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St. Niels Village Church

St Niels Village Church© Emha / Wikimedia Commons [Public domain]

St. Niels Village Church

St. Niels Church is located in the district of Alt-Westerland. This village church in Sylt’s main town lies in a beautiful area with historical Frisian buildings and is surrounded by an old cemetery. Next to St. Severins Church in Keitum – the main landmark of the island – St. Niels often disappears into the background and holiday makers in Sylt are unable to find it. Even so, it is certainly worth a visit.
The little church is named after Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors and was built in the 17th century. One section of its inventory, including the processional cross above the apse and the late Gothic carved altarpiece, dates from the Middle Ages and previously stood in the old church of Eidum. Eidum is one of Sylt's historic towns, to the west of present-day Westerland, and experienced several devastating floods during which the church was destroyed. The patrimony was able to be preserved and was brought to St. Niels, which was built as a result.
As the population of Westerland greatly increased in the 19th century, the St. Niels Village Church became too small. The large St. Nicolai Church was built between 1906 and 1908 and today this Evangelical-Lutheran place of worship is the biggest in Sylt.