3.2 Cross section Misthusum-Wiedingharde
1. Map of cross-section
This North-South cross-section lies across the Danish-German border. The
Danish part goes from the Ballum marsh to the border at Rudbøl. This example
shows the part of Misthusum in the Ballum Marsh.
North-South cross-section was chosen for the following reasons:
The life in and on the
edge of the marsh is challenging. In Misthusum just south of the Rømø dam,
there are remains of the most northern settlement on dwelling mounds that
had to be given up, in the Wadden Sea area. There are eight dwelling
mounds, one of them with a small cottage, Markmandshuset, where the
shepherd lived. The dwelling mounds were given up due to flooding in 1814.
These dwelling mounds are together with the Ballum inn, the Ballum sluice,
the watering mill and the marsh area one cultural environment, an entity
appointed by Sønderjyllands County.
The dike from Rømø and
down through the marsh provides protection from nature catastrophes. The
settlements along this dike are lying close to the Wadden Sea, sometimes
protected directly by the dike, sometimes lifted up by dwelling mounds.
This can be seen from a long distance, since the flat marsh provides a
beautiful view over the landscape.
The municipalities in
Sønderjylland are to become one municipality after 2007. Their task is to
join their forces and administer the cultural environments of the marsh in
Sønderjylland as a unified whole.
The cross section lies
next to the Danish-German border. A border is a political and historical
decision, but borders seldom take the nature into consideration. Therefore
the Danish and German nature has much in common, and there might be common
issues, which the politicians and landscape planners can solve in
co-operation in the future.
Misthusum in the Ballum Marsh is
appointed cultural environment by the county of Sønderjylland.
Sluse (sluice) is along with the inn, the mill and Markmandshuset strong,
visible marks in a flat, waste area, which otherwise is without any
buildings. Ballum Sluse was built along with the inn and the dike by Russian
prisoners of war. The project protect s the Ballum marsh from flooding.
see Markmandshuset from a long distance. The walking path “Æ Markmandssti”
leads to the last remaining cottage on the eight dwelling mounds in
Misthusum. This cottage was built for the sheep shepherd in the marsh.
mill was built in 1836 in order to retrieve drinking water to the cattle and
sheep. Inside is a small museum, and the Archimedes snails, which retrieved
the water, still exist.
Misthusum a SWOT-analysis will have to consider the following aspects:
The dike, the inn, the
sluice, the dwelling mounds and the Markmandshuset are strong, visible
marks of partly deserted buildings and settlements in the marsh.
The area has a rich bird
life, which attracts ornithologists.
The history of Misthusum
is gently promoted to inhabitants and tourists through the walking path.
The flat marsh provides a
genuine wide view over the marsh.
The dike protects the
present cultural heritage.
Maintenance of the dike
and the area is demanded. It is very vulnerable to pollution, since you
will see everything in this open area.
The area is financially
vulnerable, so the planners could be tempted by investors with large
Nature is vulnerable
to ecological changes and too many tourists.
For the promotion of this
area it is important to stress that the area creates a unified whole, a
Misthusum is historically
and culturally important as the most northern settlement on dwelling
mounds in the Wadden Sea area, where you had to leave the area.
Notice the importance as
ecological and natural habitat for birds and other animals.
Maintaining the dike and
the sluices is preserving nature.
Attract tourists to the
surroundings, which will benefit from this cultural pearl in the marsh.
Natural catastrophes like
flooding, hurricanes and rising sea level threatens the whole Wadden Sea
The rising sea level
threats the farmers and the marsh.
New buildings will
regardless of their size, outlook or placement destroy the overall view of
the marsh around Misthusum and Ballum Sluse
waste landscape of Misthusum is one of the few larger, coherent areas in the
Danish Wadden Sea areas, which creates such an impression. Protected by the
dike, drained and cultivated by man, Misthusum is home for a varied bird
life and only a few people. The regional authorities recognises this and has
protected the area through legislation. Nature, which is a threat to the
people, has been tamed via the dike and the sluice. The sluice, the inn, the
mill and the cottage are the only buildings in a wide range, all built in
red bricks, and therefore they create a unified whole in the landscape.
The settlement here had to be abandoned, and the inhabitants of the marsh
moved into the geest. Further to the south, settlements have succeeded in the
marsh, placed on dwelling mounds and protected behind the dikes.
The influence from the neighbours has always been present, and in the marsh
you will see buildings inspired by the German and Dutch style. The Frisian
influence is rather big in the Danish Wadden Sea area.
The future development is challenging for the Wadden Sea area, but we can
learn from one another and thus protect the common cultural heritage for all
The Alte Wiedingharder Koog
stretches to the south of the Danish border with its remaining dikes like at
Rodenäs and dwelling mounds, which still indicate the size of the marshy
island in medieval times and the old Hallig structure of former times. These
remains exist alongside younger villages and roads which were built on
embankments which had been out of use. The Gotteskoog in the east, used to
be a large boggy area that had to be extensively drained in the 20th century
to allow for the straight field and road structure as well as the scarce
settlements along the roads.
settlements could only exist on mounds which are still scattered around. The
Emil-Nolde-Museum at Seebüll for example, was built on an old dwelling mound.
Nowadays, there are some afforested areas, where the former central lake
used to be, close to the modern Bundesgaarder See. The geest core of
Risummoor stands out of its marshy environment like an island. The city of
Niebüll dominates the place, now hosting the Frisian museum and the natural
history museum. Here is the train station and starting point of the
Hindenburgdamm track which connects Sylt to the main land and which
virtually cuts the area in half.
south and west, consists of single former Halligen like Fahretoft, Galmsbüll
and the modern harbor of Dagebüll which had not been connected to the main
land far into the 18th century and hence have retained much of their
original character. The settlements along roads and former embankments also
represent later stages. The harbor of Dagebüll is the only one in the
southern part of this cross-section and also the main connection of the
islands of Amrum and Föhr to the mainland. Its largely modernized appearance
veils the original Hallig structure. Throughout the area, wheels are still
frequently visible as traces of dike breeches and “Späthinge” as indications
to their building.
