Last updated

It Amelân
Ameland aerial view from the west.jpg
Ameland Beach.jpg
Museum sorgdrager -1508854191.jpg
2012-05-05 Ameland 16.JPG
Altes Feuer Bornrif.JPG
Images, from top down, left to right: Aerial view Ameland (west),
beach, museum Sorgdrager,
lighthouse, maritime museum
Flag of Ameland.svg
Coat of arms of Ameland.svg
Coat of arms
Ameland locator map municipality NL 2018.png
Location in Friesland
Coordinates: 53°27′N5°46′E / 53.450°N 5.767°E / 53.450; 5.767 Coordinates: 53°27′N5°46′E / 53.450°N 5.767°E / 53.450; 5.767
Country Netherlands
Province Friesland
  Body Municipal council
   Mayor Albert de Hoop (D66)
  Total268.50 km2 (103.67 sq mi)
  Land58.83 km2 (22.71 sq mi)
  Water209.67 km2 (80.95 sq mi)
4 m (13 ft)
(August 2017) [4]
  Density63/km2 (160/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Amelander
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code 0519
Official nameDuinen Ameland
Designated29 August 2000
Reference no.2212 [5]
Topographic map of Ameland, Dec. 2014 Gem-Ameland-OpenTopo.jpg
Topographic map of Ameland, Dec. 2014
Historical population 1800-2018 Bevolking Ameland.png
Historical population 1800–2018
Aerial photograph of Ameland Ameland luchtfoto.jpg
Aerial photograph of Ameland

Ameland (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈaːməlɑnt]  ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); West Frisian: It Amelân) is a municipality and one of the West Frisian Islands off the north coast of the Netherlands. It consists mostly of sand dunes. It is the third major island of the West Frisians. It neighbours islands Terschelling to the west and Schiermonnikoog to the east. This includes the small Engelsmanplaat and Rif islands to the east.

West Frisian language Germanic language

West Frisian, or simply Frisian is a West Germanic language spoken mostly in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands, mostly by those of Frisian ancestry. It is the most widely spoken of the three Frisian languages.

Municipality An administrative division having corporate status and usually some powers of self-government or jurisdiction

A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished (usually) from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.

West Frisian Islands chain of islands in the North Sea

The West Frisian Islands are a chain of islands in the North Sea off the Dutch coast, along the edge of the Wadden Sea. They continue further east as the German East Frisian Islands and are part of the Frisian Islands.


Ameland is, counted from the west, the fourth inhabited Dutch Wadden island and belongs to the Friesland/Fryslan province. The whole island falls under one municipality, which carries the same name. The Wadden islands form the border between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea, which lies on the south side of the island file. The municipality of Ameland had a population of 3,683 in 2017. The inhabitants are called Amelanders.

Friesland Province of the Netherlands

Friesland, also historically known as Frisia, is a province of the Netherlands located in the northern part of the country. It is situated west of Groningen, northwest of Drenthe and Overijssel, north of Flevoland, northeast of North Holland, and south of the Wadden Sea. In 2015, the province had a population of 646,092 and a total area of 5,100 km2 (2,000 sq mi).

North Sea marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean

The North Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the ocean through the English Channel in the south and the Norwegian Sea in the north. It is more than 456 kilometres (283 mi) long and 124 kilometres (77 mi) wide, with an area of around 53,910 square kilometres (20,810 sq mi).

Wadden Sea An intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea (Netherlands, Germany and Denmark)

The Wadden Sea is an intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea. It lies between the coast of northwestern continental Europe and the range of low-lying Frisian Islands, forming a shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands. It has a high biological diversity and is an important area for both breeding and migrating birds. In 2009, the Dutch and German parts of the Wadden Sea were inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List and the Danish part was added in June 2014.


The island has four villages, and one small part-village.

There were two other villages: Oerd and Sier, but these were flooded and now lie in the sea.[ when? ] The name of these villages live on in MS Oerd and MS Sier, which are the names of the ferries to the island. From west to east:

Sier is a surname. Notable people by that name include:

Hollum Village in Friesland, Netherlands

Hollum is the largest village on Ameland, Netherlands, one of the West Frisian Islands. It is situated on the westernmost part of the island and had, as of January 2017, a population of 1,165.

Bornrif lighthouse in the Netherlands

The Ameland Lighthouse, commonly known as Bornrif, is a lighthouse on the Dutch island Ameland, one of the Frisian Islands, on the edge of the North Sea. It was built in 1880 by order of William III of the Netherlands. It was designed by Dutch lighthouse architect Quirinus Harder and built by the foundry Nering Bögel in Deventer. The individual segments were shipped to Ameland and welded together on-site.

