Ditzum Village and Harbour

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Ditzum, Germany

Ditzum Village and Harbour Reviews

Kathrin_E Kathrin_E
371 reviews
Ditzum Village and Harbour Jul 06, 2017
Ditzum is a fishermen’s village on the left bank of the Ems estuary, close to the beginning of Dollart bay. It is a popular day trip destination both among tourists and local people in the area. The village is almost entirely built from bricks. Little houses are huddling around the church and the windmill, the two major landmarks. Behind the high dyke the village is protected from storm surges.

Little brick houses were inhabited by the fishermen and their families. Some captains built themselves larger houses in typical 19th century shapes and styles. In recent years the village has been extended by new residential quarters. Brick architecture is still the predominant style in those, too. Each house has its little garden full of summer flowers. A characteristic and widespread plant is the hollyhock, which blooms in early summer.

The old village centre has been prettily refurbished, restored, renovated. There are several cafes and restaurants as well as little shops. It is almost a bit too polished to appear authentic. Luckily it is unknown outside the region so it is not (yet) too overrun. For people who want to spend relaxed holidays at an off the beaten path destination, enjoy peace and quiet, there are rental apartments and even entire little houses available all over the village.

The village is best explored on foot. Don’t miss the narrow, pedestrian-only paths in the middle of the old village that allow glimpses into the back gardens. Some gardens still have high masts that were respective still are used to dry the fishing nets.

There are still fishermen in Ditzum! The harbour is home to at least a dozen working fishing boats, mostly shrimp fishers. Located outside the historical Siel (lock), it is a tidal harbour. The range of tide is about 2.5 metres. At low tide, many boats sit on dry ground. (The ferry is independent of tides, though.) This harbour is unique in East Frisia, as it is the last preserved “Sielhafen” in historical shape. A Siel is a lock in the dyke that keeps the seawater out at high tide but is opened at low tide to let frewhwater from the land behind run out into the sea. The running water creates a hollow outside the dyke which serves as harbour basin. Small boats can pass through the vaulted opening to enter the canals inland. The present Siel dates from the 19th century. A carved inscription refers to its predecessor from the year 1752.

Ditzum’s parish church dates back to the middle ages, with later changes. The interior was refurbished in the late 18th century and then again after World War II. The pulpit and the communion table – no altar, as this is a Calvinist church – with their elaborate woodcarvings date from 1684 respective 1660. The church is open to visitors in the daytime. The steeple is currently (summer 2017) undergoing renovations, thus covered in scaffolding. Erected in 1846, its shape was designed to resemble lighthouses. It certainly served as a landmark for ships on the Dollart and Ems estuary.
Streetview with windmill
Shops and cafes are waiting for vi…
Typical streetview with brick hous…
Hollyhocks along a fence
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Ditzum Map
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