The island of Helgoland

Friday, 2 October 2015 - 08:12 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

Heligoland © Sioux

Heligoland © Sioux

Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the North Sea. Formerly Danish and British possessions, the islands (population 1,127) are located in the Heligoland Bight (part of the German Bight) in the south-eastern corner of the North Sea. They are the only German islands not in the immediate vicinity of the mainland and are approximately three hours sailing time from Cuxhaven at the mouth of the River Elbe. In addition to German, the local population, who are ethnic Frisians, speak the Heligolandic dialect of the North Frisian language called Halunder. Heligoland was formerly called Heyligeland, or “holy land,” possibly due to the island’s long association with the god Forseti.

Heligoland is now a holiday resort and enjoys a tax-exempt status, as it is part of the EU but excluded from the EU VAT area and customs union, and consequently, much of the economy is founded on sales of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and perfumes to tourists who visit the islands. Also, there is a search and rescue (SAR) base of the DGzRS, the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger (“German Maritime Search and Rescue Service”) on Heligoland.

Until 2009 electricity on Heligoland was generated by a local Diesel plant when the island was connected to the mainland network by a submarine cable. With a length of 53 kilometres (33 mi) the Heligoland Power Cable is one of the longest submarine AC power cables in the world and the longest of its kind in Germany. It was manufactured by the North German Seacable Works in a single piece and was laid by the barge Nostag 10 in spring 2009. The Heligoland Power Cable, which is designed for an operational voltage of 30 kV reaches the German mainland at Sankt Peter-Ording.

Heligoland Harbor during North Sea Week 2010 (Nordseewoche) © Hein.Mück Heligoland Harbor © Politikaner Heligoland Dune © Politikaner Heligoland Airport © Hein.Mück All-electric Police car © MasterBS Heligoland © Sioux
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Heligoland Harbor during North Sea Week 2010 (Nordseewoche) © Hein.Mück

From the West a description of the Island of Helgoland reaches me both in terms of the beautiful instances of inorganic an organic nature, the consolidated values of prehistoric life, and in terms of still fresh evidence for the survival and work of the eternal spirit of the age.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 24th October, 1827

Although culturally closer to North Frisia in the German district of Nordfriesland, the two islands are part of the district of Pinneberg in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. The main island has a good harbour and is frequented mostly by sailing yachts.

Read more on Heligoland Island, Nordseewoche Regatta, Ferry to Heligoland (German only), guardian.co.uk – Heligoland: Germany’s hidden gem in the North Sea, Helgoland Marathon and Wikipedia Heligoland. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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