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Behind dunes and dykes, painters set to work with sweeping strokes of the brush, and chic galleries display works of fine art. Sylt’s artistic landscape is accentuated with special highlights by the island’s craftspeople, who have settled mainly in the east. Their hand-fashioned objects are impressive one-offs. Fine tiles are a typical example of Sylt craftsmanship. The painted clay discs were popular with sailors, who brought them home from their journeys as souvenirs or small gifts, and they are still in great demand as an attractive wall decoration today.
Sylt also boasts a lively cultural scene. The calendar of events includes regular theatre performances with well-known actors and actresses, along with musicals and other shows. Classical concerts are just as popular with Sylt’s visitors as church concerts given by top guest artists. Renowned writers give readings at Kampen’s literary festival, and popular comedians make their appearance in the Meerkabarett.
Keitum’s two museums offer a vivid insight into the life of the ancestor’s of Sylt’s inhabitants: while the Altfriesisches Haus (Old Frisian House) shows a faithful reconstruction of 18th century home decor, the wide variety of exhibits on display in the Sylter Heimatmuseum (Sylt’s local history museum) fascinates with tales of an era of captains and whale catchers on Sylt. Even a visit to Sylt’s underworld is possible: an inconspicuous hill called Denghoog, near the village pond in Wenningstedt. Hidden beneath the sparse green and a few handbreadths of soil lies Schleswig-Holstein’s most significant burial site open to the public. The simple yet ingenious construction of the 5,000-year-old cultural monument is impressive.
Sylter Heimatmuseum | Am Kliff 19 | Keitum
Tel.: +49 4651 31669 | www.soelring-foriining.de
Opening times: April- October, Mon - Fri 10:00 -17:00 , Sat & Sun 11:00-17:00
Altfriesisches Haus | Am Kliff 13 | Keitum
Tel.: +49 4651 31101 | www.soelring-foriining.de
Opening times: April-October, Mon - Fri 10:00 -17:00, Sat & Sun 11:00 - 17:00 | November-March Wed-Sa 12:00 - 16:00
Various exhibitions and lectures throughout the year have turned the kunst:raum sylt quelle Foundation into a pilgrimage site for culture lovers from all over Germany. Temporary exhibitions showcasing fine contemporary art from all over the world are held all year round in the gallery of the Sylt Quelle building in Rantum. The kunst:raum sylt quelle Foundation run by initiator and curator Indra Wussow promotes all disciplines of international contemporary art and has been awarding an annual literature grant, the Inselschreiber (Island Writer), to German authors since 2001. Four- to eight-week work grants are also awarded to visual artists, musicians and theatre makers from home and abroad, and project-related grants are given to national and international artists from all disciplines. A wide open space combining the Quelle building and production hall is used for installations and open-air events and regularly hosts readings, concerts, films, lectures and podium discussions. Further information on the kunst:raum sylt quelle Foundation and its range of events can be found online at www.krsq.de/en/
There, where great literary figures once found inspiration between a never-ending horizon and cheerful hospitality is where the power and magic of words live on even today. Great writers, ambitious journalists, famous publishers and promising new authors have been coming to Kampen for over 100 years – and continue to do so. Peter Suhrkamp, Ferdinand Avenarius, Thomas Mann, Max Frisch and Axel Springer have all been there, shaping the island’s literary landscape. Kampen’s tourism service has been reviving this tradition since 1997, inviting top-class authors and literary figures to readings in the Kaamp-Hüs from June to September. The cast bronze plaques on the Kampen art trail, which originated in 2008, are also a reminder of the creative and performing artists who have left their mark on Kampen. Just as the creation of a work of art or a great idea is an ongoing process with spells of contemplation and creativity, so too is the Kampen art trail. 32 plaques have already been placed in prominent locations around the village, with more to follow. The art trail is being financed for the most part by auctioning paintings by Kampen painter Siegward Sprottes, who passed away in 2004. Further information can be found online at en.kampen.de.