-Koog , Hermann-Göring-Koog ).

Storm surges from 1697, 1701, 1703, 1717 , 1718, 1719, 1720 , 1729, 1743 and 1756 again destroyed parts of the island. The damage could mostly be repaired quickly. However, the misery on the island increased due to the high burden of building and securing dykes. Two storm surges in 1789 and 1794 worsened the situation of the population. The last storm surge that almost completely inundated Pellworm was the February flood on February 3rd and 4th, 1825.

Even today, if all unfavorable conditions are met, a storm surge can flood the dike on Pellworm. The floods of 1831, 1911, 1936, 1962, 1976 and 1981 could not endanger the island only because the dike was repeatedly raised. The last three storm surges mentioned were higher than the tide of 1825. But the Heverstrom , which is getting deeper and wider, and its side arms also endanger the island. A few years ago it was still possible to wade through the Norderhever between Pellworm and Nordstrand when the water was low. Today the Norderhever is six to nine meters deep there.

Consideration was given to building a floodable dam from Pellworm to Nordstrand to reduce sand erosion. This plan is currently being pursued just as little as that of a navigable dam to the mainland.


Until the end of 2007, the administration building of the Pellworm Office was located in Torgensiel . In addition to Pellworm , the member communities are Gröde , Hooge and Langeneß . Since January 1, 2008, the office and thus also the associated communities have been administered by the city of Husum as part of an administrative community . There is a branch office of the administration in Torgensiel.


The meaning of the island name has not been conclusively clarified. The first syllable Pell probably goes back to the proper name Pille or Pilla . It would also be possible to originate from the Frisian pèal (≈peilen), from the Anglic and Old Norse belt (≈gurb, strait), from the Frisian pule (≈pole as a sea mark on a beach) or from the Anglish pól (≈pfuhl, swamp, Frisian: peil ). The second syllable worm is a Low German translation of the Frisian werrem , which describes a land or a rise on the water. The Frisian origin is still recognizable today in the North Frisian name of the island Polweerm . The island name could therefore be translated as Pillas Waterland . With regard to the uncertainty of the origin of the first syllable, however, other interpretations are also possible (such as bearing height , land on the water belt or swamp surrounded by water ). In folk etymology, the island name was associated with a woman Pelle and her daughter Worm .


Probably since the eighth century, at the latest around the year 1000, the Frisians migrated from the area around the mouth of the Rhine into the North Frisian island world and thus also reached Pellworm. Over the years, the composition of the island's population has changed several times due to emigration and immigration and the rule “If you don't want to dike, you have to give way” ; none of the families living on Pellworm today came to the island before the 18th century. There are currently 650 households on Pellworm; the number has long been falling.

The population of Pellworm is predominantly Evangelical Lutheran . There are two churches for the Evangelical Lutheran population: the Old Church (St. Salvator) in the west on the dike and the New Church in the middle of the island. The Anton-Heimreich -Haus is the parish hall of the Evangelical Lutheran congregation. The Momme-Nissen -Haus is the parish hall of the Roman Catholic community. Regular trade fairs take place there.

Today, in Pellworm, as in most of the rural regions of Schleswig-Holstein, the colloquial language of the islanders is mostly Low German ; communication in standard German is possible without any problems. North Frisian was still spoken on Pellworm until the late 18th century , which, like on Nordstrand, was spoken in the dialect of Strander Frisian . With the immigration of numerous new settlers from the Netherlands and southern Germany, Frisian was abandoned towards the end of the 18th century, so that Strander Frisian, together with Eiderstedter Frisian, is now considered to be extinct. Only a few traces of Frisian have survived in Pellworm Low German.

In recent years there has been a significant demographic change on the island due to aging. More and more properties are for sale or have already been sold to non-residents. Since they often do not move to Pellworm, but often rent the houses to holiday guests, the number of islanders and farms is decreasing, while the average size of the remaining farms is growing.

Economy and Infrastructure


In addition to tourism, which is particularly dominant in the summer months, agriculture is an important economic factor for the island. Despite the importance of tourism for the island, Pellworm is far less influenced by tourism than Amrum or Sylt, for example .

The use of renewable energies is an important branch of industry for the municipality of Pellworm . There are numerous wind power plants in the community , the Pellworm hybrid power plant built in 1983 and a biogas plant . The SmartRegion Pellworm project of the energy supplier E.ON ran from 2015 to 2017 , funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy . This was to show that an area can be completely supplied by renewable energies.


