Misthusum Enge (DK)


Damsterdiep (NL)


Historic dwelling
in the wide open marsh

A vision on

Misthusum is the most northerly settlement on man-made dwelling mounds in the entire Wadden Sea region. Here, in the Middle Ages, eight mounds were built, each with its own farm, as well as a low summer dyke to protect against the less severe floods of that season. However, the dyke was not strong enough to withstand the big winter floods, and the village was flooded several times. In the eighteenth century, people started to move onto the Geest, and in 1814 the last family left Misthusum. All that remains now is the low dyke and the eight dwelling mounds as well as a small hut, Misthusumhus, built in 1814 for the herdsman on the northernmost dwelling mound. Misthusum Enge is part of the Ballummarsk which was embanked with a strong sea dyke as recently as in 1919.

Along the Damsterdiep between Groningen and Delfzijl lie old dwelling mounds, paths, dykes, monumental churches, farms, bridges, walls and several more valuable features. Over the last decades the landscape lost a lot of its character. The province of Groningen and several municipalities saw the attractiveness and therewith the chances for the area. Consequently, they took initiatives and organized workshops with the water board, heritage-organizations, inhabitants, ministries, landscape architects and other experts. This led to a vision on the identity of the Damsterdiep, in which new spatial developments will reinforce the value of this area by, e.g. restoring dwelling mounds and farms, building new paths as missing links between the old ones, and reusing the industrial heritage. Thanks to this vision on its identity, the Damsterdiep will obtain new economical value over the next decades.