Friesland: Tips for Dangast
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1. One night in a circus car at the North Sea
Sleeping in the North Sea Cart in Dangast.
Sleeping in a circus car. Right on the North Sea. I always dreamed of that. With a view of the water, the waves and maybe a lighthouse. There he stands now, painted blue and white, wobbles and creaks a bit in the wind, but he is clearly in front of me: The North Sea Cart, my home for the night. With a Klönschnacktür, from which one can open only the upper part. This car is surprisingly large, it even has its own kitchen. But it stays cold, because Dangast is far too exciting for me to want to stay in those tiny little four walls, and in there too.
2. What is there to see on Jade Bay??
It pulls me out. In the wind, to the sea, to the beach. Yes, Dangast is one of the few North Sea towns on the mainland that has sandy beaches. And even palm trees. Nagut, they grow in planters, but at least their fronds rustle in the wind, people sit on wide wooden furniture, put their feet in the sand, the cocktail ready to whisper to the sunset.
Palm beach at the North Sea
No, North Sea can do more than just fish sandwich booth and beach chair, it has so many facets, that’s what I like about it. But I have already made a declaration of love for the North Sea elsewhere. Now I want to discover this place first.
Boat in front of Dangast
3. Dangast – artists’ village on the North Sea
Joseph Beuys was already here, but Dangast is known more as a meeting place for the artists of the painters’ association “Die Brücke”. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, like Erich Heckel, had lodged in Dangast. Max Pechstein painted here, all well-known artists, who can be found in a density here like no other North Sea town. But none of the artists is so intertwined with the place as Franz Radziwill, who lived here from 1923 to 60 years until his death. His house has become a museum today. But I will only look at it on the way back.
Sauna, brine bath and clear view
First, I go on the boulevard from the campsite to the village and then on to the Kurhaus. I pass the swimming pool, which is fed by its own brine spring. And at the attached sauna, from which the view extends directly to the sea. Past restaurants, cafes and food stalls.
What is so special about Dangast?
Dangast is one of the few places on the Lower Saxony mainland, from which one has dike-free view of the sea. Not only that makes the village on the Geige back to something special. Above all, it is the artistic flair that has survived over the place to this day. First and foremost in the Kurhaus, which has until today been a meeting place for artists and alternative people, who mix there with the normal guests.
I meet Maren Tapken, the owner, and envy her a little bit for the constantly beautiful view of the Jade Bay. Maren Tapken is one of the engines when it comes to strengthening the cultural life in Friesland. It is she who co-founded the Festival Watt en Schlick, which was named Festival of the Year 2018. It brings stars of modern music styles to Dangast every year in early August and is now more than just an insider tip.
The Kurhaus was also a motive for some artists
Culture has a home
After all, Dangast became the first North Sea resort on the mainland in 1797. Since 1804, the Kurhaus has been enthroned on the Geeregge and, 100 years later, is the number one artist meeting point on the North Sea. What Maren Tapken’s great-grandmother started with the bridge artists, continued her father and was always ahead of the zeitgeist. For example, when he sets up rainbow flags on the beach in 1978 as an admonition to endangered nature, at that time the party of the Greens was not even founded. Before that, the Beuys student Anatol Herzfeld places a naked jade on the water, long before his works can be seen at Documenta.
Anatol Herzfeld has put this sculpture on the beach of Dangast.
The work of the Oldenburg sculptor Eckard Grenzer, who built a special landmark between the land and the sea in 1984, really made waves: a granite phallus, better known as the giant penis of Dangast. He wanted to remind with his sculpture of the feminine power of the sea, which combines on the beach briefly with the male power of the country.
The phallus – trademark of the beach.
Since the sandy beach in front of the spa is privately owned by Tapkens anyway, the sculpture was indeed a stumbling block, but no one could do anything about it. And so it amazes visitors to the beach to this day. Like the big wooden chair and the Walgrafitti on the wall. “Everything has a meaning for us,” explains Maren Tapken the works around her Kurhaus.
At the Kurhaus in Dangast there is the only forest right on the Watt in Germany
In the rooms of the culture house too. There hangs many an original of artists whose works can also be found in large museums. Underneath, people sit and chat with rhubarb cake, for which the Kurhaus is famous. I’ll end the day here before cuddling up in my circus car.