Ballum Village in Friesland, Netherlands

Ballum is a village on the western half of the island of Ameland and the smallest of the total of four villages on the island, one of the West Frisian Islands and part of the Netherlands. It has a population of about 350; this excludes about 75 inhabitants of the countryside surrounding the village.


First mentioned as Ambla in the eighth century, it paid tribute to the county of Holland until in 1424 its lord, Ritske Jelmera, declared it a "free lordship" (vrijheerschap).

Tribute wealth that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or of submission or allegiance

A tribute (/ˈtrɪbjuːt/) is wealth, often in kind, that a party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states exacted tribute from the rulers of land which the state conquered or otherwise threatened to conquer. In case of alliances, lesser parties may pay tribute to more powerful parties as a sign of allegiance and often in order to finance projects that would benefit both parties. To be called "tribute" a recognition by the payer of political submission to the payee is normally required; the large sums, essentially protection money, paid by the later Roman and Byzantine Empires to barbarian peoples to prevent them attacking imperial territory, would not usually be termed "tribute" as the Empire accepted no inferior political position. Payments by a superior political entity to an inferior one, made for various purposes, are described by terms including "subsidy".

Holland Region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands

Holland is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. The name Holland is also frequently used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. This usage is commonly accepted in other countries, and sometimes employed by the Dutch themselves. However, some in the Netherlands, particularly those from regions outside Holland, may find it undesirable or misrepresentative to use the term for the whole country.

Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power over others acting like a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the peerage in the United Kingdom, or are entitled to courtesy titles. The collective "Lords" can refer to a group or body of peers.

Although Holland, Friesland and the Holy Roman Emperor contested this quasi-independent status, it remained a free lordship until the ruling family, Cammingha, died out in 1708. After that, the Frisian stadtholder John William Friso, Prince of Orange, became lord of Ameland and after him, his son the stadtholder of all the Netherlands, William IV, Prince of Orange, and his grandson, William V, Prince of Orange.

Holy Roman Empire varying complex of lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.

Cammingha family name

Van Cammingha is an old Frisian noble family and their house from the Dutch province of Friesland. The family castle in Ballum is now the location of the town hall.

Stadtholder title used in parts of Europe

In the Low Countries, stadtholder was an office of steward, designated a medieval official and then a national leader. The stadtholder was the replacement of the duke or earl of a province during the Burgundian and Habsburg period.

Only in the constitution of 1813 was the island finally integrated into the Netherlands into the province of Friesland. The monarchy of the Netherlands still maintain the title Vrijheer van Ameland today.

In 1871 and 1872, a dike was built between Ameland and the mainland by a society for the reclamation of Frisian land from the sea. The dike ran from Holwerd to Buren and was 8.7 km (5 mi). long. The province and the Dutch realm each paid 200,000 guilders. In the end, it was unsuccessful; the dike did not prove to be durable and in 1882, after heavy storms in the winter, repair and maintenance of the dam were stopped. The dike can still be partially seen at low tide. The dam at Holwerd is the beginning of this dike.

In 1940 German troops were ferried to the island and within hours Ameland was under the control of the German Army. Because of its limited military value the Allies never invaded Ameland. The German forces on the island did not surrender until June 2, 1945, almost a full month after the defeat of Nazi Germany.[ citation needed ]


Like all West and East Frisian Islands, Ameland is a unique piece of nature. The profusion of different plants on the island is caused by the immense variety of landscapes. One of the scenic areas is the Oerd, a large complex of dunes which is still expanding by the year. Because of the differing landscapes and types of flora, over 60 different species of birds are sitting there every year. At the eastern part of the Oerd lies a beach plain called the Hon. Besides dunes and beaches, Ameland has some woods, like the Nesser bos ("Wood of Nes").


Most travelers reach the island by ferry from Holwerd in the mainland of Friesland, but there is also an Airport near Ballum (Ameland Airport). A bus service connects the ferries from Hollum/Ballum (route 130) and Buren/Nes (route 132). When the sea between Friesland and Ameland is low tide one can walk across (see mudflat hiking).


The population of each village of the island as of 2017:

Hollum 1165
Nes 1155
Buren 715
Ballum 350

Notable people

The following people were born on Ameland:

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  2. "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  3. "Postcodetool for 9163HD". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  4. "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  5. "Duinen Ameland". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  6. "Burgemeester Waldaschool". BWS Ameland.