The German word Heide means "heath". In the 15th century four adjoining villages decided to build a church in the "middle of the heath". This remained the town's name to date. The exact foundation date is now unknown, but by 1447 Heide was already the main village of Dithmarschen. At this time Dithmarschen was an independent peasant republic. Heide became a town in the 19th century and now is a tourist resort.