Station: [8] Wyk, the Seaside Resort

F: On the left, there’s a garage for bathing machines. On the right, there’s a pumping plant. Two men would pump water from the North Sea into the bath house, where it was heated in large boilers. In 1819, when a stock corporation was formed for the purpose of building a bath house, Wyk on Föhr became the first seaside resort on Schleswig-Holstein’s west coast. It heralded the beginning of tourism on the North Frisian Islands.

In the very first year – 1819 – no fewer than 61 visitors risked what was still an arduous journey to Föhr. From Hamburg, for instance, it meant three days’ travel by mail coach. Upon their arrival, visitors were given separate bathing cubicles where they enjoyed showers, baths and rain baths using specially heated North Sea water.
Right next to the bath house on the Sandwall esplanade were the assembly rooms, where visitors could spend time and have a meal. They would have stayed in privately rented rooms, because there were no hotels or guest houses at the time.

M: In 1842, even the King of Denmark discovered the delights of this North Sea island. Föhr had finally arrived as a fashionable
holiday resort.
A coloured lithograph in the display case on the right shows King Christian the Eighth arriving on Föhr by paddle steamer – easily recognizable by the Danish national flags flying everywhere.
The local population had set up a triumphal arch to welcome their sovereign lord ... and legend has it that at the moment of his arrival, a luminous rainbow arched across the sky from the mainland to the Halligen islets. The king enjoyed his stay on Föhr. He bought a house here, the one in the next picture over on the right. His visits helped to put the seaside resort on the map among the rich and famous.

F: In 1844, the king invited the Danish national poet Hans Christian Andersen, who came to stay on the island for a little over a week. Looking back, he wrote:

"The town of Wyck, the largest on the island [...] is built entirely in the Dutch style, all single-storey houses with thatched roofs and gables, and though small and modest overall, the many visitors here during the bathing season, and the entire royal court with everything attendant upon it, lent a certain liveliness, a Sunday festiveness, which reverberated especially through the main street."

Zitat Andersen: Spreckelsen, Die kleine Seejungfrau schickt ein fernes Echo,, 19.07.2018, o.A.

Fotos: © Dr.-Carl-Häberlin-Friesen-Museum