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Small island in blue sea, the island consist of a green centre and white beaches
Aerial photo of Rottumeroog in 2011
Wadden - Rottumeroog.PNG
Location of Rottumeroog in the Wadden Sea
Coordinates 53°32′25″N 6°34′55″E / 53.54028°N 6.58194°E / 53.54028; 6.58194Coordinates: 53°32′25″N 6°34′55″E / 53.54028°N 6.58194°E / 53.54028; 6.58194
Archipelago (West) Frisian Islands
Adjacent bodies of water North Sea, Wadden Sea
Area 265 ha (650 acres)[1]
Highest elevation 12.0 m (39.4 ft)[1]
Province Groningen
Municipality Eemsmond
Population Uninhabited

Rottumeroog (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌrɔtʏmərˈoːx] ( )) is an uninhabited island in the Wadden Sea and is part of the Netherlands. The island is one of three West Frisian Islands in the province of Groningen. It is situated between the islands of Rottumerplaat and Borkum.

Rottumeroog is part of the natural reserve Rottum and access to the island is prohibited.


Satellite image of easternmost point of Schiermonnikoog, Simonszand, Rottumerplaat, Rottumeroog, Zuiderduintjes, and most of Borkum

Rottumeroog is located at 53°32′25″N 6°34′55″E / 53.54028°N 6.58194°E / 53.54028; 6.58194. It is the easternmost island of the West Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea. It is situated off the coast of the province of Groningen, east of Rottumerplaat, north of Zuiderduintjes, and west of the East Frisian island of Borkum. It is part of the municipality of Eemsmond.

Rottumeroog does not have a solid core and slowly moves in southeastern direction as a result of sea currents. On the north side, land is gradually washed away; on the south side, new land is forming. Rottumeroog had a surface area of 205 ha (510 acres) in 1995 and 265 ha (650 acres) in 2007.[1] The future area of the island is not certain. In 2012, the island broke into two during high tide, giving rise to the claim that the island might disappear in the Ems estuary in the near future.[2]


The navigational beacon Emder Kaap in 1996

Rottumeroog is possibly the only remaining part of former island Monnikenlangenoog.[3] The island is named after the village Rottum in Groningen: the Benedictine St. Juliana's Abbey in Rottum used to own two-thirds of the island and used it for their cattle. After the Protestant Reformation the islands' rights transferred to the province Groningen before being sold to private persons in the 17th century. The province bought the island back in 1738 due to back maintenance, eventually the central government took over. Until 1965 the island was inhabited by a vogt and his family; since then the island has been uninhabited.[4]

Several buildings have been build on the island. In the 19th century the navigational beacon Emder Kaap was built. The structure is listed as a national heritage site since 1988 and was moved southwards in 1999.[4][5] The vogt had a house as well; this building was demolished in 1998 due to the encroaching North Sea.[1] In February 2014, the bird observation post was removed from the island.[6] Later in 2014 all remaining buildings on the islands, except for the Emder Kaap, were removed due to the changing shape and position of the island.[4]

Natural reserve[edit]

The Wadden Sea, in which Rottumeroog is situated, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (natural criteria viii, ix, and x) since 2009.[7]

Together with Rottumerplaat and Zuiderduintjes, the island forms the natural reserve Rottum. The island is generally not maintained, the shape and position are left for nature to change. The island is uninhabited and access is usually prohibited; several excursions to the islands are allowed each year under strict conditions.[1] The island is home to birds and grey seals.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e (Dutch) Beheerregeling Rottum, Rijkswaterstaat, 2010. Retrieved on 1 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Waddeneiland Rottumeroog dreigt in zee te verdwijnen" [Frisian Island Rottumeroog might disappear into sea]. Elsevier (in Dutch). 14 March 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  3. ^ (Dutch) "Verzonken waddeneiland Moenkenlangenoe ontdekt", Dagblad van het Noorden, 2012. Retrieved on 27 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b c (Dutch) Aarsbergen, Aart; Doest, Jasper (2014). "Het onbewoonde Rottumeroog" [The uninhabited Rottumeroog]. (in Dutch). National Geographic. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  5. ^ (Dutch) Monumentnummer: 338545 – Zeekaap, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed. Retrieved on 1 May 2014.
  6. ^ (Dutch) "Sloop vogelwachterhuis bijna voltooid", Dagblad van het Noorden, 2014. Retrieved on 1 May 2014.
  7. ^ The Wadden Sea, UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved on 1 May 2014.
  8. ^ (Dutch) Rottum > Flora en fauna, Staatsbosbeheer. Retrieved on 1 May 2014.

External links[edit]