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The German island of Sylt is located in the North Sea off the coast of Germany and Denmark.
 of the  of Sylt
Map of the island of Sylt

Sylt is an island in northern Germany, part of Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Holstein. It belongs to the North Frisian Islands. The island was once part of the mainland, and is still shrinking due to erosion from the North Sea.


Local details

Sylt has 99 km2. From North to South it is 35 km, from West to East it is 13 km. The highest point is 52 meter. The island has 21,000 inhabitants.


Frisia-style houses

Masked run

On New Year's Eve, groups of children and adults go masked from house to house, reciting poems. This is called Rummelpottlaufen. Children will receive sweets and/or money, adults can expect alcohol.


The indigenous Sylt language, Söl'ring, is a unique dialect of insular North Frisian, with elements of Danish, Dutch and English. Today, it has been largely replaced by Low German.


  • Sylt was originally part of Jutland (today Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein)
  • Hengist and Horsa embark from Sylt for England in the 5th century
  • First settlements of Frisians during the 8th century and 9th century
  • Sylt was divided between the Duke of Schleswig and the Kingdom of Denmark in 1386
  • Except for the town of List, Sylt becomes part of the Duchy of Schleswig in 1435
  • During the 17th century and 18th century, whaling, fishing and oyster breeding increase the wealth of the population
  • Keitum becomes capital of the island, and a place for rich captains to settle down
  • In the 19th century, tourism starts; Westerland replaces Keitum as the capital
  • During World War I, Sylt becomes a military outpost, but does not suffer from war damage
  • In 1927, a causeway to the mainland is built, named after Paul von Hindenburg, with a railway on top
  • During World War II, Sylt becomes a fortress, with concrete bunkers built below the dunes at the shore, some of which are still visible today.

Today, Sylt is mainly a tourist attraction, famous for its healthy climate, and several German celebrities who own a house on the island.



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A view of sand dunes and beaches near List

List has a harbor (ferries to Rømø, Denmark) and is the most northern point of Germany. It has a population of about 2.500 (as of 2000). It was first mentioned in 1292 and was danish territory until 1864. The German Luftwaffe (Airforce) used List as an airbase. List is famous for oysters.





Wenningstedt is known for the white cliff and the Denghoog stone grave, a walk-in grave made of huge stone walls from 3000 BC.



After the destruction of the town of Eidum on November 1, 1436, in a great flood (Allerheiligenflut), the survivors moved to a place north-east (Wäästerlön in Söl'ring) of the original town. The new town was first mentioned in 1462. It officially became a city in 1905. The population (as of 2000) is 9.200. The city has the island's only civil airport.


Sylt-Ost (East Sylt) is a township, consisting of several small villages on the Nössehalbinsel on Sylt. The population (as of 2000) is 5.500. The villages include Tinnum, Munkmarsch, Archsum, Morsum and Keitum.


Tinnum castle (Tinnumburg) is a circular parapet with a diameter of 120 meter and a height of 8 meter. It was built in the 1st century BC, likely as a heathen cult place.


Keitum has a historical church (St. Severin church), dating back to the 1200s. The green cliff is also located near Keitum.




Morsum has an historical church (St. Martin church), dating back to the same era as the one in Keitum. Morsum is also known for the colored cliff, that shows the geological history of the last five million years on its height of 21 meters. It is under landscape conservation since 1923.


Sylt can be reached by an artificial dam (trains only) and by Sylt Airport.

See also:

External links:

Hörnum[1] ([2] (
Kampen[3] ([4] (
List[5] ([6] (
Rantum[7] (
Sylt-Ost[8] (
Wenningstedt[9] ([10] ( [11] (
Westerland[12] ([13] (

nl:Sylt pl:Sylt


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