Duchy of Schleswig
The Duchy of Schleswig was a duchy in Southern Jutland covering the area between about 60 km north and 70 km south of the current border between Germany and Denmark. The territory has been divided between the two countries since 1920, with Northern Schleswig in Denmark and Southern Schleswig in Germany; the region is called Sleswick in English. The area's traditional significance lies in the transfer of goods between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, connecting the trade route through Russia with the trade routes along the Rhine and the Atlantic coast. Roman sources place the homeland of the tribe of Jutes north of the river Eider and that of the Angles south of it; the Angles in turn bordered the neighbouring Saxons. By the early Middle Ages, the region was inhabited by three groups: Danes, who lived north of the Danevirke and the Eckernförde Bay, North Frisians, who lived in most of North Frisia, including on the North Frisian Islands, Saxons, who lived in the area south of the Danes and the Frisians.
During the 14th century, the population on Schwansen began to speak Low German alongside Danish, but otherwise the ethno-linguistic borders remained remarkably stable until around 1800, with the exception of the population in the towns that became German from the 14th century onwards. During the early Viking Age, Haithabu – Scandinavia's biggest trading centre – was located in this region, the location of the interlocking fortifications known as the Danewerk or Danevirke, its construction, in particular its great expansion around 737, has been interpreted as an indication of the emergence of a unified Danish state. In May 1931, scientists of the National Museum of Denmark announced that they had unearthed eighteen Viking graves with the remains of eighteen men in them; the discovery came during excavations in Schleswig. The skeletons indicated; each of the graves was laid out from east to west. Researchers surmised that the bodies were entombed in wooden coffins but only the iron nails remained.
Towards the end of the Early Middle Ages, Schleswig formed part of the historical Lands of Denmark as Denmark unified out of a number of petty chiefdoms in the 8th to 10th centuries in the wake of Viking expansion. The southern boundary of Denmark in the region of the Eider River and the Danevirke was a source of continuous dispute; the Treaty of Heiligen was signed in 811 between the Danish King Hemming and Charlemagne, by which the border was established at the Eider. During the 10th century, there were several wars between East Denmark. In 1027, Conrad II and Canute the Great again fixed their mutual border at the Eider. In 1115, King Niels created his nephew Canute Lavard – a son of his predecessor Eric I – Earl of Schleswig, a title used for only a short time before the recipient began to style himself Duke. In the 1230s, Southern Jutland was allotted as an appanage to Abel Valdemarsen, Canute's great-grandson, a younger son of Valdemar II of Denmark. Abel, having wrested the Danish throne to himself for a brief period, left his duchy to his sons and their successors, who pressed claims to the throne of Denmark for much of the next century, so that the Danish kings were at odds with their cousins, the dukes of Slesvig.
Feuds and marital alliances brought the Abel dynasty into a close connection with the German Duchy of Holstein by the 15th century. The latter was a fief subordinate to the Holy Roman Empire; these dual loyalties were to become a main root of the dispute between the German states and Denmark in the 19th century, when the ideas of romantic nationalism and the nation-state gained popular support. The title of Duke of Schleswig was inherited in 1460 by the hereditary kings of Norway, who were regularly elected kings of Denmark and their sons; this was an anomaly -- a king holding a ducal title of which he as king was the liege lord. The title and anomaly survived because it was co-regally held by the king's sons. Between 1544 and 1713/20, the ducal reign had become a condominium, with the royal House of Oldenburg and its cadet branch House of Holstein-Gottorp jointly holding the stake. A third branch in the condominium, the short-lived House of Haderslev, was extinct in 1580 by the time of John the Elder.
Following the Protestant Reformation, when Latin was replaced as the medium of church service by the vernacular languages, the diocese of Schleswig was divided and an autonomous archdeaconry of Haderslev created. On the west coast, the Danish diocese of Ribe ended about 5 km north of the present border; this created a new cultural dividing line in the duchy because German was used for church services and teaching in the diocese of Schleswig and Danish was used in the diocese of Ribe and the archdeaconry of Haderslev. This line corresponds remarkably with the present border. In the 17th century a series of wars between Denmark and Sweden—which Denmark lost—devastated the region economically. However, the nobility responded with a new agricultural system. In the period 1600 to 1800 the region experienced the growth of manorialism of the sort common in the rye-growing regions of eastern Germany; the manors were large holdings with the work done by feudal peasant farmers. They specialized in high quality dairy products.
