Westerland, Germany

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Westerland
Ortsteil of Sylt
Kurpromenade in 2003
Kurpromenade in 2003
Coat of arms of Westerland
Coat of arms
Westerland is located in Germany
Westerland
Westerland
Coordinates: 54°54′36″N 8°18′27″E / 54.91000°N 8.30750°E / 54.91000; 8.30750Coordinates: 54°54′36″N 8°18′27″E / 54.91000°N 8.30750°E / 54.91000; 8.30750
Country Germany
State Schleswig-Holstein
District Nordfriesland
Town Sylt
Government
 • Mayor Petra Reiber
Area
 • Total 10.45 km2 (4.03 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (2007-12-31)
 • Total 9,032
 • Density 860/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 25969–25980
Dialling codes 04651
Vehicle registration NF
Website www.gemeinde-sylt.de

Westerland (Danish: Vesterland; Söl'ring North Frisian: Wäästerlön’) lies on the North Sea island of Sylt and is Germany's northernmost town and a former municipality. Only the smaller communities of List, Wenningstedt and Kampen – none an incorporated town – lie farther north in Germany. Since 1 January 2009, it has been part of the municipality Sylt. Westerland belongs to the Nordfriesland district in Schleswig-Holstein. It lies about 70 km northwest of Husum, 74 km west of Flensburg, 134 km northwest of Kiel and 186 km northwest of Hamburg. Westerland is very posh and expensive and is quite often referred to as the "Beverly Hills" of Germany.

History[edit]

Westerland is one of the younger places on Sylt. After the All Hallows Flood on 1 November 1436 had utterly destroyed the community of Eidum, the survivors built a new community to the northeast on a heath. The old town, now called Alt-Westerland ("alt" meaning "old") had its first documentary mention in 1462. In 1855, it became a seaside bathing community, and in 1905 it was granted town rights. In 1949 came official recognition as a seaside spa town, thereby raising Westerland's status to that of Sylt's main town. Until then, Keitum had always enjoyed this distinction. For instance, even as late as the turn of the 20th century, Keitum had the island's only pharmacy. Owing to its central location at the hub of all transportation routes, and of its position in accordance to the main beaches, Westerland has affirmed its supremacy among all other places on Sylt over the last one hundred and fifty years.

Economy[edit]

Westerland's economy is strongly oriented towards the island's tourism industry. In 2002, Westerland was second after Sankt Peter-Ording in importance to Schleswig-Holstein's tourism industry: 96,120 guests, of those 271 (0.28%) from abroad, booked 819,935 overnight stays. The town had 9,159 beds available for this purpose. In the town's south end near Hörnum is a campground. Westerland is the central hub for supply, retailing, and numerous services that provide for the inhabitants and visitors throughout the island of Sylt.

Transport[edit]

Inauguration of the new railway connecting Sylt with Westerland in 1927

Sylt, and thereby also Westerland, cannot be reached by road. Instead, there is a shuttle train that carries cars, the Sylt-Shuttle, running between Niebüll and Westerland. The railway line, called the Marsh Railway (Marschbahn), runs across the 11.3 km-long Hindenburgdamm, a causeway across the Wadden Sea adjoining Sylt to the mainland. Passenger trains, both local and long-distance, also serve Westerland, reaching it across the causeway. Westerland may also be reached by air through Sylt Airport, and by car ferry from the nearby Danish island of Rømø.

Personalities[edit]

Trivia[edit]

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