3.3 Cross section Pellworm-Nordstrand
The Waldhusener Tief near Tammensiel with its low ground and irregular canal is actually a remnant of a disastrous dike breech. A duck decoy in the Üttermarkerkoog, from 1905, represents a modern, large-scale way of bird catching for sale, commonly used in the Wadden Sea area, at that time. The Bupheverkoog, in the north-east is the most recent polder and an example of Nazi land reclamation architecture, intended as a starting point for a connection to the mainland.
The marsh islands of Pellworm and
Nordstrand are divided by the deep tidal river of Norderhever that cut the
former island of Alt-Nordstrand in two and also allegedly destroyed the
legendary settlement of Rungholt during the catastrophic flood of 1362.
Many remains of former settlements, like traces of mounds and wells, can
still be seen on the mud flats.
Oldenbüll, church of St. Vinzenz
Remains of a dike in the Trendermarschkoog are outstanding traces of the medieval embankment of the former island Alt-Nordstrand. Throughout the island, several gates, so called “Stöpen”, cut through dikes in order to connect two separated polders. The church of St. Theresia, built in 1662, is an extant example of the Dutch influence on this island till the 19th century, when investors and people from Holland had been summoned there, after the big flood, in order to rebuild the dikes and regain the submerged land. The status and appearance of Nordstrand had changed considerably, when the construction of the Beltringharder Koog was finished in 1987, which transformed the island into a peninsular. This huge polder is almost exclusively used as nature sanctuary and for collecting the water from the hinterland.
Waldhusener Tief near Tammensiel
The geest cliff at Schobüll is the only strip along the western coast of Schleswig-Holstein, which is not protected by dikes. The small medieval polder of Porrenkoog and the 19th century polder of Dockkoog extend into the south. Constructed to improve the accessibility for ships to the harbour of Husum, they are the only stretches of land to separate the city from the direct influence of the Wadden Sea. The town of Husum had its origin in the Middle Ages and prospered especially because of the direct connection to the sea, which it gained after the flood of 1362, that destroyed the legendary settlement of Rungholt. Husum received city rights in 1608 and is now the centre of administration for the county of North Frisia. The old town centre with the duke’s castle, built between 1577 and 1588, in Dutch renaissance style, is especially remarkable. The vicinity of the market is filled with an abundance of buildings, erected in the 16th and 17th century, such as the birth place of the famous writer Theodor Storm.
Vogelkoje on Pellworm
3. Spatial development
Settlement took place on the islands in form of single farmsteads and few small villages. While the oldest farms were built on sparsely scattered mounds, whereas settlement of later stages, took mostly place on the high grounds provided by old embankments and eventually on level ground, along roads. The programs of village refurbishing, since the late 70ies of the 20th century, have supported efforts to improve infrastructure as well as they have multiplied the number of houses with traditional thatched roofs. The town area of Husum has largely increased since the beginning of the 20th century and especially after WW2. Most of the new houses are detached buildings for a single household. House construction has mostly abandoned the traditional ways of building and the use of indigenous materials during the last 50 years.
Agriculture is still an important economic factor on both islands as almost all of the land is either used for cattle breeding or mixed farming, on a smaller scale. Industry and other modern businesses, except for the tourism sector, are very few or totally missing . About 12% of the arable land on Pellworm is used for organic agriculture. Even about one third of the area of Husum is used for agriculture, predominantly for grazing and mowing grass for animal food which especially applies to the seaward polders. However, it has never played a comparably important role for the city’s economy.
Tourists in the region consist of a mixture of daily and long-term visitors. Traffic on the islands, is to a large extent, caused by tourists travelling by car, especially families. Tourism is, besides agriculture, a large economic factor in the area and even more important on the islands. The experience of nature is, for most of the visitors, the main reason for choosing the islands as destination. Husum is famous and renowned for its ensemble of historic buildings and museums like the Ludwig-Nissen-Haus, the Theodor-Storm-Haus or the maritime museum at the inner harbour.
Whereas Pellworm can only be reached by ferry from the harbour of Strucklahnungshörn, Nordstrand is easily accessible by road. Husum is connected to the railroad network . At Ostersiel on Pellworm, a long mole is projecting into the Wadden Sea up to the tidal river of Norderhever in order to provide a access to the island, independent from the tide . The historic harbour of Husum is situated close to the old city centre and falls dry at low tide. It provides an intact scenery of a historic harbour with buildings and maritime facilities closely connected to the city’s and the region’s history. The original character of the old harbour has mostly been preserved by the construction of a new harbour which is accessible at low tide. The modern trawlers and cutters of the fishing fleet, all start from here. Tall silos for grain dominate the scenery of a modern harbour.
There is almost no industry on the islands except for a hybrid power plant with mixed wind and solar energy. Husum regards itself as the world’s capital of wind energy, due to two major companies which produce wind generators and because it hosts the world’s largest wind energy fair.