Feudal lordship was combined with technical modernization, the distinct
Mooring (North Frisian dialect)
Mooring or Bökingharde Frisian is a dialect of the North Frisian language spoken in Niebüll and the amt of Bökingharde in the German region of North Frisia. The name Mooring refers to the Risum Bog; the dialect forms part of the mainland group of North Frisian dialects. Mooring is used as a North Frisian lingua franca on the internet, there is a Mooring Frisian primary school in Risum-Lindholm. Friisk Foriining
Amrum pronunciation is one of the North Frisian Islands on the German North Sea coast, south of Sylt and west of Föhr. It is part of the Nordfriesland district in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein and has appromixately 2,300 inhabitants; the island is made up of a sandy core of geestland and features an extended beach all along its west coast, facing the open North Sea. The east coast instead borders to tidal creeks of the Wadden Sea. Sand dunes are a characteristical part of Amrum's landscape, resulting in a vegetation, made up of heath and shrubs; the island's only forest was planted in 1948. Amrum is a refuge for many species of birds and a number of marine mammals like grey seal or harbour porpoise. Settlements on Amrum have been traced back to the Neolithic when the area was still a part of the mainland of the Jutland peninsula. During the Middle Ages, Frisian settlers engaged in salt making and seafaring. A part of the modern population still speaks Öömrang, a dialect of the North Frisian language, Frisian traditions are kept alive.
With the island hosting many endangered species of plants and animals, its soil being unfavourable for agriculture and as a popular seaside resort in general, Amrum's population today exclusively lives from the tourism industry. Amrum's area measures 20,4 km2. Adding the large Kniepsand beach on the Western shore to the surface area results in a total area of c. 30 km2. Amrum's surface area has however been subject to constant change due to land loss and gain caused by the sea. During the 19th century, a 20th part of the area recorded in the beginning of the century had been lost, but in 1913, a net gain was again recorded at the Kniepsand. Amrum is one of three isles with a geestland core in Nordfriesland; this sandy core is made up of glacial deposites from the Saalian glacial period. To the east, it borders to the Wadden Sea mud flats of the North Sea; the east side is where the island's ancient hamlets are situated: Norddorf, Nebel, Süddorf and Steenodde. On the geestland core one can find extended areas of heath and woodland which form a strip that runs along a north-south line on the axis.
West of this woodland strip, a region of 838 hectares is covered with dunes that run all along the island for about 12 km. The maximal width of this area amounts to more than a kilometre. Amrum's tallest dune near Norddorf is called a Siatler. Northward, the dune area extends into a small peninsula called Odde. In the south of Amrum, the newest settlement, Wittdün, is located. West of the dunes, the entire shore of Amrum is made up of the Kniepsand beach. North of Norddorf there is some marshland, another small marsh area can be found between Süddorf and Steenodde. Both of them are protected from the sea by dikes. During low tide it is possible to reach the neighbouring island of Föhr by mudflat hiking. Amrum's population amounts to about 2,300 and the island is divided into three municipalities: Norddorf and Wittdün, they adhere to the Amt Föhr-Amrum. The northernmost settlement is the seaside resort of Norddorf with a sector light. Amrum's largest village, Nebel, is located near the eastern coastline.
Notable sights there include the church of St. Clement with its "talking gravestones", the Öömrang Hüs - a museum of local history, a wind mill and the Cemetery of the Homeless. Süddorf, today a district of Nebel, is the island's oldest hamlet; the Amrum Lighthouse is located there. Steenodde a neighbourhood of Nebel, had long been Amrum's only port until Wittdün, founded 1890, had taken over as the island's major ferry terminal. Of the three municipalities, Wittdün is most influenced by tourism; the oldest traces of settlements in the area date back to the Neolithic with a number of dolmens among them. Many tomb sites from the Bronze and Iron Ages have been preserved. In the dunes west of the decoy pond, the remainders of an Iron Age hamlet have been found, it is unknown whether the Ambrones, who together with the Cimbri and Teutones threatened Rome around 100 BC, stemmed from this island which back was still connected to the mainland by a land bridge. In the early Middle Ages the island was colonised by the Frisians.
