Neuharlingersiel is a small fishing village and a coastal seaside resort in the district of Wittmund in Germany’s Lower Saxony region. Since the land was donated for a dike construction in the Harlebucht bay, Neuharlingersiel is a haven for offshore fishing. From 1792, its harbour has been used as the ferry port for the East Frisian island of Spiekeroog. The scenic old port with its miniature fishing huts and colourful fishing boats in the harbour seems unreal in its serene beauty, despite the bustling activities of fishermen and port workers. Although the harbour is not a museum, it is a lively centre, which asserts the hypnotic lifestyle of coastal fisheries; the characteristic smell, the fresh sea breeze, and the call of stall of vendors all bring the area to life. The bronze sculptures of "old and young fishermen" (Alt- und Jungfischer) by sculptor Hans-Christian Petersen are a special attraction and have found their place amongst visitors in the port area.
Location: On the North Sea coast
Neuharlingersiel is situated in Harlingerland, East Frisia. The nearest cities are Wilhelmshaven, Leer, and Oldenburg. Easily accessible, there are five regional airports within a distance of 20 km, the closest one being Harle, approximately 7.7 kilometres away.
Business: Preserving the cultural heritage of the sea
Due to the different uses of the sea, fishing in the mudflats has declined as a traditional economic resource. Instead, tourism is the fastest developing industry, and fishing boats are being utilized to offer visitors trips to promote the historical heritage of the town and teach fishing techniques to anybody who takes an interest.
Culture: Ship in a bottle
The Neuharlingersiel Buddelschiffmuseum features a unique fleet at anchor. Over 100 ships in bottles from 0.7 to 60 litres with authentic models from the dugout to the atomic submarine are on display. Highlights include the Victory—the flagship of Admiral Nelson—and a representation of the sinking of the Titanic (1912), complete with lifeboat and icebergs, built inside a huge glass bottle by the legendary King of the Bottle Ships, Jonny Reinert. Numerous drawings, rare photos, and captain images complement this extraordinary exhibition. Annually changing special exhibitions are conducted on issues of fisheries and ocean shipping.
Activities: Boat trips and cycle tours
From the terrace of one of the port’s cafes, you can gaze upon the Wadden Sea and the islands of Langeoog, Spiekeroog, and Wangerooge, together with a panoramic view of the fishing port that berths all types of boats, including the Neuharlingersiel Lifeboat, near the shed of the GMRS (DLRG; German Maritime Search and Rescue Service) rescue station. If a boat trip does not suit your fancy, a cycle tour of the area might be just the thing for you. Neuharlingersiel is situated in the glorious surroundings of the Wadden Sea National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that extends to the shoreline along neighbouring communities.