It's hard to imagine a more charming maritime setting than the harbour town of Husum on the vast North Sea. Delightful narrow lanes are lined with old fishermen's houses, a succession of harbour taverns and gourmet restaurants offer great food and drink, and walks along the dikes reveal wonderful views of the North Sea and the UNESCO Wadden Sea mudflats.
When a great flood tide submerged large parts of the coast in 1362, Husum more or less became a harbour town overnight. The locals seized the opportunity, establishing a market square and watching in delight as their village became a thriving centre of trade. Although the harbour later lost some of its importance, Husum went on to flourish as a destination for holidaymakers, who found relaxation and unspoilt scenery in beautiful Husum Bay. Getting away from it all, doing a spot of shopping now and then, and letting yourself be pampered: that is what Husum is all about.
The market square, Theodor Storm and maritime heritage
Husum also offers plenty in the way of culture – so much, in fact, that the small town has its own culture trail connecting the 32 most important historical and architectural sites. The route starts at the Old Town Hall on the market square where you'll find a whole series of attractions. One of these is St. Mary's Church, an important neo-classical building in Schleswig-Holstein. Outside the church stands the 'Tine', a bronze statue of a young Frisian woman and a famous Husum landmark. Then there is the former manor house in which King Frederick I of Denmark established a mint around 1520, and finally the house where Theodor Storm was born. The town's most famous son, whose literary works put Husum on the map, first saw the light of day on 14 September 1817 at house number nine. A few streets further on is the house where Storm resided in later life, today the Theodor Storm Centre, which is furnished exactly as it was when he lived there. Museums on the culture trail devoted to Husum's seafaring heritage include the North Frisian Maritime Museum and the Nordsee Museum, which has been completely refurbished. The latter looks at the lives of seafarers and their battle against the forces of nature, as well as the cultural features of the region.
Festivities at the palace and a restaurant ship
Husum Palace is a cultural gem: it is located on the outskirts of town in a park which is transformed into a sea of colour every year when the crocuses are in bloom. The palace doubles as a venue for international concert series such as the 'Young Masters' and the 'Rarities of Piano Music' and also provides a wonderful setting for the international puppet theatre festival (Pole-Poppenspäler-Tage). Close by, at the inner harbour, which extends almost as far as the market square, is the Nordertor restaurant ship – one of the oldest in Germany. For visitors who have worked up an appetite after all that sightseeing, it's a welcome sight on the horizon.