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Krummhörn municipality
Coat of arms of Pilsum
Coordinates: 53 ° 28 ′ 58 ″  N , 7 ° 3 ′ 46 ″  E
Height : 5.5 m above sea level NN
Area : 10.81 km²
Residents : 537  (December 31, 2012)
Population density : 50 inhabitants / km²
Incorporation : July 1, 1972
Postal code : 26736
Area code : 04926
Card of the Krummhörn

Pilsum is a village in the East Frisian municipality of Krummhörn , Lower Saxony. It is located two kilometers from the North Sea between the towns of Greetsiel and Manslagt directly on Kreisstraße 33.

The area of ​​the village covers 1081 hectares. Pilsum has 537 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2012).


The name Pilsum is derived from Pyleshem . This name has been attested since the 12th century and means "place of residence ( hem = home ) of the Pyl". Secure data and facts about the person who gave it its name are not yet available.

In earlier times, Pilsum was the seat of the Frisian chiefs. The old Beningaburg, the seat of the former chief Affo Beninga , was destroyed in 1407 by armed hamburgers because Affo maintained friendly contacts with the Vitalien brothers under Klaus Störtebeker . The rule of Pilsum fell to the East Frisian counts of Cirksena through succession in the 15th century .

In 1744 Pilsum fell to Prussia, like all of East Frisia . In 1756 the Prussian officials compiled a statistical trade survey for East Friesland. In that year there were 47 merchants and craftsmen in Pilsum, making the place, after the town of Greetsiel, by far the most heavily occupied by merchants and craftsmen in the Krummhörn: Of the total of 245 merchants and craftsmen in the Greetmer Office (the northern Krummhörn without Greetsiel ) was almost a fifth in Pilsum. 14 linen weavers, nine shoemakers and five bakers on site alone accounted for a large share of this number. There were also four tailors, three carpenters and bricklayers, two cooper and one glazier, blacksmith and barber each. Of the four merchants, three traded in salt, soap and spices, the fourth in cheese and butter.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, Pilsum enjoyed considerable economic activity. There were pharmacists, blacksmiths, bakers, a surgeon, barrel and glassmakers, carpenters, carters, shoemakers, tailors and weavers, a brewery with a well, as well as inns and restaurants.

In the course of the Hanoverian office reform in 1859, the Greetsiel office was dissolved and added to the Emden office, Pilsum has belonged to the latter since then. During the Prussian district reform of 1885 , the Emden district was formed from the Emden district , to which Pilsum then belonged.

Peat, which was mostly extracted in the East Frisian Fehnen , played an important role as heating material for the inhabitants of the Krummhörn for centuries . The peat ships brought the material on the East Frisian canal network to the Krummhörn villages, including to Pilsum. On their way back into the Fehnsiedlungen the Torfschiffer often took clay soil from the march and the manure of cattle with which they their home were dug fertilized land.


Until the municipal reform , Pilsum was an independent municipality that was affiliated with the Greetsiel municipality . After that, on July 1, 1972, Pilsum became part of the political municipality of Krummhörn with its seat in Pewsum .


Pilsumer Kreuzkirche St. Stephanus

92 percent of the population belong to the Evangelical Reformed Church , two percent are Catholic , the rest belong to other denominations (e.g. Evangelical Free Churches / Baptists ) or are non-denominational.

In the 15th century, Pilsum was still part of the Münster diocese. The parish was subordinate to the provost church in Uttum . In connection with the reformatory changes, the reformer Andreas Karlstadt , once a collaborator of Luther, preached in Pilsum in 1529. The other surrounding communities and also the city of Norden gave the reformer a ban on the pulpit.

The single-nave cruciform church in Pilsum with the mighty crossing tower has always played an important role as a navigation mark. The transept consists of three square bays, plus the choir bay with a semicircular apse in the east. The flat-roofed nave, i.e. the main room, is probably the oldest component. The crossing vault with eight bulbous ribs is particularly pronounced. Remnants of biblical wall paintings have also been preserved.

The organ of the Pilsum Kreuzkirche , built in 1694 by Valentin Ulrich Grotian , is of particular importance .

Culture and sights

Theaters and museums

  • A Pilsumer Gulfhof was used as a theater until a few years ago. Musicals were performed that deal with the past and present of East Frisia. This also includes a musical that deals with the emigration of the East Frisians to the USA. After the performances in the summers of 1994 and 1995 in Pilsum, this musical with the title “Achter de Sünn an” was performed in autumn 1995 by the 134-member ensemble as part of a tour of two venues in Iowa / USA.


