Texel is a municipality and an island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, in the province of North Holland
North Holland
North Holland |West Frisian]]: Noard-Holland) is a province situated on the North Sea in the northwest part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is Haarlem and its largest city is Amsterdam.-Geography:...

. It is the biggest and most populated of the Frisian Islands
West Frisian Islands
The West Frisian Islands are a chain of islands in the North Sea off the Dutch coast, along the edge of the Wadden Sea. They continue further east as the German East Frisian Islands and are part of the Frisian Islands....

 in the Wadden Sea
Wadden Sea
The Wadden Sea is an intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea. It lies between the coast of northwestern continental Europe and the range of Frisian Islands, forming a shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands. It is rich in biological diversity...

, and also the westernmost of this archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

, which extends to Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. The next island in the archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

, to the north of Texel, is Vlieland
Vlieland is a municipality in the northern Netherlands. The municipality of Vlieland has only one major town: Oost-Vlieland . It is the second-least densely populated municipality in the Netherlands ....


The name Texel is Frisian, but because of historical sound-changes in Dutch, where all -x- sounds have been replaced with -s- sounds (compare for instance English Fox, Frisian Fokse, German Fuchs with Dutch Vos), the name is typically pronounced Tessel in Dutch.


The island includes the seven villages De Cocksdorp, De Koog, De Waal, Den Burg, Den Hoorn, Oosterend, and Oudeschild, and the small townships of Bargen, De Nes, Dijkmanshuizen, Driehuizen, Harkebuurt, 't Horntje, Midden-Eierland, Molenbuurt, Nieuweschild, Noorderbuurt, Ongeren, Oost, Spang, Spijkdorp, Tienhoven, Westermient, Zevenhuizen, and Zuid-Eierland.
The municipality also includes the uninhabited sand bar
Bar (landform)
A shoal, sandbar , or gravelbar is a somewhat linear landform within or extending into a body of water, typically composed of sand, silt or small pebbles. A spit or sandspit is a type of shoal...

 of Noorderhaaks
Noorderhaaks, also called Razende bol , is a Dutch sandbar in the North Sea, a few kilometres west of the Marsdiep which separates the island Texel from mainland North Holland...

. The island of Texel, which received city rights
City rights in the Netherlands
City rights are a medieval phenomenon in the history of the Low Countries. A liegelord, usually a count, duke or similar member of high nobility, granted a settlement he owned certain town privileges that settlements without city rights did not have....

 in 1415, originally was made up of two islands, Texel proper to the south and Eierland to the northwest, which were connected by shoal
Shoal, shoals or shoaling may mean:* Shoal, a sandbank or reef creating shallow water, especially where it forms a hazard to shipping* Shoal draught , of a boat with shallow draught which can pass over some shoals: see Draft...

s. In the seventeenth century, the islands were polder
A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments known as dikes, that forms an artificial hydrological entity, meaning it has no connection with outside water other than through manually-operated devices...

ed together. Today, Texel forms the largest natural barrier between the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 and the Wadden Sea
Wadden Sea
The Wadden Sea is an intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea. It lies between the coast of northwestern continental Europe and the range of Frisian Islands, forming a shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands. It is rich in biological diversity...


The dune landscape on Texel is a unique habitat for wildlife. Texel is known for its wildlife, particularly in winter, when birds of prey
Bird of prey
Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh....

 and geese
The word goose is the English name for a group of waterfowl, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than true geese, and ducks, which are smaller....

 take up residence. About one third of Texel is a protected nature reserve.


Transport around the island is typically by bicycle, bus (Connexxion
Connexxion is the largest public transport bus company in the Netherlands, operating in the west, middle, east and far northern part of the country. It was formed in 1999 as result of a fusion between the public transport companies NZH, ZWN, Midnet and Oostnet. Its name is a mutation of the French...

) or car. Texel has an extensive cycle path network. Transport to Texel is usually by ferry (Royal TESO
Royal TESO
The Royal TESO N.V. is a private ferry company operating the only public boat service to and from the Dutch Wadden island of Texel. TESO stands for Texel's Eigen Stoomboot Onderneming . Founded in 1907, this public company was started by Dr. Wagemaker to improve the quality of transportation to and...

), from Den Helder
Den Helder
Den Helder is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Den Helder occupies the northernmost point of the North Holland peninsula...

, or by air via Texel International Airport
Texel International Airport
Texel International Airport is a small airport located north northeast of Den Burg on the island of Texel in the north of the Netherlands. It has a customs service to handle international flights making it an international airport, though no scheduled international flights take place from the...



In the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and before, Texel and Wieringen
Wieringen is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It consists of a former island, also named Wieringen, and there are plans to make Wieringen an island again by widening the Amsteldiepkanaal into a lake called the Wieringerrandmeer.-Population centres :The...

 may have been much bigger and met each other as opposite banks of the Marsdiep
The Marsdiep is a deep tide-race between Den Helder and Texel in the Netherlands, and running southwards between sandbanks. That gap connects the North Sea and the Waddenzee....

, which was then a river with banks of permanent land: see here.

Notable battles involving Texel:
  • 1653 Battle of Scheveningen
    Battle of Scheveningen
    The Battle of Scheveningen was the final naval battle of the First Anglo-Dutch War...

