List auf Sylt (known as List until 31 December 2008
Statistisches Bundesamt The Federal Statistical Office (german: Statistisches Bundesamt, shortened ''Destatis'') is a federal authority of Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after ...

Statistisches Bundesamt
) is the northernmost municipality in
Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...

, located on the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
island of
Sylt Sylt (; da, Sild; Söl'ring North Frisian: ''Söl'') is an island in northern Germany, part of Nordfriesland district, Schleswig-Holstein, and well known for the distinctive shape of its shoreline. It belongs to the North Frisian Islands and i ...

close to
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the most populous and politically central Constituent state, constituent of the Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark, da, Kongeriget Danmark, a constitutio ...

in the district of
Nordfriesland island in the mudflat at low tide Nordfriesland ( da, Nordfrisland, en, North Frisia, frr, Nordfraschlönj) is the northernmost Districts of Germany, district of Germany, part of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. It includes almost all of trad ...
in the state of
Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein () is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany The Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , lan ...



List derived from the
Middle Low German ''Der Keyserliken Stadt Lübeck Christlike Ordeninge/ tho denste dem hilgen Evangelio/ Christliker leve/ tucht/ frede unde enicheyt/ vor de yöget yn eyner guden Schole tho lerende. Unde de Kercken denere und rechten armen Christlick tho vorsorge ...
''Liste'' (ledge, bar or edge).


List was originally a Danish settlement. It was first mentioned in 1292 (''Lystum''). The original village was destroyed by the great flood of 1364. The settlement was rebuilt further east from the previous location. In the mid-15th century, a church named St. Jürgen was mentioned. In a treaty of 1460, Schleswig and Holstein were linked to the Danish crown, but List remained part of the royal enclaves, small areas of the
Kingdom of Denmark The Danish Realm ( da, Danmarks Rige; fo, Danmarkar Ríki; kl, Danmarkip Naalagaaffik), officially the Kingdom of Denmark (; ; ), is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized governmen ...
situated within the Duchy of
Schleswig The Duchy of Schleswig ( da, Hertugdømmet Slesvig; german: Herzogtum Schleswig; Low German: ''Hartogdom Sleswig''; North Frisian language, North Frisian: ''Härtochduum Slaswik'') was a duchy in Southern Jutland (''Sønderjylland'') covering the ...
, but directly controlled by the Danish king. From the 16th century, the people of List mostly made a living from
Oyster farming Oyster farming is an aquaculture Aquaculture (less commonly spelled aquiculture), also known as aquafarming, is the farming of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, aquatic plants, algae, and other organisms. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater ...
, raising sheep and collecting and selling
gull Gulls, or colloquially seagulls, are seabirds of the family Laridae in the suborder Lari. They are most closely related to the terns (family Sternidae) and only distantly related to auks, Skimmer (bird), skimmers and even more distantly to wader ...

eggs. At the time, List was an important protective anchorage. In 1644, a Swedish-Dutch fleet of 26 ships commanded by Admiral Thijssen was attacked in the ''Lister Tief'' and defeated by Danish ships commanded by king
Christian IV of Denmark Christian IV (12 April 1577 – 28 February 1648) was King of Denmark The monarchy of Denmark is a constitutional political system, institution and a historic office of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Kingdom includes Denmark proper, as ...

Christian IV of Denmark
. The anchorage north of today's town was named Königshafen to honour this event. After the Danish-German war of 1864, List became part of
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

. In 1908, List had 13 houses and 70 inhabitants. The plebiscite of 1920 drew the border just north of List, with the next island (Rømø) being returned to Denmark. In
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, List became a naval air base. The first fortifications were constructed in 1914, followed by a hangar for naval planes. In 1927, a station of the ''
Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule The Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (DVS), German Air Transport School, was a covert military-training organization operating as a flying school in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coor ...
'' opened in List. This served both to train civilian pilots (for
Lufthansa Deutsche Lufthansa (), commonly shortened to Lufthansa, is the flag carrier and largest airline of which, when combined with its subsidiaries, is the second- in terms of passengers carried. The name of the former is derived from the German w ...

) as well as providing training for military purposes, officially forbidden by the
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government ...
. Much of today's town was built in the 1930s, when the Nazis expanded their military installations and added housing for military personnel. The current church of St. Jürgen was built. The population increased from 449 in 1933 to 3,000 by 1939, excluding military personnel. After the end of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
, the small town of List had to house around 2,000 displaced Germans, including 15 families from
Heligoland Heligoland (; german: link=no, Helgoland ; Heligolandic Frisian: ''deät Lun'', , Mooring Frisian: ''Hålilönj,'' Danish: ''Helgoland'') is a small archipelago in the North Sea. A part of the Germany, German state of Schleswig-Holstein sin ...

, occupied by the British. The hangar was dismantled and transported to
Kiel Kiel () is the capital and most populous city in the northern German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, ...

, where it became the ''Ostseehalle''. In 1955, the
Bundeswehr The ''Bundeswehr'' (, meaning literally: ''Federal Defence'') is the unified armed forces of and their civil administration and procurement authorities. The are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, since the states that matter ...
was established and the navy (Bundesmarine) returned to List. More recently, the military presence was withdrawn from the area, shifting the focus of List's economy more and more towards the tourist industry. The ' closed at the end of 2006, ending the long period in which the military had been a major influence and the town's largest employer.


List is the northernmost municipality of Germany, located at the northern part of the island of Sylt. The village is surrounded by dunes and
heath A heath () is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominance (ecology), dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, Herbaceous plant, herbs, and geophytes. Shrubland m ...

, most of them protected
nature reserves A nature reserve (also known as a natural reserve, wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or bioreserve, natural or nature preserve, or nature conservation area), is a protected area Protected areas or conservation areas are ...
. To the north of List is the "Ellenbogen", a peninsula in the shape of an elbow (hence its name). To the west is the only shifting sand
dune A dune is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the sc ...

in Germany. 7/8ths of the area is private property owned by a group of 30 descendants of the original landowners, first mentioned in 1608.


List has the ''Ortsteile'' Klappholtal, Mellhörn, Möwenberg, Süderheidertal and Westerheide.


Out of roughly 2,700 inhabitants, only around 1,600 are permanent residents, the remainder being owners of holiday homes.


The economy is dominated by tourism. List has been a designated ''Nordseebad'' since 1946. List is the location of the only commercial oyster farm in Germany.


The ''Erlebniszentrum Naturgewalten'', opened in 2009, features an exhibit on the powers of sea, wind and sand that have shaped the island as well as on local flora and fauna. In May 2017, a 35 meter high Ferris wheel was erected in the harbor for the 725th anniversary of the municipality of List.


Until 2004, List was ''amtsfrei'' but since then has been part of the '' Amt'' '' Landschaft Sylt'', a collective administrative body. The ''Bürgermeister'' (mayor) of List is Wolfgang Strenger.



There is a ferry from List to the Danish island of Rømø, active since 1963. One single road leads south to the island's main town of Westerland. List was connected to the rest of Sylt by the ''Sylter Nordbahn'' ( a narrow gauge railway) from 1908 to 1970, when it was discontinued. There are two lighthouses in the area, ' and '. These are the two northernmost lighthouses in Germany.


List has two
kindergarten Kindergarten (, ) is a preschool educational approach based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school. Such institutions were originally made in the late 18th ...

s: a German one, and a Danish one. List hosts a facility of the
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research The Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (German: ''Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung'') is located in Bremerhaven, Germany, and a member of the Helmholtz Association ...
that studies the
Wadden Sea The Wadden Sea ( nl, Waddenzee ; german: Wattenmeer; nds, Wattensee or ; da, Vadehavet; fy, Waadsee, longname=yes; frr, di Heef) is an intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocea ...

Wadden Sea

Notable people

Wolfgang von Gronau Hans Wolfgang von Gronau (25 February 1893 - 17 March 1977) was a Germany, German aviation pioneer. Biography Wolfgang von Gronau was born in Berlin in a family hailing from the ancient dynasty of the House of Berg. He was the son of artillery Gen ...
circumnavigated the globe in a
Dornier Do J The Dornier Do J ''Wal'' (" whale") is a twin-engine German flying boat of the 1920s designed by '' Dornier Flugzeugwerke''. The Do J was designated the Do 16 by the Reich Air Ministry (''RLM'') under its aircraft designation system of 1933. ...
in 1932, starting in List. * is the founder of a chain of restaurants that originated in List.


External links

''Amt Landschaft Sylt''Website of the ''Kurverwaltung List'' (tourist board)

''Erlebniszentrum Naturgewalten''
{{Authority control Denmark–Germany border crossings Sylt
Nordfriesland {{cat main Districts of Schleswig-Holstein North Frisia Wikipedia categories named after districts of Germany ...