© Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Svenja Lenz

Discover the sunny island

A brief history of the island

Fehmarn is the only Baltic Sea island of Schleswig-Holstein and at the same time a city agglomeration in Schleswig-Holstein, which was formed in 2003 by the merger of all municipalities on the island. With an area of 185 square kilometres, Fehmarn is thus the second largest town in Schleswig-Holstein and the third largest German island.

The island’s name goes back to "fe mer", Slavonic for "situated by the sea". On 3 May 1580, under Count Johann, Fehmarn received the fief flag with its present pattern, a golden crown on a blue background, from the Danish King Friedrich II. It refers to the House of Oldenburg, then and now the Danish Royal House. There are historical data about a crown on a blue background dating back to 1349. For many, however, the crown symbolizes the fertile soil, while the blue background represents the sea.

As part of the Vogelfluglinie, the direct transport link between the Copenhagen and Hamburg conurbations, Fehmarn has been connected with the mainland by the Fehmarn Sound Bridge since 1963. There is also a 19-kilometre ferry connection from Puttgarden in the north to Rödby in Denmark. Fehmarn’s Staberhuk is the most easterly and Marienleuchte is the most northeasterly point of Schleswig-Holstein.

By the way, the inhabitants of the island are called Fehmaraner and not, as is often assumed, Fehmarner.

Short chronicle of the island Fehmarn

  • 1076
    Grainfield on Fehmarn © Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Thies Rätzke

    Island "Fembre"

    The church historian Adam von Bremen mentions the island "Fembre" as a rich farmer's land and full of pirates who spare no passers-by.


  • 1202
    Nature reserve Grüner Brink on Fehmarn © Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Jonas Hengsbach

    Danish Census Book

    The Danish King Valdemar II writes down his properties and income in a Census Book, also mentioning Fehmarn with 36 villages and a "Castro", a fortified settlement of the growing town of Burg auf Fehmarn.

  • 1220-1290
    St. Nikolai Church in Burg on Fehmarn © Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Thies Rätzke

    Building of Churches

    The Sankt Petri Church of Landkirchen, the Sankt Nikolai Church of Burg and the Sankt Johannes Churches of Petersdorf and Bannesdorf are built.

  • 1420
    Autumn day on Fehmarn © Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Dirk Moeller

    The destruction of Fehmarn

    The Danish King Eric of Pomerania almost completely destroys the island of Fehmarn and nearly eradicates its population. The islanders had acknowledged the count of Holstein, Adolf VIII as their rightful lord and had exchanged the Danish Crown in the seal with the symbol of the Schauenburg nettle leaf.

  • 1424
    St. Jürgen Chapel in Burg on Fehmarn © Tourismus-Service Fehmarn


    The Prince of Schauenburg calls for resettlement of the island, granting tax exemptions. Mostly people from Dithmarschen, Saxony and Holstein follow the call.

  • 1580
    Fief flag of Fehmarn © Tourismus-Service Fehmarn

    Receipt of a fief flag

    Under Count Johann, Fehmarn receives a the fief flag with its present pattern, a golden crown on a blue background, from the Danish King Friedrich II. This flag is still hoised today.

  • 1864
    Autumn day on Fehmarn © Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Dirk Moeller

    The Second Schleswig War

    During the Second Schleswig War, Captain v. Mellenthin and 160 prussian soldiers conquer the isle of Fehmarn in nine commandeered fishing boats.

  • 1901
    Town Hall in Burg on Fehmarn © Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Thies Rätzke

    Inauguration of the new Town Hall

    The Town Hall of Burg auf Fehmarn (with a construction sum of RM 116,560) is inaugurated.

  • 1963
    Fehmarn Sound Bridge © Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Svenja Lenz

    Commissioning of the Fehmarn Sound Bridge

    The new Fehmarn Sound Bridge and the railway station in Puttgarden are now operated as a part of the "Vogelflugline", the direct transport link between Hamburg und Copenhagen.

  • 2003
    Bird's eye view of Fehmarn and the Fehmarn Sound Bridge © Michael Majewski


    As the result of a public opinion poll, the municipalities of the City of Burg and Fehmarn's countryside merge and form the City of Fehmarn.

Island facts

185,48 km²

total area - here you will find numerous sandy and natural beaches, genuine country life, a lively old town, great leisure activities and fantastic scenery.

963 m

separate our sunny island from the mainland: That's the length of our beloved Fehmarn Sound Bridge.


Villages are spread across the island. Its capital Burg is the "centre" of Fehmarn.

2200 hours

of sunshine a year - not for nothing does Fehmarn bear the title "sunny island".


nature reserves provide protected habitats for many breeding and resting birds. A visit between mid-April and mid-May is particularly worthwhile - you then can watch the migrant birds in their splendid plumage during their mating season.

300 km

of sign-posted cycle paths, often along the coast or on the dykes.


surf spots are set up along Fehmarn's coastline.


farm cafés serve freshly baked cakes and delicious tarts.

© Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Thies Rätzke

Charming Island “capital”

Specialized sports equipment and textile retailers, gift and deco shops, shoe and leather goods outlets and much more - in Burg, shoppers will find everything to their hearts’ content - all year round, and during the main season even on Sundays. Stroll through the town centre and the side streets of the island’s capital, enjoy the hustle and bustle with a cup of coffee and some cake from one of the sunny terraces of the restaurants or cafés and soak up the lively atmosphere of the historic town centre together with all sorts of events on the market square; and don’t miss the popular weekly market every Wednesday.




© Tourismus-Service Fehmarn, Thies Rätzke

Fair-trade Island

Fehmarn is the first fair-trade island in Schleswig-Holstein. Fair-trade towns or islands specifically promote fair-trade with emerging and developing countries. This means that whoever works on a product is to be fairly rewarded. Fair-trade standards ensure that smallholder families in these countries have the opportunity to improve their everyday lives through better prices and humane working conditions. The rules include social, ecological and economic standards.


Fair-trade island Fehmarn

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