On Pellworm you will find a basic supply. There are grocery stores in Tammeniel and on Nordermitteldeich. The latter also has a small selection of clothing and shoes. There are also small clothing stores in Torgensiel. There were bakeries in Tilli and T Bäumeniel until autumn 2011, now only in Torgensiel. There is also a gas station, a car workshop, a carpentry shop, a goldsmith's shop, two pottery shops and a few other small craft businesses. Several fishermen have their home port in Tammeniel; the cutters especially catch North Sea prawns, which are usually referred to as "crabs".

There are numerous restaurants and snack bars on the island. There are also some souvenir shops in Tammeniel. The island's only ATM is now at a bank branch at the port.

There are also two riding stables, a recording studio and the DRK Center for Health and Family (formerly the mother-child health clinic ).


The old ferry terminal in Tammeniel
Fishing cutter in the port of Torgensiel
Pellworm lighthouse

Pellworm is connected to the mainland by a regular ferry service operated by the Neue Pellwormer Dampfschiffahrtsgesellschaft (NPDG) via Strucklahnungshörn on the north beach. The ferry also transports vehicles to the island. Since the construction of the deep-water jetty in front of T Bäumeniel (1992), the ferry jetty can be called regardless of the tide , so that ferry traffic is possible according to a regular schedule.

In addition, in the southeast of Pellworm there is the port of T Bäumeniel, which is also used to drain the marsh island when the water is low. Tammeniel is used as a fishing port for the Pellworm shrimp cutters and is also used by pleasure boats. For the latter, it offers the only waste disposal facility in the area. When the water level is high, the ferries from Nordstrand occasionally call at this port.

The Pellworm lighthouse is very similar to the Hörnum lighthouse in terms of base, tower shaft and lantern house , but slightly higher than it. The paintwork is also almost the same, the only difference being two rows of portholes in the middle, white painted tower segment, in Hörnum there is one row. The beacon has a range of 15.9 to 22.3 nautical miles and marks a part of the Norderhever fairway . The two cross- brand lights show course change points in the Norderhever and the Süderaue .

There is a well-developed road network and a few bike paths on the island. The volume of traffic on most roads is so low that bike paths are not necessary.

The bus line 1091 of the N.P.DG., which runs round the island, ensures public transport , on holidays it runs as an on-call bus. Further trips run daily from Tammeniel to the ferry terminal, also on holidays.

A small airport is suitable for private planes up to two tons. In the summer months, a small ship sails from the Hooger ferry in the north-west of the island to Hallig Hooge almost every day . Excursions to the Norderoogsand and the seal banks are also offered from there.

Medical supplies

The island is cared for by a general medical practice (near the spa center near the harbor in T Bäumeniel) and a veterinarian. Dental care is not available. There is a pharmacy right next to the doctor's office. For medical emergencies on the island, an ambulance and an emergency doctor, which is provided by the local doctors, are available 24 hours a day. A helicopter is also available at the Niebüll Clinic, which can reach Pellworm within minutes.

Public facilities

There is a police station with a policeman in Tammeniel. The island has a community school with elementary school (the Hermann Neuton Paulsen School ) for 95 pupils (as of 2015). These are taught by eleven teachers in six partially multi-year classes.

At the Kaydeich there is a leisure hall with a cinema, mini golf, tennis and table tennis. Cultural events for children and adults also take place there at irregular intervals. Pellworm also has a leisure pool near the harbor - the PelleWelle .

Culture and sights

In the Rungholt Museum Bahnsen , the experienced local researcher Hellmut Bahnsen has been presenting finds from the mudflats since 1980. The Wattenmuseum Liermann am Schütting exhibits the finds from 50 years of mail by the Hallig postman Heinrich Liermann. In the island museum on the top floor of the spa administration in T Bäumeniel, the history of the island is presented with a focus on building dikes.

The Pellworm lighthouse from 1906 in the south of the island can be visited. The 38 meter high tower rests on oak piles 127 to 14 meters deep and weighs 130 tons. There is a registry office on the lighthouse - when it opened it was the first German registry office on a lighthouse.

Old church

The tower ruins of the old church are considered the island's landmark . The tiled tower of this medieval "Friesendome" collapsed to a large extent in 1611 because the soft mud flats could not take its weight. The preserved hull rises 26 meters, the original structure was at least twice as high. Kestrels regularly nest in the ruins of the tower . According to legend, the tower is said to have served the pirate Cord Widderich as a hiding place from which he went on a raid. When he finally gave up his base, he is said to have taken, among other things, the baptismal font of the Pellworm Church, which is now in St. Clemens in Büsum . The memorial stone for the crew of the Ormen Friske is also located near the tower ruins . In the old church, which was renovated in the 2000s, is the only Schnitger organ from the organ builder Arp Schnitger that has survived in Schleswig-Holstein . It dates from 1711 and is so famous for its sound that organists from numerous countries travel to Pellworm to record records and CDs. Concerts are held on Wednesdays throughout the summer.