The oldest known record of Amrum island has been found in the Danish Census Book of King Valdemar II of Denmark from 1231. Next to salt making, agriculture and whaling, merchant shipping was one of the main sources of income for a long time. Hark Olufs, a sailor from Süddorf, enslaved by Algerians in 1724, advanced to the rank of a General until he was allowed to return to his native island in 1736. During the late 19th century, tourism became a emerging business on Amrum and changed the island's economical structures. During the Middle Ages, Amrum as well as all of North Frisia proper belonged to the so-called Uthlande, the Outer Lands, which only successively became parts of the Danish realm or the Duchy of Schleswig. After the conflicts between the Danish kings and the counts of Schauenburg about the rule over Schleswig and western Föhr became an enclave of Denmark and contrary to neighbouring areas, it was not any longer a part of the Duchy of Schleswig; this state endured until 1864, when Denmark lost Schleswig to Prussia after the Second Schleswig War.
For a brief period after that war Amrum was ruled together by Prussia and Austria, yet in 1867 the island came under Prussian rule and was made a part of the province of Schleswig-Holstein. At first, Amrum formed a municipality within the district of Tondern. In 1920, the Schlesw
North Frisia or Northern Friesland is the northernmost portion of Frisia, located in Germany between the rivers Eider and Wiedau/Vidå. It includes a number of islands, e.g. Sylt, Föhr, Amrum and Heligoland; the geestland islands along the North Frisian coastline were densely settled in times of the early Roman Empire while the marshes further inland were not suited for settling. Only a few ancient marshland settlements have been found during archaeological excavations, namely in the modern area of southern Sylt, the Wiedingharde and along the southern Eiderstedt peninsula. With the beginning of the Migration Period, the number of settlements in North Frisia became lesser and many were abandoned. A new increase in population in the 8th century has been attributed to immigration but it is thought that the area had not been depopulated before; the Frisians migrated to North Frisia from the South in two waves. During the 8th century A. D. they settled on the islands Heligoland, Sylt, Föhr, Amrum and also in parts of the Eiderstedt peninsula.
The coastal marshlands of the mainland were settled in a second wave and after a series of storm surges the Frisians used to settle on the higher inland geest. While the marshland and its bogs had to be drained, the higher geestland cores of the islands were in turn barren and needed fertilisation before a proper agriculture could be established. During the Middle Ages, trade flourished between East Anglia, England. In particular, pottery was imported from the town of Ipswich and it has been suggested that relations between Frisians and East Anglians must have lasted for several centuries. In 1252, a united army of North Frisians from all territories between the Eiderstedt peninsula and the northern islands succeeded in defeating a Danish army led by king Abel. Salt making became a considerable trade in the 14th and 15th century when the North Frisians used saline peat as a resource; the salt trade coincided with an increase in international herring fishery off Heligoland. Treaties of 14th century farmers from Edoms Hundred with Hamburg based merchants and the Counts of Flanders have been preserved.
The Frisian Uthlande region used to have its own jurisdiction, it was laid down for the first time in the so-called Siebenhardenbeliebung in 1424. North Frisia as a region was first recorded in 1424 although Saxo Grammaticus had written about Frisia minor, a region in Jutland in 1180. Several floods such as the Grote Mandrenke in 1362 and the Burchardi Flood of 1634 damaged great parts of the North Frisian coastal area. In these floods entire islands were destroyed and a great part of North Frisian language was torn apart in linguistical and political terms. Additional hardship was brought about by a number of wars, such as the Thirty Years War that reached North Frisia in 1627, the Second Northern War between Sweden and Denmark 1657–1660, the Great Northern War from 1700–1721 where Tönning was besieged and destroyed in 1713. With the onset of whaling in the 17th and 18th century, the people from the North Frisian Islands soon developed a reputation of being skilled mariners, most Dutch and English whaling ships bound for Greenland and Svalbard would have a crew of North Frisian islanders.