Church in Rodenäs
A small number of brick-built Gothic churches with separate wooden belfries
is still to be found in Rodenäs, Horsbüll, Neukirchen or Klanxbüll while
barock churches stand in Gammelsbüll, Dagebüll and Niebüll. The typical
traditional buildings for the area can be found in the Frisian or Utland
houses like the Charlottenhof.
House near the Emil-Nolde-Museum,
These farm houses with thatched roofs are
often connected to stables and barns into a square, 4-sided structure like
the Nahnhof. The oldest known example is the Axen house in Lindholm.
During the 20th century,
several developments, movements and programs like the “Programm Nord” in the
50ies to 70ies have altered the traditional settlement structure and way of
building considerably. Especially the more recent ones were oriented towards
a more international style or picked up traditional elements which were then
mixed with other influences to create a rather random and disharmonic
impression. Even though the population has only slightly increased in recent
years, the tendency is still strong to build new houses outside the
traditional villages and settlement areas. The communities themselves
develop the overall plans for larger regions into definite, local spatial
plans. They also issue the regulations for new buildings and alterations of
old houses and have to approve building applications.
Spatial planning could
restrict the declaration of new housing estates and pay more attention to
the integration of new buildings and estates into the traditional patterns.
As there is enough interest in the classical way of building in the area,
regulations and later building owners should seek a more harmonic way of
combining modern interests and materials with the original style of the
Settlements are developing
further into clusters of newly built houses with no relationship to the
surrounding landscape. Buildings themselves are either of an international,
industrialized style without local aspects or cite local styles in
agriculture and especially the new structure of the agricultural landscape
through the “Programm Nord” has altered the appearance of the landscape like
no other single development in recent decades. The arable land was combined
to larger entities to allow for a sufficient yield for the single farm and
effectiveness. Many farmers left the villages for new and larger spaces, for
their farmsteads outside on their farmland. The drainage of wide areas
especially the Gotteskoog was largely improved in order to avoid the
seasonal flooding from inland water.
The quality of the soil is
often exceptional. New developments in agriculture towards sustainable,
‘organic’ production or the possibilities of reusable energy from organic
materials could influence the agricultural use of the land in order to
provide good income and at the same time support traditional small-scale
field structures and therefore help to preserve the cultural landscape.
Farmers feel forced to
create ever larger units of fields and farms to optimize costs, a
development which promotes a uniform appearance with no regard to historic
developments. Globalization, nevertheless, raises the pressure on farmers to
optimize costs as long as they produce for the mass market. This could
support the trend among many farmers to give up their profession.
Natural history museum, Niebüll
The Emil-Nolde museum in
Seeland and the Richard-Haizmann museum as well as the natural history
museum in Niebüll attract many visitors. The open-air museum in Niebüll is
one of many examples of a traditional house turned into a museum. The
tourist information centre in Klanxbüll combines an exhibition with actual
information for tourists. An open-air Museum in Neukirchen displays the
history of dike building. Tourism is still mainly operating on a daily,
short-term and small scale basis, which is neither able to support the local
economy sufficiently in the long term and foster a sustainable development
nor capable of fully taking advantage of the natural and cultural resources
for recreation, wellness, sports and more.
Sustainable tourism does not
interfere with the landscape in a negative sense but gains from an intact
scenery. Especially historic buildings could be maintained by using them
for tourist purposes like hotels, apartments or museums.
Large scale tourism could
alter and influence the landscape itself in a manner that is leading to a
degradation of value of the cultural landscape. This hazard is especially
connected with the building of new apartments or modernization of
infrastructure like harbors.
The “Programm Nord” has also
led to a considerable amount of new roads and the modernization of old
gravel roads. The link to modern means of transport is still largely
underdeveloped. The Hindenburgdamm, built in 1927, is the only train
connection of the area. The closest highway is about 50 km away. The harbor
of Dagebüll only serves as a ferry harbor.
A careful improvement
without the construction of many new roads and tracks could contribute to
the economic development, especially of modern business and tourism.
Road construction on a large
scale or a motorway cut through the landscape with no regard to the
traditional infrastructure is promoting the dissection of the landscape.
Wind power plants
Historically, the area had
never seen any kind of industrial facilities. In recent times this has
changed with the introduction of wind powered generators on an ever larger
scale which have changed the horizontal appearance of the landscape
considerably. Also single, small scale facilities like the one of the
mussel desanding facility in Emmelsbüll have been built.
Small estates with buildings
that integrate into the landscape could provide for a better employment
situation without disturbing the cultural landscape.
Large industrial plants like
the oil refinery outside the cross-section near Wesselburen in Dithmarschen
do not only disturb the aspects of the landscape but threaten the area by
potential accidents like the disaster of the Pallas near Amrum in ‘98. New
and large scale wind turbine power plants could be built in areas which are
undisturbed so far.
The harbor of Dagebüll has
continually been modernized and the opening of the new wharf in 2002 marked
the most recent step of its transformation into a ferry harbor of the latest
generation with expansive parking areas and up-to-date facilities and
Adaptations could give the
harbor a more local appearance with typical harbor-like features which
in the area. The harbor could become a real gate into the Wadden
Sea and Hallig area where tourists and also locals spend their time and
which is part of the attractions of Dagebüll.
Additional extensions and
constructions, not related to local traditions, will alienate the place
further from its vicinity.