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Lighthouse on Vlieland
Location in Friesland
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Ella Schadd-de Boer (PvdA)|
|• Total||315.80 km2 (121.93 sq mi)|
|• Land||36.13 km2 (13.95 sq mi)|
|• Water||279.67 km2 (107.98 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|Population (May 2014)|
|• Density||31/km2 (80/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Vlieland (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈvlilɑnt] ( listen); West Frisian: Flylân) is a municipality and island in the northern Netherlands. The municipality of Vlieland has only one major town: Oost-Vlieland (West Frisian: East-Flylân). It is the second-least densely populated municipality in the Netherlands (after Schiermonnikoog).
Vlieland is one of the West Frisian Islands, lying in the Wadden Sea. It is the second island from the west in the chain, lying between Texel and Terschelling. The island was permanently separated from the mainland in St. Lucia's flood in 1287. Vlieland was named after the Vlie, the seaway between it and Terschelling that was the estuary of the river IJssel in medieval times.
The northern part of the island of Texel, Eierland, once was the southwestern part of Vlieland. A storm surge in 1296 probably separated Eierland from Vlieland. Erosion further diminished the size of Vlieland from the west, leading in 1736 to the disappearance of a second village on Vlieland, West-Vlieland (Westeijnde), after the inhabitants had tried for decades to rebuild the town following numerous floods.
Until 1942 Vlieland, like Terschelling, was part of the province of North Holland. During the Second World War, Vlieland became part of the German Atlantic Wall. The Germans built two anti-aircraft batteries and stationed more soldiers on the island than there were inhabitants. They also repartitioned the island to Friesland and the situation was not reversed after the war. The mail station in the western part of the island is a reminder that in the past mail was delivered by ferry from Texel.
Because of this history, Vlieland natives do not speak Frisian. The original dialect, Vlielands, was related to the dialect of Texel and to other Dutch dialects in North Holland. The last native speaker, Petronella de Boer-Zeylemaker, died in 1993 at the age of 107.
Vlieland can be reached by ferry from the Frisian town of Harlingen on the mainland. Ferries are operated by Doeksen and the journey takes 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to cross the Wadden Sea and part of the North Sea. Tourists are not allowed to bring cars with them on the ferry. A summer-only ferry service runs between De Cocksdorp on the neighboring island of Texel and the westernmost point of Vlieland. The most common form of transport on the island is the bicycle; a network of cycle paths criss-crosses the island. A bus service runs from the ferry terminal to the village and campgrounds after the arrival of a ferry, and some time before departure. There is a very small heliport near the village, but it is only used for SAR flights.
Dutch Topographic map of the island of Vlieland, as per Dec. 2014. Click to enlarge.
Vlieland, being the outermost of the Frisian barrier islands, sees its climate the most moderated by the North- and Wadden Sea. As is the case with the other West Frisian islands, sunshine hours are among the highest in the Netherlands, and quite possibly among the highest in the North Sea basin. Temperature extremes are rare; on average only 6 times a year does the daytime high exceed 25 degrees, and a high above thirty happens on average only once every three years. This also counts for extreme cold; only on five days a year does the temperature stay below zero for a whole 24-hour period, and nighttime frost happens on less than 40 nights a year. Nights below -10 Celsius only happen on average once every 2 years. Wind is abundant however, the average wind speed on Vlieland is almost 8 metres per second, or 28 kilometres per hour. Gale-force winds occur on average nine days per year.
|Climate data for Vlieland|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.7
|Average low °C (°F)||1.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||72
|Average precipitation days||12||10||11||7||8||9||10||11||13||14||16||15||135|
|Average relative humidity (%)||86||83||80||73||72||73||74||73||75||79||83||86||78|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||68||99||142||204||247||228||239||213||156||118||70||61||1,835|
The majority of the landscape of the island consists of dunes, but there are some wooded areas and small meadows. A large part of the island, the western part, consists mainly of sand and is referred to as the 'Sahara of the north'.
Tourism is the main source of income on Vlieland. There are approximately 15 hotels, and several hundred apartments and holiday homes. Vlieland has two campgrounds.
Beach at dusk
- "Burgemeester en wethouders" [Mayor and aldermen] (in Dutch). Gemeente Vlieland. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "Postcodetool for 8899AE". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- J.T. Bremer, De genese van de Kop van Noord-Holland en het westelijk Waddengebied, in Van Groningen tot Zeeland: geschiedenis van het cultuurhistorisch onderzoek naar het kustlandschap, Uitgeverij Verloren, 2010, p. 1100
- Friesland zoals het was, September 1942, Tresoar
- Harrie Scholtmeijer, Veranderingen in het Vlielands at the Meertens Institute website
- "TIME TABLE". http://www.rederij-doeksen.nl/. Retrieved 18 December 2015. External link in
- "Texel-Vlieland v.v.". Retrieved 18 December 2015.
- Media related to Vlieland at Wikimedia Commons
- Vlieland travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Official website
- Tourist office website
|Texel (NH)||Wadden Sea|