Around the year 1700, Föhr had a total population of 6,000 people, 1,600 of whom were whalers. At the height of Dutch whaling in the year 1762, 1,186 seamen from Föhr were serving on Dutch whaling vessels alone and 25% of all shipmasters on Dutch whaling vessels were people from Föhr. Another example is the London-based South Sea Company whose commanding officers and harpooners were from Föhr. In the early 18th century, Sylt island was home to 20 captains who took part in the Greenland whaling; until 1864, North Frisia was a part of the Danish Duchy of Schleswig but was transferred to Prussia after the Second Schleswig War. During this time of German-Danish conflicts, a North Frisian identity was propagated by people such as Christian Feddersen who denounced nationalist tendencies; the North Frisian coat of arms has been attributed to him. While not designed according to heraldic rules, the shield contains a Frisian eagle on the right side and on the left there is a golden crown in blue above a black kettle in a red field.
The eagle has been interpreted as a symbol of the Frisian freedom granted by the Holy Roman emperor, the crown represents the Danish kings who ruled the area until the mid 19th century. The kettle or pot has been seen as a symbol of the Frisian brotherhood advocated by Feddersen; the motto which may be represented in the various dialects of the North Frisian language and always translates to "Rather dead than slave" is seen as originating from Feddersen's views. After the Second Schleswig War, when anti-Danish tendencies came up, this motto and the eagle were re-attributed to a German identity and chronicler C. P. Hansen from Sylt invented the legend that the pot was reminiscent of Frisian women who contributed in a battle against the Danes. North Frisia is now part of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein with all of it except for Heligoland contained within the district of Nordfriesland; the district extends beyond the traditional area of North Frisia to the east. Today there are more than 60 wind farms with a capacity of about 700 MW in North Frisia, 90 percent are community-owned.
North Frisia is seen to be a model location for community wind energy, leading the way for other regions in southern Germany. In addition to standard German, North Frisia has speakers of Low German, the various dialects of the North Frisian language, Danish, including South J
Dithmarschen is a district in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Flensburg, Rendsburg-Eckernförde, Steinburg, by the state of Lower Saxony, by the North Sea. From the 15th century up to 1552 Dithmarschen was an independent peasants' republic within the Holy Roman Empire and a member of the Hanseatic League; the district is located on the North Sea. It is embraced by the Elbe estuary to the Eider estuary to the north. Today it forms a kind of artificial island, surrounded by the Eider river in the north and the Kiel Canal in both the east and southeast, it is a rather flat countryside, once full of fens and swamps. To the north it borders on Nordfriesland and Schleswig-Flensburg, to the east on Rendsburg-Eckernförde, in the southeast on Steinburg, its landward boundaries have remained the same since the times of Charlemagne. Land reclamation, has doubled the size of Dithmarschen as land has been wrested from the sea; the main roads and rail lines in Schleswig-Holstein follow a north-south direction, making Hamburg its most accessible city.
The district has a maximum north–south length of 54 kilometers and an east–west length of 41 kilometers. The highest point, near Schrum in the geestland, is 78 meters above sea level and the lowest point, near Burg, is 0.5 meters below sea level. Dithmarschen's landscape owes its character to the North Sea. From west to east Dithmarschen consists of the Wadden Sea, marsh and the geestland; the North Sea had a higher sea level 6,500 years ago than today and the coastline ran along the geestland. About 4,500 years ago, geestland structures were connected by sand and gravel depositions that formed spits. Bogs and swamps emerged as the area behind the spits no longer flooded. After the first plants took root, the land transformed first to salt marshes and to marshes; these marshes rank among the most fertile of Germany's soils. Vegetable farming in Dithmarschen produces the highest yields in Schleswig-Holstein. Since about the 8th century, the people of Dithmarschen have been living on warfts for protection from the sea.
