The Wadden islands the new kids on the block
The Wadden islands are a group of islands in the north of the Netherlands and lying in the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea is best known for large sandbars that dry out twice a day. Geographically speaking, the Wadden islands are relatively young. The islands have been around for 100 years. The Wadden islands attract large numbers of tourists every year because of their location and the appearance of the islands. The entire group of islands is divided into Dutch and German territory. The most famous islands are Texel, Vlieland, Ameland and Terschelling, but the islands of Schiermonnikoog, Rottumerplaat and Rottumeroog are still among the Wadden islands.
The island of Texel is the largest island of the group and geographically belongs to Noord-Holland. The island is approximately 20 km long and 8 km wide, giving a total land area of 170 square kilometers. Texel was connected to the mainland until 1170, but the All Saints’ flood of 1170 made Texel an island.
Texel is an island that is frequently visited by bird lovers. On a good day you can observe 100 different bird species on Texel. Texel is a breeding ground for around 80 species of birds in the spring, but 300 species have been found at the top.
If you look from the west, Vlieland is the second island of the group. Vlieland is geographically part of the province of Friesland. The municipality of Vlieland has around 1150 inhabitants. The island has 1 village called Oost-Vlieland where by far the majority of residents live together in the village center. Vlieland is not accessible with Cars or Motorbikes.
Only residents and / or companies on the island can apply for an exemption. You can reach Vlieland with the ferry that runs between the island and the city of Harlingen in Friesland. The island is of course also accessible by boat, for that purpose there is a marina on the south side of the island. The marina is 1 of the 17 Wadden ports spread across all islands.
Seen from the west, Terschelling is the 3rd island of the archipelago. Terschelling belongs geographically to the province of Friesland. Terschelling borders like all islands on the north side with the North Sea and on the south side with the Wadden Sea. Terschelling originated in the Middle Ages when a sandbank called the Schelling merged with a slightly more eastern island of Wexalia. Wexalia is the medieval name for the Oost-Terschelling area. In the same Middle Ages, this name quickly fell into disrepair. Since then the island is called Terschelling.
The islands belonged to the province of Noord-Holland until 1 September 1942, after which they moved to the province of Friesland. The oldest building remains found on Terschelling date from 850.
A wooden church was then built on a hill near Striep. This hill was later used as a burial mound and is now known as the Strieperkerkhhof.
The flood of 1287, which is also called the St. Hubertus flood on Terschelling, has been of great importance in the formation of Terschelling as it is and the rest of the surrounding Wadden area. Before the flood of 1287 you could reach the island on foot from Dijkshorn on the Frisian coast to Hoorn. This made Hoorn quickly the most important place on the island. After the flood disaster it was no longer possible to reach the island on foot, and the connection came to lie on West. As a result, Hoorn was no longer the most important place, but that honor went to West-Terschelling.
Ameland, viewed from the west, is the 4th inhabited island and geographically belongs to the province of Friesland. Ameland lies between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea with the Borndiep to the right with the island of Terschelling on the other side and on the eastern side you can see the island of Schiermonnikoog if the weather cooperates. Ameland is littered with sand dunes that determine a large part of the topography. There are 4 villages on the island, namely Hollum, Ballum, Nes and Buren.
To the east of Buren lies Oerd, a swampy swamp area where many birds live and nest. The seawater has free rein here as it flows through a number of channels in and out of the area during the tides.
Ameland has a direct history in both whaling and merchant shipping. Ameland is known as the Wadden diamond for all its beauty and the intense tranquility. It is not without reason that Ameland won the Quality Coast Award in 2009. Especially in the nature areas De Hôn and Het Oerd you will find the most fantastic flora and fauna.
Schiermonnikoog, seen from the west the 5th island that is inhabited and belongs geographically to the province of Friesland. It is also the smallest municipality in the Netherlands and measures the lowest population density. Schiermonnikoog is also a car and motorcycle free island. The reason for this is the tranquility, not only for the residents and visitors but also for the fauna on the island. Schiermonnikoog is known as an island of tranquility and people are very fond of it. Despite the tranquility, this island mainly lives off tourism.
Schiermonnikoog was in the Middle Ages a cemetery or monastery farm of the Cistercian monastery Claercamp from Rinsumageest near Dokkum, this was one of the monasteries in Friesland. The embankment of the land was done by monks who were walking in gray legs. The name of the island owes its name to these legs. Almost the same as gray means, and eye was linguistically the same as egg in island. To remind the monks a statue was erected in 1962 of a monk named “De Schiere Monk”.
- texel-duinen: Door Stormbeest - Eigen werk, Publiek domein, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2764610
- vlieland-vuurtoren-vuurduin: Door MGJonker - Eigen werk, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6963350
- terschelling-vuurtoren-brandaris: Door jhellingman, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53668027
- ameland-luchtfoto-vanuit-westen: Door dronepicr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/132646954@N02/43957957855, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74315803
- schiermonnikoog-baken-uitlopers-kobbeduinen: Door Uberprutser - Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33656185
- waddenzee-texel: Door Agaath - Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50767252