“I have sailed over Rungholt town today, / six hundred years ago it was washed away. / The waves still pound there, wild and harsh, / just as before, when they destroyed the marsh. / The steamship's engines shake and creak, / From the sea comes a weird and mocking shriek: Trutz , blanke Hans. … (Detlev von Liliencron, “Trutz, blanke Hans”)
|A reconstruction of Rungholt before the dike was washed over, taken from the German docutainment show “Terra X / Atlantis der Nordsee”|
Legend has it, that you can still hear Rungholt's church bells ringing in certain nights from the bottom of the Wadden Sea. In boozy hubris, the 5,000 or so inhabitants of the place, grown rich on salt trade, laughed at Blanke Hans, more or less “John Spray”, a synonym for the Great North Sea, and challenged him during a feast and the sea rose and drowned them under the waves, with divine approval, since the story goes that the locals got a pig drunk and forced the parson to give the befuddled brute the last rites on January 15th on top of it.
|A 19th century map of Strand|
The image above was found on:
and more on: