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Westerland ( da, Vesterland; ''Söl'ring'' North Frisian: ''Weesterlön’'') is a
seaside resort A seaside resort is a town A town is a human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, an ...
and a former municipality located on the
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...

German
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 ...

Sylt
. Since 1 January 2009, Westerland has been part of the municipality '' Gemeinde Sylt''. Westerland is part of the
Nordfriesland Nordfriesland ( da, Nordfrisland, en, North Frisia, frr, Nordfraschlönj) is the northernmost district of Germany, part of the state of Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein () is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany The ...
district in
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 , la ...

Schleswig-Holstein
. It is the largest resort on the island, the local transportation hub and the centre of Sylt's tourist industry.


History

Westerland is partly one of the younger settlements on the 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 ...

Sylt
. After the
All Saints' Day Flood of 1436 The All Saints Day Flood of 1436 (german: link=no, Allerheiligenflut) on All Saints' Day (1 November) in 1436 was a storm tide that hit the entire North Sea coast of the German Bight. In the North Frisian village of Tetenbüll alone 180 people die ...
had destroyed the biggest part of the community of
Eidum Eidum or Eydum ( da, Ejdum, North Frisian language, North Frisian: ''Eidem'') was a historic place on the Germany, German (former: Danish) island of Sylt in the North Sea. It was several hundred metres west of the present coast line of the present- ...
(except for the area that is today called ''Enden and the Church''), the survivors built a new community to the northeast on a
heath A heath () is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant species within a designated geographical unit, which forms a relative ...
. The new settlement was called ''Hedigen'' (heath area). In the 16th. century most of the people on Sylt were involved in the hunting of
Herring Herring are forage fish Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small pelagic fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish fee ...

Herring
near
Heligoland Heligoland (; german: link=no, Helgoland ; Heligolandic Frisian: ''deät Lun'', , Mooring Frisian: ''Hålilönj,'' Danish: ''Helgoland'') is a small archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, i ...
, Westerland was no exception. The Old Church of
Eidum Eidum or Eydum ( da, Ejdum, North Frisian language, North Frisian: ''Eidem'') was a historic place on the Germany, German (former: Danish) island of Sylt in the North Sea. It was several hundred metres west of the present coast line of the present- ...
St. Niels was demolished in 1634, mainly due to a particularly bad stench, and rebuild in the heath area, far away from the sea, in 1636. ''Westerlant'' (probably an old field name used by the people of
Tinnum Tinnum (North Frisian: ''Tinem'') is a village on the North Sea island of Sylt in the district of Nordfriesland in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Today, it is an ''Ortsteil'' of the ''Sylt (municipality), Gemeinde Sylt''. Etymology The meaning of T ...
) had its first documentary mention in 1462. In 1636 there were 43 and in 1695 76 taxable houses. The village grew rapidly during the 17th and 18th centuries because people experienced a great increase in wealth thanks to
whaling Whaling is the process of hunting of whales for their usable products such as Whale meat, meat and blubber, which can be turned into Whale oil, a type of oil that became increasingly important in the Industrial Revolution. It was practiced as ...

whaling
. Previously, people had only lived from the sea and what little their fields could provide (they were often destroyed by the wandering dunes or flooding). In 1855, the local ''
Landvogt A ''Vogt'' (plural ''Vögte'') was a title and office in the Old Swiss Confederacy, inherited from the feudal system of the Holy Roman Empire, corresponding to the English ''Reeve (England), reeve''. The German term ''Vogtei'' is ultimately a lo ...

Landvogt
'' decided to turn Westerland into a seaside resort. After 1857, the minor village centred on a church began to grow into a larger resort. That year the first hotel opened - the ''Dünenhalle''. Many others followed, although a number of them have since been torn down to make room for different structures. In 1880, the first solid building was erected on the dunes right at the beach. Electricity was available from 1893. In 1897, a telephone cable to the mainland was laid. In 1888, the ''Kurhalle'' was inaugurated, followed in 1903 by the
art nouveau Art Nouveau (; ) is an international style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style, the features that make a building or structure historically identifiable * Design, the process of creating som ...
hotel ''Miramar'', which still stands on the promenade today. In the 1890s, Westerland replaced
Keitum Keitum (Danish: ''Kejtum'', North Frisian: ''Kairem'') is a village 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 ...

Keitum
as the preeminent town on Sylt, not just for tourists but also regarding infrastructure and facilities used by the locals. This was illustrated by the move, in 1892, of the island's only
pharmacy Pharmacy is the clinical health science The following Outline (list), outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to health sciences: Health sciences – are those sciences which focus on health, or health care, as core p ...

pharmacy
from Keitum to Westerland. In 1908, a building for spa applications was built (''Kurmittelhaus''). The original airfield (now
Sylt Airport Sylt Airport is the airport on the Germany, German island of Sylt located in Sylt (municipality), the municipality of the same name. It mostly features summer seasonal scheduled traffic to major German cities as well as general aviation and glidin ...