At the harbor of Dangast
4. Sights: My tips for Dangast
Dangast with its 550 inhabitants is actually only a district of Varel, but yet big enough to have long since a name of its own with holiday guests. The place is perfect for families, but also for a weekend, maybe even in winter.
Sculpture on the art trail in Dangast
The lighthouse Arngast can be seen from Dangast. If you want to get closer, book a ride on the bathing boat Etta from Dangast or a mudflat walk. Going alone is too dangerous. If you are lucky, you will also see seals from the excursion steamer.
Second hand fashion at the spa of Dangast
Walking mile to the Kurhaus
There is a way, it is simply duty in Dangast, the way to the Kurhaus is the promenade of the place. There are also the most boutiques. I’m not so into the fine boutiques that sell deco, clothing or household goods in the front part of the way. I rather like single pieces, handmade or just second hand parts. This can be found on the grounds of the Kurhaus, as it were in the turnpike of the street An der Rennweide. There is a soap shop with handmade soap from Dangast and a second-hand fashion store.
Soap from the soap manufacturer Dangast
Spa house Dangast
It’s not just an artists’ café, it’s a whole cosmos. A cosmos of the alternative, of the artistic, something that still carries the idea of the artists’ meeting. While most of the tourists come to eat the famous rhubarb cake, which is one of the specialties of the Dangaster Spa House, some come only to the Art sake.
Nice view: terrace of the Kurhaus
Tucked away under trees lies the brick house on the Geereckige: The spa house in Dangast has always been the center of cultural life in Dangast. It was there that Joseph Beuys, Franz-Radziwill or even today Anatol Herzfeld were inspired. The café still has many works of art to admire while eating the legendary rhubarb pie. In addition, the adjoining lodging house with its open studios and shops offers a very own flair. Spa house Dangast, An der Rennweide 46, 26316 Varel, Tel. 04451 4409.
Rhubarb cake in the Kurhaus must be
Art exists not only in the museums and in the Kurhaus. At the entrance to Dangast the artist Diedel Klöver maintains a special studio: he forges wonderful sculptures out of old iron. On some dates, the workshop is also open to visitors.
Again and again art, even in the oak grove at the spa of Dangast.
Sculpture Path Art on the dike
If you walk through Dangast and its surroundings, you will always discover glimpses that are worth a visit. And many of these looks have actually entered art history as motifs, panels tell us which painter stood in which places and in which pictures the panoramas were immortalized, for example by Max Pechstein. In addition, special sculptures adorn the 11 km stretch between Mariensiel and Dangast. On the way, you will find works by sculptors, large and small, that address the seven days of the biblical story of creation.
On the sculpture trail of Dangast
Dangast beach at low tide. When is the water just there??
Museum: Franz Radziwill House
Franz Radziwill has worked in the style of magical realism. An art style that on the one hand shows the world as it is, on the other hand, that allows images to incorporate motifs from dreams, which in some cases makes the pictures look very surreal. There is almost a fluid transition to surrealism, as painted by Dalí.
Signpost to the museum
In any case, Franz Radziwill is considered an important representative of this art movement has spent his formative years in the spa Dangast. From his work, life and inspirations during the 60 years. His home in Sielstraße tells of his work, his inspirations and how his painting style changed from expressionism to magical realism and later to symbolism. There are changing exhibitions shown. Sielstraße 3, www.radziwill.de, Wed-Fri 15-18, Sat / Sun 11-18 clock, Nov-mid Dec only Fri / Sat / Sun. Admission: adults 5 €, with spa card 4 €, children up to 14 years free. Children’s courses are offered.
Franz Radziwill House: Art Museum on the North Sea
National Park House Dangast
On Ortseigang lures the brick building of the old school. Although the village school has long since been abandoned, this house has remained a learning place because it now houses the National Park House. It belongs to a network of places that inform about the national parks, about fauna and flora and why environmental protection is so important in these regions. Visitors can also book mudflats there, and anyone on the North Sea should do so at least once. To the Jadebusen 179, Tel. 04451 7058, Tue-Fri 10-12 and 14-18, Sat / Sun 14-18 o’clock.
The National Park House is located in an old school
Sundowner at the beach club
If there is a place for sunsets then it is the beach club. It is located very close to the indoor pool on a sandy beach. Palm trees in large planters spread exotic mood and heavy furniture made of pallets provide relaxed moments. Just put your feet in the sand, enjoy the iced tea or milk coffee and look at the water. Anyone who comes during the day can see the water coming and going if it stays there. Edo-Wiemken-Straße 63, www.sonnendeck-dangast.de, May-Oct daily from 12 o’clock.
