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Nordfriesland

Nordfriesland ("Northern Frisia") is a Kreis (district) in the northwestern part of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated at the Danish Border and the coast of the North Sea. Area 2050 sq.km, population 162,100 (1997). The district's capital is Husum.

There has always been a strong influence of the sea. In medieval times storm tides made the life here quite dangerous. Only in modern times the loss of land and lifes could be stopped by building solid dikes. Many villages, that once were, are now at the bottom of the sea. The best-known example is the small seaport of Rungholt, which was destroyed by a storm tide in 1362. The island of Strand vanished in another disastrous storm in 1634: subsequent to this storm tide there were many small islets instead of Strand.

Until 1864 Nordfriesland was a part of the Danish monarchy. It is still a multilingual district: there are people speaking High German, Low German, Frisian and Danish. The Frisian language exists in nine slightly different dialects, but it is mainly used by older persons. After becoming German three districts were established: Südtondern in the north, Husum in the centre, and Eiderstedt in the south. 1970 the three districts were united to the today's district Nordfriesland.

The coast and the islands constitute the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park. There are five larger islands and ten small islets belonging to Nordfriesland, called the North Frisian Islands.



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