In the 12th century, they began building dikes to protect their fields. Since about the 15th century, they have been reclaiming land from the sea. While the Geest has some woods, trees are found in marshlands only in form of wind protection around houses or villages. Traditional are the Knicks, tree rows with strong undergrowth to protect agricultural land from the wind. In Dithmarschen lay several bogs. A special position is taken with the "Weißes Moor", the only bog still existing in quite natural shape in the Schleswig-Holstein marsh land. Part of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park is in Dithmarschen, it is the most important habitat in the district. Here live many molluscs, including Bivalvia and Gastropeda and Crustacea, which are welcome nourishment to bigger species. Fish use the Wadden Sea as a "Kindergarten" where they can raise their offspring in a protected environment. Although many species of birds settle permanently in the Wadden Sea, use it as a winter habitat or as a resting place.
Typical birds in Dithmarschen are dunlin, red knot, bar-tailed godwit, charadriidae, eurasian oystercatcher, many species of anatinae- and gulls, sandwich tern, pied avocet, Brent goose and barnacle goose. 200,000 common shelducks alone come in August, The shelducks lose their feathers in the Wadden Sea and therefore are for around three weeks unable to fly. It is the whole Common Shelduck colony in North Western Europe. Big Salt marsh are in the Neufeld Bay. Three sand banks, Trischen and Blauort are in the sea, they are some of only a few still natural habitats at the German coast and of importance to sea birds and seals. After futile attempts in the 1930s to make them habitable to humans,they are now part of the national park, forbidden to humans. Many birds preferring wet grasslands live in the Eider-Treene Valley. In medieval times the marshland villages of Dithmarschen enjoyed remarkable autonomy. Neighbouring princes tried to bring Dithmarschen under their control. After 1180 Prince-Archbishop Siegfried ceded Dithmarschen, supposed to belong to his Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen, to his brother Bernhard III, Duke of the younger Duchy of Saxony.
In his new position of Duke of Saxony he held the Land of Hadeln, opposite of Dithmarschen on the southern bank of the river Elbe. Adolf III of Schauenburg, Count of Holstein, at enmity with the Ascanians, had de facto taken a loose possession of Dithmarschen. So it was up to Bernhard to regain the territory, but he failed, he could only force Adolf to accept his overlordship in Dithmarschen. Prince-Archbishop Hartwig II prepared a campaign into Dithmarschen, religiously belonging to the Archdiocese of Bremen, represented by its subsidiary chapter at Hamburg Concathedral, but rejecting Bremian secular princely overlordship, he persuaded Adolf III to waive his claim to Dithmarschen in return for regular dues levied from the to be subjected Ditmarsians. In 1187 and 1188 Hartwig and his ally Maurice I, Count of Oldenburg, heading their troops, invaded Dithmarschen; the free peasants promised to pay him dues, only to ridicule and renounce Hartwig, once he and his soldiers had left. The Ditmarsians gained support from Valdemar, steward of the Duchy of Schleswig and Bishop of Schleswig.
Hartwig, owing dues to Adolf III and the soldiers' pay to Maurice I, was trapped and could not
Denmark the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, is bordered to the south by Germany; the Kingdom of Denmark comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand and the North Jutlandic Island; the islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2, land area of 42,394 km2, the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2, a population of 5.8 million. The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523.
The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until Denmark -- Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a developed mixed economy; the Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660.
It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city, main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948. Denmark negotiated certain opt-outs, it is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, the United Nations. Denmark is considered to be one of the most economically and developed countries in the world. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance and human development; the country ranks as having the world's highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, is among the countries with the lowest perceived levels of corruption in the world, the eleventh-most developed in the world, has one of the world's highest per capita incomes, one of the world's highest personal income tax rates.
The etymology of the word Denmark, the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as one kingdom, is a subject which attracts debate. This is centered on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending. Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave"; the -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland, with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig. The first recorded use of the word Danmark within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are runestones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth; the larger stone of the two is popularly cited as Denmark's "baptismal certificate", though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ tanmaurk on the large stone, genitive ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚱᚴᛅᚱ "tanmarkar" on the small stone.
The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "Danes", in the accusative. The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC; the Nordic Bronze Age in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot. During the Pre-Roman Iron Age, native groups began migrating south, the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age; the Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron; the tribal Danes came from the east Danish islands and Scania and spoke an early form of North Germanic.