Heavy furniture of the beach bar
Swimming pool Dangast and Watt’n sauna
Sitting in the sauna and looking out to the Wadden Sea – the Watt’n sauna attracts with Finnish saunas and a brine sauna, fed from the brine source of the place. The roof terraces and fireplace complete the well-being experience. It is part of the modern complex of the Dangaster swimming pool, which is fed by its own iodine brine spring. In addition to swimming pools, there are giant slides, a lazy river and outdoor pools that guarantee swimming in Dangast when the North Sea once again shows its ebb-sight. Massage areas and bistros complete the offer as well as a large sunbathing lawn with beach chairs. Edo-Wiemken-Straße, Wed 14-21, Thu / Fri 14-22, Sat 12-22, Sun 10-20pm, 2h 10,50 €.
5. Apartment? Stay overnight in Dangast
An apartment is nice, but in Dangast there are much better places to stay. How about the beach sleeping basket? The special design of the beach basket offers a sleeping area for two people, which is covered with a solid tarpaulin and thus offers a tent-like habitation. The charm of sleeping right under the stars on the beach is great. When I was there, however, it had stormed and rained – you should definitely take thick sleeping bags. The beach chair is bookable via the tourist information.
Beach Sleeping Bag by Dangast – does not just look like a cabriolet
If you prefer sleeping in the house, you should look at the old post office. Ivy-infused shows the long building. It is centrally located and close to the Kurhaus and impresses with its idyllic location next to the forest and its enchanted garden. There are also apartments on offer, for those who want to book a holiday apartment in Dangast. At the Rennweide 38, www.altes-posthaus.de
Apartment in Dangast: Pension Altes Posthaus also rents rooms
I stayed in Dangast in the North Sea Cart. Granted: I was pretty cold there, the blankets were not enough, because it was a stormy and cold night. If you are sleeping there, you should take bed linen, it is not included in the price. Or just a big sleeping bag. But the awakening was great there, because the bath car is in the first row with a view of the North Sea or the Watt and even offers a small kitchenette for self-catering. Strandcampingplatz (On the guest 40, Tel. 044 51/91 14 22) to find.
This is what the North Sea Cart looks like from the inside
6. Bird watching in Dangast
If you want to see birds in Dangast, you should come in the fall or spring, when migratory birds populate the area. But beyond the migratory bird days, the region offers many opportunities. For example, there are lapwings, snipe, avocet, barnacle, golden plover, redshank, spoonbill, sandpiper, knutts, black-tailed godwit, little ringed plover, crickets, pikes, mallards, terns, reed warblers, cane and grasshopper, grebes. More tips on bird watching in Dangast can be found here.
7. Environmentally friendly mobile
If you do without the car, you get on the tourist bus to get faster. The bus allows holidaymakers to move environmentally friendly in the region between Ems and Jade. To do so, they must present their NordseeCard when boarding the normal regular service buses, ie the guest ticket. The guided under the name tourist bus offer applies from 9 clock daily cost for adults then only 1 € each way.
Acorns on the beach of Dangast
8. Important questions about Dangast
Where is Dangast? Dangast is located on the North Sea, about 30 kilometers south of Wilhelmshaven.
Lighthouse in the Jade Bay
When is the water in Dangast? Well, with the North Sea it is such a thing. She follows her own rhythm. This dynamic is subject to a 6-hour clock. 6 hours the water goes (low tide), six hours comes the water (high tide). When the water is at the lowest level, it is called low water, it is, as one is used to from the sea, there, it is called flood. This rhythm shifts by about 48 minutes every day. There is a tide calendar here.
Hidden the spa house is located directly on the sandy beach
More information about Dangast is available at the Kurverwaltung Nordseebad Dangast, Edo-Wiemken-Str. 61. 26316 Varel-Dangast, Tel. 04451 91140, www.dangast.de
If you are interested in the region, please read my other articles on Wangerland. Here I write about the beautiful city of Jever. And there are generally tips for the Wangerland, especially between Harlesiel and Carolinensiel. And here I look at the North Sea from above – I started in Harle, also in Wangerland. Of course, I also wrote an article about why I love the North Sea so much. And have you ever heard of Schillig??
Art on the beach of Dangast
The throne on the beach of Dangast stands in the mudflat
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