Tönning in Schleswig-Holstein is a small town with around 4900 inhabitants. It’s my mothers hometown and it’s the place where I feel my soul comes from and where I have to go at least once a year.
Tönning is located next to the river Eider, the second largest river in Schleswig-Holstein.
In the historical harbour we find the longest Advents calendar in the world.
Tönnings historical inland harbour was an important harbour in earlier times. Located inland, close to the German Sea, it was quite protected from the storms. It got the shape it has today in the year 1613.
Tönning was mentioned in 1187 for the first time. 1414 people from the other side of the river burned down Tönning.
From 1580 to 1583 Duke Adolf von Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf build the castle of Tönning. He was the first duke of the new founded dukedom Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf. 1590 Tönning got its town privilege.
The golden age of Tönning started when immigrants from the Netherlands came to the area and provided an economic boom. They started a big scale cheese production. Tönning became an important port of export.
In the record year 1610 3 million pound cheese were exported through Tönning harbour.
From 1644-1714 Tönning was a fortress of the Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorfs. Duke of Gottorf Friedrich III upgraded the town of Tönning to a fortress after the experiences from 30 Year’s war. Friedrich III moved to Tönning during the war. He started the work with building bastions, bombproof tunnels and three gates.
The Danish troupes of king Friedrich III besieges the fortress in1659, but couldn’t defeat it. But in 1675 the king managed to expel the Duke Christian Albrecht from his dukedom and to become the patriarch of Schleswig and Holstein.
Christian Albrecht got his dukedom back in 1692 with help of the German Empire and European allies. He added several bastions and hired the Swede Zacharias Wolf to lead this work.
The deciding battles of the big Nordic war between Sweden-Gottorf and Denmark-Russia-Poland-Sachsen found place in the area around Tönning.
In 1700 King Friedrich IV marched into Gottorf and besieged the fortress. Sweden-Gottorf lost the war and the Danish king let the castles been tear down.
Tönning had some more up and down times after that, from being an important trading harbour and to loose its importance as fishing harbour after the opening of the Eider barrier in 1972.
Today the town is a popular destination for summer tourist.
Famous people from Tönning:
Friedrich von Esmarch (1832-1908) invented the “first help” in 1869 and the ice pack
The German-Australian Botanic Ferdinand von Mueller (1825-1896) grew up in Tönning.
Jürgen Gosch (1941) founder of Gosch restaurants was born and grew up in Tönning.