The path in the sky is short on the island of Sylt. You just need to climb the wooden stairs from the West countries beach up to 26 metres in height, and then you arrive at the very top of the Firmament. Anyway, when the clouds hang low and heavy. Jacob’s ladder, the staircase is. A small Exaggeration, but well, this is the island of Sylt, and on clear days, a really magnificent view of the island. In the South of Rantum is baskets, the small village in the dunes, in the North, the white sandy Westerland – with hung lightly dabbed walkers and the beach. And when Ekkehard Klatt on the way, says you even to see things that are long gone.

“Look,” calls Klatt in the harsh Wind, “there Eidum should have stood, the Church with the bell tower and next to it the windmill.” Klatts Arm points in the direction of the West. To see just water is there. The North sea, as it pushes wave after wave to the beach. Nothing else. But that will change quickly.

The mystery of Eidum

Ekkehard Klatt, 67 years old, dirty and gray hair, is a fabulous landscape painter. He paints with words. A few sentences will suffice for him to create fairytale Scenes. Since Eidum, this legendary village, which should have incorporated the North sea in the all saints day flood of 1436. The God of the sea Ekke is said to have kindled the storm – out of anger, because he had given the lovely Inge of Rantum in a basket.

Klatt loves such stories. Just: He does not believe you. He is a PhD geologist, a man who relies on boreholes and chemical analyses. Klatt has extensively researched the emergence of the island. Since 1964 he lives on the island of Sylt, and the whole of his scientist life, it has the mystery of Eidum.


Island Explorer: The geologist Ekkehard Klatt investigated the development history of Sylt

©Stefan Volk

And for good reason: The history of the Western country, of the tourist centre of the island of Sylt, is based on the myth of the sunken Eidum. The Survivors of the flood, according to the conventional Theory, is to be fled inland, and would have made Westerland to their new home.

Ekkehard Klatt not only has fun with the Reciting of the sailor’s yarn, he also loves the role of the belligerent, kratzbürstigen researcher. Klatt has established its own theory for the emergence of Westerland and to the evidence he asks to do a small tour.

island walk with Ekkehard Klatt

it starts from the viewing platform of the sky head down to the Southeast. Klatt immersed in a small forest of fir-trees, then he turn to the left, in the Kuurt-Bleat -. Here, the island is a visit history to the Right of swampy marshland, to the left is the Geest, i.e., sand deposits from earlier ice ages. Westerland was founded back on this Geest, probably in the 15th century. Century. Also Eidum sat enthroned once on the ice age national debris, suggests a map of 1585 by the Dutch painter, Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer.

But that Eidum should have been far in front of Westerland, the Wind and the waves at the mercy of – Ekkehard Klatt don’t want to believe it. “Eidum was certainly not a village of Maniacs, who wanted to establish an Outpost in the North sea,” he says, “Eidum and today’s Westerland were a lot closer than is commonly assumed.”


A monument that tells of earlier centuries: the Tinnum castle

©Stefan Volk

With his theory it says Klatt quite alone, at least on the island of Sylt. Here are the stories of Christian Peter Hansen to work still. Hansen, born in 1803, was the first school master in Keitum, but developed soon to a island’s chronicler. He wrote down everything that was happened. Documents there were hardly any, so today is difficult to assess what in his writings is historically vouched for and what are just Döntjes, beautiful anecdotes.

There is, for example, Hansen’s assertion that the North sea should have the views of the old Eidum released. In the event of extreme low water, wells and footprints had been spotted.

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Klatt is dismissive. “If you drink three Grog, listens to you, determines the Eidumer Church bells are ringing,” snorts he. In many articles about Eidum Hansen’s descriptions are picked up until today – what Klatt angry.

He trusts his colleague Karl Gripp, formerly Director of the Geological Institute of the University of Kiel. Gripp, the story of the wonderful went back appearance Eidums on the ground, and left the coast in front of Westerland dive. His men found nothing, not a trace of the lost village.

novel writer Christian Peter Hansen

Klatts walk through the Sylter story leads more in the direction of the East, to Tinnum castle. It is an important monument, one of the few remaining testimonies from the early period of Sylt. From the castle, which was built around the birth of Christ, is only an approximately eight-Meter-high ring-wall to. On the Wall a Marschpriel – for Klatt is an indication that the Tinnum castle was more than a bulwark, in which people sought protection, when the enemy was approaching. Klatt and some of the coastal research specialist historians assume, that the channel was navigable.

“has Probably stood here, the port facility, which have used the Vikings,” says Klatt. Also a marketplace gave it, approximately where today the Tinnumer commercial area is located.

You could now go even further up to the village Church of St. Niels in Westerland, in the alluvial stones of the lost Eidumer Church used to be. Klatt shortens the way, however. He needs to hurry home to fetch some books. On his living room table, a yellowed ribbon from the year 1859 is located. “The tourist guide on the island of Sylt. A guide for swimmers in Westerland”, authored by Christian Peter Hansen.

“So, write Hansen was Yes, and the fantasy he had,” says Klatt. “For me, this is the best novel there is about Eidum.”

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