Out and about,
night and day
In Wieringen the stars shine bright in the sky, and they’re at your feet too.
Reading time: Approximately 5 minutes
Rolling Wieringen, a former island in the Zuiderzee. Although more and more lit greenhouses are appearing in the distance, it gets really dark here, like in the rest of the Wadden.
You can enjoy this even better in the very first ‘Star barn’ in the Wadden. Take a seat and enjoy the show. From beautiful, protected wooden benches, the darkness experience site gives you the best view of a starry sky.
Try it out during the day. The circular floor has a picture of the solar system. Look for the stars in the sky when it's dark. Whether you want to do that in the evening or at night: it's always available. The darker it is, the more stars you see. It means you see a little less when it's a full moon.
Navigating in the dark
The darkness experience site is on the yard of the Wieringen Island museum Jan Lont. This is a typical Wieringen farm, named after its last farmer. You can picture him at the kitchen table. ‘You can always throw it away’, was Jan Lont's wisdom and he collected everything about the history of the former island. Now it is a museum about the farming and fishing life on Wieringen. That involves darkness.
When you're in the museum, take a look at the exhibition about lighting and navigating in the dark, before the arrival of electricity. ‘Out and about, night and day’. People used to find their way by the stars.
Escape the darkness
Near the village of Stroe, the ‘Heidense Kapel’ is located in a place where people used to escape the darkness. There used to be larger chapel here, blessed by Saint Willibrord, and before that it was a sacred and mysterious place. Stroe is on the Dutch Jacobspad, the Way of St. James, one of the many European pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostella. Every day, before sundown, pilgrims and penitents used to seek shelter, often in a church. It was much too dangerous in the impenetrable darkness.
Find a moment of peace or enlightenment in the Heidense Kapel. Now it is a stop for modern pilgrims and other walkers. Cyclists are welcome too, of course.