     - During the First Anglo-Dutch War
    First Anglo-Dutch War
    The First Anglo–Dutch War was the first of the four Anglo–Dutch Wars. It was fought entirely at sea between the navies of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. Caused by disputes over trade, the war began with English attacks on Dutch merchant shipping, but...

  • 1673 Battle of Texel
    Battle of Texel
    The naval Battle of Texel or Battle of Kijkduin took place on 21 August 1673 between the Dutch and the combined English and French fleets and was the last major battle of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, which was itself part of the Franco-Dutch War , during which Louis XIV of France invaded the...

     - During the Third Anglo-Dutch War
    Third Anglo-Dutch War
    The Third Anglo–Dutch War or Third Dutch War was a military conflict between England and the Dutch Republic lasting from 1672 to 1674. It was part of the larger Franco-Dutch War...

  • 1797 Battle of Camperdown
    Battle of Camperdown
    The Battle of Camperdown was a major naval action fought on 11 October 1797 between a Royal Navy fleet under Admiral Adam Duncan and a Dutch Navy fleet under Vice-Admiral Jan de Winter...

     - During the Napoleonic wars
    Napoleonic Wars
    The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

  • 1914 Battle off Texel
    Battle off Texel
    The Battle off Texel, also known as the Action off Texel or the Action of 17 October 1914, was a naval battle off the coast of the Dutch island of Texel during the First World War where a British squadron consisting of one light cruiser and four destroyers on a routine patrol encountered the...

     - During the First World War
  • 1945 Georgian Uprising of Texel
    Georgian Uprising of Texel
    The Georgian Uprising on Texel was an insurrection by the 882nd Infantry Battalion Königin Tamara of the Georgian Legion of the German Army stationed on the German occupied Dutch island of Texel . The battalion was made up of 800 Georgians and 400 Germans, with mainly German officers...

     - During the Second World War

Texel is also famous in military history as the only place that a navy was defeated on horseback. Occupying Holland in January 1795, the French continental army learned that the mighty Dutch navy had been frozen into the ice around Texel Island, so Commandant Louis Joseph Lahure and 128 men simply rode up to it and demanded surrender. No shots were fired.

During the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, Texel was used as a haven port for the USS Bonhomme Richard
USS Bonhomme Richard
Five ships of the United States Navy have borne the name Bonhomme Richard or Bon Homme Richard , the French language equivalent of "Goodman Richard"....

 before it sank off the coast of Flamborough Head
Flamborough Head
Flamborough Head is a promontory of on the Yorkshire coast of England, between the Filey and Bridlington bays of the North Sea. It is a chalk headland, and the resistance it offers to coastal erosion may be contrasted with the low coast of Holderness to the south...

 in Britain in September 1779. In that final action, John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones was a Scottish sailor and the United States' first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War. Although he made enemies among America's political elites, his actions in British waters during the Revolution earned him an international reputation which persists to...

 defeated and captured the British ship HMS Serapis
HMS Serapis
Five ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Serapis, after the god Serapis of Hellenistic Egypt.* HMS Serapis was a 44-gun Roebuck-class two-decker fifth rate launched in 1779 and captured later that year by the American John Paul Jones...

, which he sailed to Texel for desperately needed repairs. This event further complicated Anglo-Dutch relations.

On the night of 31 August 1940, the sea to the northwest of Texel was the scene of the sinking of two British destroyers and the severe damage of a third by German mines in what became known as the Texel Disaster
Texel Disaster
The Texel disaster took place off the Dutch coast on the night of 31 August 1940 and involved the sinking of two Royal Navy destroyers and damage to a third and a light cruiser...



The tourism industry forms a substantial part of the economy in Texel. Approximately 70% of activities on Texel are in some way related to tourism. Popular forms of tourism on Texel include cycling, walking, swimming and horse riding.

Local government

The municipal council of Texel consists of 15 seats, which are divided as follows [as per April 2010]:
  • PvdA
    Labour Party (Netherlands)
    The Labour Party , is a social-democratic political party in the Netherlands. Since the 2003 Dutch General Election, the PvdA has been the second largest political party in the Netherlands. The PvdA was a coalition member in the fourth Balkenende cabinet following 22 February 2007...

     - 3 seats
  • Texel 2010 - 3 seats
  • VVD
    People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
    The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy is a conservative-liberal political party located in the Netherlands. The VVD supports private enterprise in the Netherlands and is often perceived as an economic liberal party in contrast to the social-liberal Democrats 66 alongside which it sits in...

     - 2 seats
  • CDA
    Christian Democratic Appeal
    The Christian Democratic Appeal is a centre-right Dutch Christian democratic political party. It suffered severe losses in the 2010 elections and fell from the first to the fourth place...

     - 2 seats
  • Texels Belang - 2 seats
  • D66
    Democrats 66
    Democrats 66 is a progressive and social-liberal political party in the Netherlands. D66 was formed in 1966 by a group of politically unaligned, young intellectuals, led by journalist Hans van Mierlo. The party's main objective was to democratise the political system; it proposed to create an...

     - 2 seats
  • GroenLinks - 1 seat


External links

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