Halligs - fading land in the North Sea

Hamburg The Halligs are a bizarre series of tiny islands in the middle of the North Sea, the largest of which is inhabited by 200 people.

Life is tough on a Hallig - violent storms, gales and flooding are just normal routine for these people. They live in rustic-style homes, perched on man-made mounds designed to withstand the elements. A little self-made railway system connects some of the Halligs - but only at low tide.

The islands were created after the polar ice caps began to melt, causing a massive rise in sea-levels all over the world. On the North Friesian coast of Germany, this completely flooded vast areas of mainland, leaving only three areas above water - Föhr, Amrum und Sylt. Centuries of fierce storms and the continual ebbing of the tide reduced these to mere sediment. But over time, this gradually developed into a series of salt marshes or mudbanks.

Once there were more than 100 islands - now there are only 10. Although romantic in theory and beautiful spots to visit, life on these islands today remains strange and precarious. Along with the daily worry of adverse weather conditions and constant flooding, residents can only look forward to receiving their morning post if their postman feels the sea is safe enough for him to sail out during low tide!

The Halligs also provide flats for holidaymakers. In summertime, the five holiday homes the Hallig Gröde offers can double the number of the usual 17 inhabitants!

Links:

Hallig Gröde
With only 17 inhabitants, the smallest community on a Hallig garantees extremely tranquil holidays. Tourists can book their stay via this website. In German.

Holiday homes in Northern Frisland
Holiday homes on the North Sea coast, from which trips can be taken to nearby Halligs. In English and German.

Initiative for the North Frisian Halligs
Website of the official initiative to protect culture and nature on the North Frisian Halligs. In German.

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