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Country Netherlands
Province Friesland
Area 191.19 km²
- Land 39.94 km²
- Water 151.25 km²
Population (2005) 1,002
- Density 25/km²

Schiermonnikoog (pronunciation (help·info), Frisian: Skiermûntseach) is a municipality and an island in the northern Netherlands, one of the West Frisian Islands. The only village on the island is also called Schiermonnikoog.


[edit] History

The first known owners of Schiermonnikoog were the monks of the Cistercian monastery Klaarkamp near Rinsumageest, on the mainland<ref>Stenvert, R. et al. (2000). Monumenten in Nederland: Friesland, p. 265–267. Zwolle: Waanders Uitgevers. ISBN 90-400-9476-4.</ref>. "Monnik" means "monk" and "schier" is an archaic word meaning "grey", referring to the colour of the monks' habits. The name Schiermonnikoog therefore translates as Island of the grey monks.

The tidal current, prevailing wind and the sea cause the island to slowly "move" to the south and the east. In the year 1250, it lay roughly 2 km to the north of its present position, and it had a significantly different shape<ref>Van de Ven, G. (editor) (1996). Leefbaar laagland, p. 90. Utrecht: Uitgeverij Matrijs. ISBN 90-5345-031-9.</ref>. In 1717 and 1720, storms flooded the village Westerburen that had developed in the vicinity of the monks' buildings. Consequently, the village was abandoned. From 1756 a new village, named Oosterburen, was built to the east. Nowadays this second village is named Schiermonnikoog, after the island.

On January 1 2006 the eastern border of the island was moved eastbound, further into the now former territory of the municipality of Eemsmond in the province of Groningen, for a compensation of about 300.000 euros. This was done to give the municipality of Schiermonnikoog the possibility to act in case of a calamity or disaster.

[edit] Tourism

The main source of income on Schiermonnikoog is tourism. The island houses a campground, a ferry pier, a tidal harbour for small vessels and approximately 15 hotels and hundreds of vacation houses and apartments.

[edit] Travel

The only public transport to Schiermonnikoog is by ferry from the lock and harbour complex of Lauwersoog. Even during the winter months there is more than one connection per day.

[edit] References

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[edit] External links

Friesland (Fryslân) Province
Image:Frisian flag.svg

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