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The figure of St George killing a dragon showing scenes from the history of Heide and Dithmarschen


The Südermarkt Square is a prominent public square located in the town of Heide, which is situated in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Heide is the administrative center of the Dithmarschen district, and the Südermarkt Square serves as its bustling heart and a focal point for various activities.

Südermarkt Square has a long history that dates back to the Middle Ages when it was established as a market square. The square has witnessed significant transformations over the centuries and remains an essential part of Heide's cultural and social life.

One of the notable features of Südermarkt Square is its picturesque design. The square is surrounded by beautiful historical buildings, many of which have preserved their original architectural styles. The Rathaus, or town hall, is a prominent structure that stands at one end of the square. This charming building, constructed in the 18th century, adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of the area.

The Südermarkt Square serves as a venue for various events and gatherings throughout the year. It hosts weekly markets where local farmers and vendors gather to sell fresh produce, regional delicacies, crafts, and other goods. The market atmosphere creates a vibrant and lively environment, attracting both locals and visitors.

The square also hosts seasonal events and festivals, such as the Heider Marktfrieden, a historical festival that commemorates the town's peace treaty from 1559. During these events, the square is adorned with decorations, stages, and stalls, offering a wide range of entertainment, food, and cultural activities.

Furthermore, the Südermarkt Square provides a central meeting point for residents and visitors alike. It features benches and green spaces, inviting people to relax, socialize, and enjoy the surroundings. The square's central location makes it easily accessible and a convenient starting point for exploring other attractions in Heide.

In summary, the Südermarkt Square in Heide is a historic and vibrant public square with a rich cultural heritage. It serves as a gathering place for markets, festivals, and community events, while also offering a charming setting for relaxation and socializing. Whether you're interested in history, local produce, or simply immersing yourself in the town's atmosphere, Südermarkt Square is a must-visit destination in Heide.

Historical Facts

  • Medieval Origins: Südermarkt Square has its roots in the Middle Ages when it was established as a marketplace. The square served as a hub for trade and commerce, attracting merchants and vendors from the surrounding region.
  • Peace Treaty of Heide: In 1559, a significant event took place in Heide known as the "Heider Marktfrieden" or the Peace Treaty of Heide. This treaty ended a long-standing feud between the Danish king and the counts of Dithmarschen. The Südermarkt Square played a crucial role in this historical event, and the festival commemorating the peace treaty is still celebrated in Heide today.
  • Town Hall: The Rathaus (town hall) located on Südermarkt Square is an architectural gem. It was built in the 18th century and has a distinctive red brick facade. The town hall has served as the administrative center for Heide and continues to be an important symbol of the town's history.
  • Destruction during World War II: Like many other towns in Germany, Heide suffered significant damage during World War II. Südermarkt Square was not spared, and many of the surrounding buildings were destroyed or severely damaged. After the war, efforts were made to rebuild the square and restore its historical character.
  • Market Traditions: The Südermarkt Square has been a venue for markets for centuries. The tradition of holding regular markets continues to this day. Every week, local farmers, artisans, and vendors gather at the square to sell their products, creating a lively and bustling atmosphere.
  • Architectural Heritage: The buildings surrounding Südermarkt Square showcase a mix of architectural styles. While some structures date back to the 18th century, others have been renovated or reconstructed over time. The square's historical buildings contribute to its charm and character.
  • Role in Community Life: Südermarkt Square has always been an integral part of Heide's community life. It serves as a meeting point, a place for events and festivals, and a central gathering spot. The square is not only a physical space but also a social and cultural hub for the town.

These historical facts highlight the importance of Südermarkt Square as a historical and cultural landmark in Heide. Its role as a marketplace, its architectural heritage, and its significance in local events and traditions make it a fascinating place to explore and experience the town's history.

Heide History

Heide has a long history that dates back to the Middle Ages. The town was founded in the 13th century and originally developed as a market settlement. It grew in importance due to its strategic location on trade routes between the North Sea coast and inland regions.

Throughout its history, Heide faced several challenges, including wars, fires, and epidemics. The town was heavily affected by the devastation of the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century. However, Heide managed to recover and develop as a regional center for administration, trade, and agriculture.

In the 19th century, Heide experienced significant growth and modernization. The construction of railway lines in the region further enhanced its connectivity and economic opportunities. The town became a hub for various industries, including agriculture, food processing, and textiles.

During World War II, Heide was targeted by Allied bombing raids, resulting in extensive damage to its infrastructure and buildings. However, post-war reconstruction efforts helped restore the town to its former glory.