Sylt Airport
) was constructed in 1912. Due to the military fortification of the island under the Nazis, the town's population increased from 4,000 in 1934 to 7,700 by 1940. In 1948 came official recognition as a seaside
spa town A spa town is a resort town based on a mineral spa (a developed mineral spring). Patrons visit spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word ''spa'' is derived from the name of Spa, Belgium, Spa, a town in Belgium. ...
(''Nordseeheilbad''). The concrete highrises that today dominate the Westerland skyline (and are visible from many places on Sylt) were built in 1966-68 (''Kurzentrum'', ''Metropol''). Another, even more gargantuan, development project named ' was stopped in 1971 after protests by locals.


Geography

Westerland is located on the western shore of the 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 ...

Sylt
on the North Sea. It lies 70 km northwest of
Husum Husum (, frr, Hüsem) is the capital of the ''Kreis'' (district) Nordfriesland island in the mudflat at low tide Nordfriesland ( da, Nordfrisland, en, North Frisia, frr, Nordfraschlönj) is the northernmost Districts of Germany, district ...
, 74 km west of
Flensburg Flensburg (; Danish language, Danish, Northern Low Saxon, Low Saxon: ''Flensborg''; North Frisian language, North Frisian: ''Flansborj''; South Jutlandic: ''Flensborre'') is an independent city, independent town (''kreisfreie Stadt'') in the nor ...

Flensburg
, 134 km northwest of
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 ...

Kiel
and 186 km northwest of
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central (CET) , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central (CEST) , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_code_type = Post ...

Hamburg
. Westerland used to be
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
's northernmost town. Only the smaller communities of
List A ''list'' is any set of items. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname)List or Liste is a European surname. Notable people with the surname include: List * Friedrich List (1789–1846), German economist * Garrett List (194 ...
, Wenningstedt and Kampen – none being incorporated towns – lie farther north in Germany. However, with the merger to ''Gemeinde Sylt'' in 2009 Westerland gave up its status as ''Stadt'' (see Government).


Economy

Westerland's economy is strongly oriented towards the island's
tourism Tourism is travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...

tourism
industry. Recently it had 2.5 million overnight stays annually in around 25,000 beds. There are roughly 1,300 tradespersons in town, accounting for an annual tax income of around €500 per inhabitant. In the town's south end near
Rantum Rantum (Sölring Frisian: Raantem) is a village and a former municipality on the island of Sylt in the district of Nordfriesland, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Since 1 January 2009, it has been an ''Ortsteil'' (part) of the municipality Sylt (mu ...

Rantum
is a
campground A campsite or camping pitch is a place used for overnight stay in an outdoor area. In UK English, a ''campsite'' is an area, usually divided into a number of pitches, where people can camp overnight using tent A tent () is a Shelter (buildi ...

campground
. Westerland is the central hub for supply, retailing, and numerous services that provide for the inhabitants and visitors on the island of Sylt. Thanks to its affluent, glamorous lifestyle and thriving tourism industry, Westerland, has been called the "Beverly Hills" of Germany.


Attractions

The major attraction at Westerland is the beach and the 6-kilometre-long promenade with its ''Musikmuschel'' music pavilion. During the season, 4,000 '''' are placed on the beach. Westerland today has 30 listed historic buildings and another 150 that are considered of special historic or architectural value. These include the ''Kurhaus'' from 1897, now housing the municipal administration and a casino. Westerland features numerous sculptures, e.g. in the pedestrian zone such as ''Wilhelmine'' (Wilhelmsstrasse) or ''Sturmbläser'' and ''Europa'' on the promenade. Near the train station ''Reisende Riesen im Wind'' (by ) was created in 2001. The ', which used to stand in front of the old town hall, was in storage from 1964 to 1993, but since then has stood in the centre of a roundabout. Westerland has three churches: * '''', Protestant church, built in 1635-37. * ', Protestant church, consecrated in 1908. * ', Roman Catholic church, built in 1997-99 to replace the previous structure dating from 1957. Prior to that, the ''Herz-Jesu-Kapelle'' (built in 1896) had stood in that location. Nearby is the ', a small cemetery for victims of shipwrecks washed ashore between 1855 and 1905. ''Sylter Welle'' was opened in 1993 as a spa and wellness centre, with indoor pool and sauna. is a small
aquarium An aquarium (plural: ''aquariums'' or ''aquaria'') is a vivarium Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona A vivarium (Latin, literally for "place of life"; plural: ''vivaria'' or ''vivariums'') is an area, usually enclosed, for keeping and raisi ...

aquarium
in the south of Westerland.


Government

On 1 January 2009, Westerland became part of the new municipality ''Gemeinde Sylt'' created by the merger of the town with the former municipalities
Rantum Rantum (Sölring Frisian: Raantem) is a village and a former municipality on the island of Sylt in the district of Nordfriesland, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Since 1 January 2009, it has been an ''Ortsteil'' (part) of the municipality Sylt (mu ...

Rantum
and
Sylt-Ost Sylt-Ost (translated, East Sylt) is a former municipality on the 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 t ...
. The debate on this move had started in 2003 when a similar merger happened on
Fehmarn Fehmarn () ( da, Femern) is an island in the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical an ...

