on the things we leave behind
These works are inspired by the fate of Rungholt, a wealthy city on the isle of Strand in the Wadden Sea, north of the Netherlands. At that time part of the dutchy of Schleswig (at the time Denmark). The inhabitants made sure their beautiful island would be devoured by the sea, because of uncontrolled harvesting of its natural resources: salty peat, used to distill salt, the main reason of its wealth.
January 16, 1362, a great stormtide (Grote Mandrenke) tore through the area.
It wiped the whole community without a trace.
For a few centuries.
In the 1920s-30s artefacts were found and archeologists dug up amazing traces of human activity, proving that the legend of Rungholt was based upon reality.
1634 another storm wiped away another few islands in the area. Today the islets of Pellworm, Nordstrand and Nordstrandischmoor are the only remaining fragments.
Since discovery of these traces,shifting sediments have carried the last of these into the Waddensea.
Strungholt must have had a fairly large population of at least 1500 to 2000.
It is likely that Rungholt was a major port. Legend has greatly exaggerated its size and wealth, however.
Local myth has it that one can still hear the church bells of Rungholt ringing when sailing through the area on a stormy night.