The Nordermühle is a one-story gallery Dutch built in 1777 with a continuous octagonal stand, sail wings and codend in the Norderkoog. The canopy is fixed, the wings are windable, but the facility is no longer there. After the restoration from 1995 to 2008, the mill was used as a restaurant, after the renovation in 2009 it is divided into three holiday apartments.

The Pellworm hybrid power plant was gradually expanded and is now used as an excursion destination and demonstration power plant with a visitor center.

In the northeast of the island there is an easily accessible bird bunk , which is designated as a nature reserve. It has the only wood on the island and is no longer used for hunting.

Due to the isolation and lack of work in winter, a special Skat culture has developed on the island: Many residents play skat during the winter months. Often there are tournaments lasting several days. The price skating games, which are often held in summer, are suspended.

Another attraction is the Hafen Pub in Pellworm, which became well-known throughout Germany in 2014 when it was mentioned in Stefan Raab's TV show TV . Raab, who actually wanted to call Mayor Jürgen Feddersen and wanted to inquire about the telephone network on the island that had failed a few days earlier, did not reach him and called the Hafen Pub , where he reached its owner Arno Thomsen. After talking Raab called his audience to review the Facebook to side of the pub liken . From 74 likes, the likes increased in a short time to over 150,000 likes and later to over 200,000 likes. The Port Pub has since the restaurant with the most Likes on Facebook before the Hofbrauhaus in Munich and the Hard Rock Café in New York . The pub was featured on TV totally later when Raab's then sidekick Elton visited Pellworm.



Web links

Commons : Pellworm  - Collection of Images
Wikivoyage: Pellworm  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hans Peter Duerr: Rungholt. The search for a sunken city. Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt 2005, ISBN 978-3-458-17274-1 .
  2. Divine tears in the watt. In: Der Spiegel 49/2006.
  3. ^ "North Friesland - then and now", Ingenieurbüro Strunk-Husum, printed by Bogdan Gisevius, Berlin West (with maps of North Friesland around 1240, 1634 and today, which the Husum cartographer Johannes Mejer created in 1649).
  4. Lars Amenda: “People without space create space”. Racial policy and propaganda in the National Socialist land reclamation project on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein. In: Informations zur Schleswig-Holsteinische Zeitgeschichte, 45 (2005), pp. 4–31 (PDF; 223 kB) Accessed: December 28, 2008.
  5. ^ Heinrich Hansen: Pellworm Chronicle . Julius Bergas (print), Schleswig 1917, p. 61 .
  6. Intelligent power supply on Pellworm on
  7. Ulrich Metschies: Pellworm: An island makes itself independent. In: Kieler Nachrichten of July 4, 2017, accessed on August 4, 2017.
  8. history of the island at , accessed on August 28, 2015
  9. ^ Rescue service supply of the island by the district of North Friesland .
  10. Husum has a hospital, but has not been an RTH location since the end of 2013. Pellworm has since been supplied from Niebüll (Christoph Europa 5), ​​if necessary from Rendsburg (Christoph 42), see map .
  11. ^ Astrid Paulsen, Ulrike Looft-Gaude: The black leaders Hamburg - Schleswig-Holstein. Eulen Verlag, Ettenheim 1998, ISBN 3-89102-426-6 , p. 154.
  12. TV total: Call to Pellworm on YouTube
  13. TV total: Most popular: The Harbor Pub on Pellworm on YouTube
  14. Michael Burner: After Raab campaign on TV Total: Hafen Pub on Pellworm breaks Facebook record. Abendzeitung München , December 2, 2014, accessed on February 13, 2019 .
  15. 185,000 likes thanks to Stefan Raab - Pub on Pellworm becomes the most popular restaurant on Facebook. , November 2, 2014, accessed on February 13, 2019 .
  16. Call from Stefan Raab to TV Total - Hafen Pub Pellworm is a hit on Facebook. Welt Online , December 1, 2014, accessed February 13, 2019 .
  17. Facebook page of the Hafen Pub Pellworm
  18. Facebook page of the Hofbräuhaus Munich
  19. Facebook page of the Hard Rock Café New York
  20. ^ TV total: Elton visits the Hafen Pub on Pellworm on YouTube