Church tower in Pilsum
  • Pilsum is a round village and is located on an artificially created terp . It can still be seen today that the terp village was once located on a bay that stretched as far as Marienhafe .
  • Structurally, Pilsum is characterized by numerous large Gulf farms and small, often tiny farm workers and craftsmen's houses. A network of winding streets runs through the place.
  • In the center of the village is the cruciform church from the 12th century , which is dedicated to St. Stephen . It is characterized by the fact that the tower - resting on crossing pillars - stands in the middle of the church. This type of construction suggests Norman influence. In the feuds of the Likedeeler ( vitality brothers ), the tower served as an observation point. It was also used as a navigation mark or landmark because of its height. The baptismal font , cast by the bell caster Hinrich Klinghe in 1469, is a special treasure. Valentin Ulrich Grotian built an organ in 1694 that has largely been preserved in its original form.
Pilsum lighthouse
  • In the district of Pilsum there is also an iron lighthouse from the 19th century. It has a height of 13 meters; its foundations are built into the dike. It has a red and yellow striped paint and is known from advertising for a well-known northwest German beer brand as well as from the film Otto - Der Ausserfriesische , in which it serves as the fictional residence of the main actor. In 2003 the tower also served as the backdrop for the crime scene crime thriller “Sun and Storm” with Maria Furtwängler . Since 2004 it has also been used for civil weddings.

Economy and Infrastructure


Pilsum seen from the Pilsum lighthouse
Pilsum wind farm

Until 1974, a larger brick factory was located in Pilsum, the buildings of which are still clearly visible as ruins a little outside the village on the road towards Greetsiel. The brickworks had its own rail connection to the circular path. According to earlier plans, a hotel was to be built on the site of the brickworks.

The Pilsum wind farm is located between the North Sea dike and the village and consists of six Enercon E-40 wind turbines . This is considered to be the first wind energy park in Germany and when it opened in 1989 consisted of ten Enercon E-32 wind turbines. The operator is EWE AG .


In 1989, Pilsum, especially the Pilsum lighthouse , served as the location for the Otto Waalkes film Otto - Der Ausserfriesische .


For centuries, the natural depths and drainage canals that run through East Friesland in a dense network were also the most important means of transport for Pilsum. Not only the villages but also many farms were connected to the city of Emden and the port of Greetsiel via ditches and canals. The boat traffic with Emden was particularly important. Village boatmen took over the supply of goods from the city and delivered agricultural products in the opposite direction: “From the Sielhafenort, smaller ships, so-called Loog ships, transported the cargo to the inland and supplied the marsh villages (loog = village). The loog ships from the Krummhörn enlivened the canals of the city of Emden until the 20th century. "

From 1906 until the end of operations in 1963, Pilsum was a train station on the Emden – Pewsum – Greetsiel railway . One of the steam locomotives on the circuit was called Pilsum. The former station building is now used as a residential building and houses a small restaurant.

Today Pilsum can be reached with line 421 of the Weser-Ems bus .


The writer Wilhelm Raabe mentions Pilsum several times in his 1874 story Frau Salome .


Web links

Commons : Pilsum  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl Heinrich Kaufhold ; Uwe Wallbaum (Ed.): Historical statistics of the Prussian province of East Friesland (sources on the history of East Friesland, Volume 16), Verlag Ostfriesische Landschaft, Aurich 1998, ISBN 3-932206-08-8 , p. 387.
  2. Pilsumer Ortschronik the East Frisian Landscape (PDF; 721 kB)
  3. Ordinance on the reorganization of administrative offices 1859. pp. 675f., Accessed on May 21, 2013.
  4. ^ Gunther Hummerich: The peat shipping of the Fehntjer in Emden and the Krummhörn in the 19th and 20th centuries. In: Emder Yearbook for Historical Regional Studies in Ostfriesland , Volume 88/89 (2008/2009), pp. 142–173, here p. 163.
  5. ^ Federal Statistical Office (ed.): Historical municipality directory for the Federal Republic of Germany. Name, border and key number changes in municipalities, counties and administrative districts from May 27, 1970 to December 31, 1982 . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1 , p. 263 f .
  6. ^ East Frisical in Iowa . In: Der Spiegel . No. 19 , 1995, p. 217 ( online - May 8, 1995 ).
  7. Ländliche Akademie Krummhörn: "Achter de Sünn an" ( Memento of the original from March 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.lak.de
  8. ^ Ostfriesen-Zeitung: Hotel will not be built for the time being
  9. ^ Harm Wiemann / Johannes Engelmann: Old streets and ways in East Frisia . Self-published, Pewsum 1974, p. 169 (East Frisia in the protection of the dyke; 8)
  10. Michael Schenk: The Emsland route: The railway between Münster and the North Sea . ISBN 3-86680-634-5 . P. 80
  11. ^ Andreas Bodenstein, called Karlstadt ; in: Biographical Lexicon of the East Frisian Landscape (PDF; 105 kB); accessed on September 3, 2012.