Fehmarn
. However, local rivalries and desire for independence prevented progress for a time. It took the foundation of a citizens' movement ''Bürger für Sylt als Einheit'' to advance the plan. In separate referendums in 2008, Westerland (by a large majority) and Sylt-Ost (narrowly) agreed to the merger in May 2008. Rantum followed, but List, Kampen, Wenningstedt-Braderup and Hörnum remained aloof. In September 2008 the merger contract was signed. Although Westerland used to have the status of ''Stadt'' (city, awarded in 1905), the new municipality so far refrained from applying for this status. One reason is that the ''Ortsteile'' do not want to advertise their tourism services as simple suburbs (''Stadtteile''). As a result of this change, the coat of arms of Westerland was cancelled. Westerland is now an ''Ortsteil'' of ''Gemeinde Sylt''. Since 1 May 2015, the mayor of ''Gemeinde Sylt'' has been Nikolas Häckel. ''Gemeinde Sylt'' shares its administration in a ' with the ''Amt Landschaft Sylt'', located in the townhall of Westerland - the former ''Kurhaus'', built in 1897.


Infrastructure


Transport

Sylt, and thereby also Westerland, cannot be reached by road from the mainland. Instead, there is a shuttle train that carries cars, the ''Sylt-Shuttle'', that runs between Niebüll and Westerland. The railway line, called the
Marsh Railway The Marsh Railway (german: Marschbahn) is a main line (railway), main line in the state of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany that links the stations of Elmshorn station, Elmshorn in the south and Westerland, Germany, Westerland on the Sylt, island of ...
(''Marschbahn''), runs across the 11.3 km-long
Hindenburgdamm The Hindenburgdamm or Hindenburg Dam is an 11 km-long causeway joining the North Frisian Islands, North Frisian island of Sylt to mainland Schleswig-Holstein. Its coordinates are . It was opened on 1 June 1927 and is exclusively a railway ...

Hindenburgdamm
, a
causeway A causeway is a track, road or railway on the upper point of an embankment (earthworks), embankment across "a low, or wet place, or piece of water". It can be constructed of earth, masonry, wood, or concrete. One of the earliest known wooden c ...

causeway
across 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 The intertidal zone, also known as the foreshore or seashore, is the area above wate ...

Wadden Sea
joining Sylt to the mainland.
Passenger train A passenger train is a train In rail transport Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are located on tracks. In contrast to road ...
s, both local and long-distance, also serve Westerland, reaching it across the causeway. Westerland can also be reached by air through
Sylt Airport Sylt Airport is the airport on the Germany, German island of Sylt located in Sylt (municipality), the municipality of the same name. It mostly features summer seasonal scheduled traffic to major German cities as well as general aviation and glidin ...

Sylt Airport
, and by from the nearby
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...

Danish
island of Rømø.


Other

T-Systems T-Systems International GmbH (T-Systems in short) is an internationally operating service providerA service provider (SP) provides organizations with consulting, legal, real estate, communications, storage, processing. Although a service provider ...
operates the ', a 90-metre radio mast located in the middle of the town.


Notable people

* Uwe Dallmeier (born 27 August 1923 in Dithmarschen; died 19 November 1985), actor, died here at his residence. *
Heinz Reinefarth Heinz Reinefarth, 26 December 1903 – 7 May 1979) was a German SS commander during World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It i ...

Heinz Reinefarth
, a former SS ''
Brigadeführer ''Brigadeführer'' (, ) was a paramilitary Military rank, rank of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) that was used between the years of 1932 to 1945. It was mainly known for its use as an SS rank. As an SA rank, it was used after briefly being known as ''Un ...
'', who became mayor of Westerland in December 1951. Reinefarth was one of the officers who quelled the
Warsaw Uprising The Warsaw Uprising ( pl, powstanie warszawskie; german: Warschauer Aufstand) was a major World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war Wa ...

Warsaw Uprising
in 1944 on the orders of
Heinrich Himmler Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (; 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was of the (Protection Squadron; SS), and a leading member of the Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationa ...
. Although Reinefarth's unit was responsible for the killing of thousands of civilians and the Polish authorities asked for his extradition, he was never charged with these atrocities. He died at Westerland in 1979.


Trivia

*
A song ''A Song'' is an in-studio album containing the works of American pop star Neil Sedaka. It was produced by George Martin and released in 1977 on the Elektra Records, Elektra label in the US, marking the beginning of Sedaka's association with Elekt ...
by the German
punk Punk or punks may refer to: Genres, subculture, and related aspects * Punk rock Punk rock (or simply punk) is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arrangin ...
band ''
Die Ärzte Die Ärzte (; ) is a German rock band from Berlin. The band has released 14 studio albums. The group consists of guitarist Farin Urlaub, drummer Bela B and bass player Rodrigo González (musician), Rodrigo González. All three write and perfor ...

Die Ärzte
'' is named after Westerland.


References


External links


Official website of the municipality ''Gemeinde Sylt''Information for tourists
{{Authority control Villages in Schleswig-Holstein Seaside resorts in Germany Former municipalities in Schleswig-Holstein Sylt