Historians believe that before their arrival, most of Jutland and the nearest islands were settled by tribal J
Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park
The Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park is a national park in the Schleswig-Holstein area of the German Wadden Sea. It was founded by the Parliament of Schleswig-Holstein on 1 October 1985 by the National Park Act of 22 July 1985 and expanded in 1999. Together with the Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park, the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park and those parts of Elbe estuary which are not nature reserves, it forms the German part of the Wadden Sea; the national park extends from the German-Danish maritime border in the north down to the Elbe estuary in the south. In the North Frisian area, it includes the mudflats around the geest-based and marsh islands and the Halligen. There the mudflats are 40 km wide in places. Further south lie areas of mudflats which contain large sandbanks. In addition to the plants and animals that are typical of the entire Wadden Sea large numbers of porpoise and eelgrass may be seen in the Schleswig-Holstein part. With an area of 4410 km ² it is by far the largest national park in Germany.
Some 68% of its area is permanently under water and 30% is periodically dry. The land element consists of salt marshes. Since 1990, the national park, including the North Frisian Halligen, has been designated as a UNESCO recognised biosphere. Together with other German and Dutch Wadden Sea areas it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 26 June 2009; the national park covers an area from the North Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein by the Danish border in the north to the Elbe estuary in the south. In the northern area, the national park boundary extends to the twelve mile territorial limit. On the land side it runs in the sea 150 metres off the coast. Sea dykes and the foreland in front of the dykes are not part of the national park. Excluded from the national park are the inhabited areas in the sea, including the five German North Frisian Islands and the larger Halligen islands of Langeness, Hooge, Gröde, Oland and Nordstrandischmoor. Part of the park comprises uninhabited islands and Halligen, such as Trischen, Blauort or the North Frisian Barrier Island.
Under the classification of the natural regions of Germany the national park area belongs to the "Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea and Halligen" region within the Schleswig-Holstein Marshes, to the major unit of the German Bight. The national park can be divided into two areas. In the north, between the Danish border and the peninsula of Eiderstedt is the North Frisian part; the North Frisian Wadden Sea, together with the Danish Wadden Sea, belongs to the North Sea. It is screened from the open sea by the Halligen; the islands were formed from elements of the mainland, which became separated as a result of flood disasters. The mudflats are protected and the transition between the flats and the sea is clearer, because the former lie to the east of the large islands and the latter to the west of them. There are no major river estuaries and the tidal range is low at less than two metres. In the northern Wadden Sea there are still geest cliffs formed in the ice ages, so that the highest elevations occur here on the coast in an otherwise flat area.
The Dithmarschen part and the south coast between the Elbe and Eider estuaries form the central part of the Wadden Sea. A tidal range of over three metres has prevented the formation of islands; some sandbars emerge from the sea, but only Trischen is high enough and safe enough from storm surges, to allow saltwater-loving vegetation to grow. Compared to the geologically similar East Frisian Islands of the southern Wadden Sea, Trischen is smaller and younger. All attempts by human inhabitants to fortify. With several large estuaries the salinity in the central Wadden Sea is lower than in the rest of the Wadden Sea and is subject to higher fluctuations; the national park divides into two zones. Zone 1 covers a third of the whole national park; the zone consists of 12 bigger units which all contain marshland, intertidal estuarine mudflat, mixed sediment mudflat, sand flat, tidal creeks as well as deep and flat areas that are permanently under water. Additionally there are smaller units around sensible places like breeding areas of coastal birds, sandbars of seals, places where migratory birds moult or geomorphological meaningful areas with natural surface structure.
Zone 1 is principally closed for the public. Exceptions are made for the mudflat areas directly bordering the coastline, some routes for guided mudflat hiking tours and fishery. South of the Hindenburgdamm, facing the landside of Sylt, a human use of the first zone is prohibited; this part is 12.500 ha big, whereof 3500 ha are permanently covered with water. Zone 2 forms a ` buffer' around the first zone. In protection zone 2 west of Sylt´s coast locates a protection area for small whales, eg. the common porpoise, with a size of 124.000 ha. It´s an important reproduction area of the porpoise, whose population declined about 90% in the North Sea during the 20th century. Activities like swimming, sailing or traditional crab fishing are still allowed in the area, while international industry fishing, jet-skis, ship velocities over 12 knots, military activities and resource exploitation should be prevented; the North Sea coast is flat.