Today, Heide is a vibrant town with a population of around 20,000 people. It serves as an administrative, cultural, and commercial center for the surrounding region. The town features a mix of historic architecture and modern facilities, and it continues to play an important role in the agricultural and industrial sectors of Schleswig-Holstein.

Heide Top Tourist Attractions
  • St. Jürgen's Church (St. Jürgen-Kirche): This beautiful church is a prominent landmark in Heide. It was built in the 13th century and features impressive Gothic architecture. Visitors can admire its intricate details and stained glass windows.
  • Dithmarscher Landesmuseum: Located in Heide, this museum showcases the history, culture, and natural heritage of the Dithmarschen region. It houses a diverse collection of artifacts, exhibits, and displays that provide insight into the area's past.
  • Brahmshaus: This historic house in Heide was the birthplace of the famous composer Johannes Brahms. Today, it is a museum dedicated to his life and works, featuring exhibits on his musical career and personal life.
  • Naturzentrum Katinger Watt: Situated just outside Heide, this nature center offers visitors a chance to explore the unique Katinger Watt wetland area. It provides information about the local flora and fauna and organizes guided tours and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Lütjenburg Castle: About a 30-minute drive from Heide, Lütjenburg Castle is a well-preserved medieval fortress. Visitors can tour the castle grounds, learn about its history, and enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscape.
  • North Sea Coast: Heide is located not far from the North Sea coast, and visitors can easily reach popular coastal destinations such as Büsum and St. Peter-Ording. These towns offer stunning beaches, dune landscapes, and opportunities for outdoor activities like swimming, kiteboarding, and hiking.

These are just a few examples of the attractions in and around Heide. Exploring the town and its surrounding region can provide visitors with a glimpse into the history, culture, and natural beauty of this part of Germany.

Heide Climate

Heide, located in the state of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany, experiences a temperate maritime climate. Here are the key characteristics of the climate in Heide:

  • Mild Summers: Summers in Heide are generally mild with average temperatures ranging from 18°C to 22°C (64°F to 72°F). July and August are the warmest months, but temperatures rarely exceed 25°C (77°F). However, heatwaves can occur occasionally.
  • Cool Winters: Winters in Heide are cool, but not excessively cold. Average temperatures range from 1°C to 4°C (34°F to 39°F) during the day. Nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing, and snowfall is possible, although it is generally not heavy or long-lasting.
  • Rainfall: Heide receives a moderate amount of rainfall throughout the year, with no distinct dry season. The wettest months are typically July and August. Autumn and winter also tend to have higher precipitation levels, while spring is relatively drier.
  • Cloud Cover: Heide experiences a fair amount of cloud cover throughout the year. Overcast skies are common, particularly during the colder months. However, sunny days can also occur, especially during the summer.
  • Wind: Being close to the North Sea, Heide is influenced by maritime winds. Strong winds, especially from the northwest, can blow across the region. Wind speeds are generally higher during the winter months.

It's important to note that weather conditions can vary from year to year, and extreme events such as heatwaves or storms can occur. It's always a good idea to check the weather forecast before visiting or planning any outdoor activities in Heide.

Heide Geography
  • Location: Heide is situated in the western part of Schleswig-Holstein, approximately 90 kilometers (56 miles) northwest of Hamburg. It lies within the marshy plains of the Dithmarschen district.
  • Landscape: The surrounding landscape is characterized by flat, low-lying terrain. The region is part of the North German Plain, which stretches across northern Germany. The terrain is primarily composed of agricultural fields, meadows, and wetlands.
  • Marshes and Wetlands: Heide is located in an area known for its marshes and wetlands. Dithmarschen, the district where Heide is the capital, is renowned for its marshland agriculture, which involves the reclamation and cultivation of land in the marshes. The marshes are intersected by canals and drainage ditches.
  • North Sea Coast: Heide is not far from the North Sea coast, which is approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the northwest. The coast is characterized by long sandy beaches, dunes, and tidal flats. Coastal towns such as Büsum and St. Peter-Ording are popular tourist destinations known for their coastal beauty.
  • Rivers: The region surrounding Heide is crisscrossed by several rivers and waterways. The Eider River, one of the longest rivers in Schleswig-Holstein, flows to the north of Heide. Other rivers in the vicinity include the Stör and the Kiel Canal, which connects the North Sea with the Baltic Sea.
  • Agriculture: Due to the fertile soil and the marshland agriculture, the region around Heide is known for its agricultural activities. Crops such as grains, vegetables, and potatoes are grown, and livestock farming, particularly dairy farming, is also prevalent.

The geography of Heide and its surrounding region is characterized by flat plains, wetlands, and a close proximity to the North Sea coast. The agricultural landscape and the natural beauty of the area contribute to its charm and appeal.