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|Bundesland: Niedersachsen||Lower Saxony|
Wangerooge is the easternmost and smallest of the inhabited islands of the East Frisian Islands (according to some other measurements, Baltrum is the smallest), located off the coast of Germany's state of Lower Saxony. Wangerooge is also a municipality in the district of Friesland. Its population is about 1,300 (2011).
Historically, Wangerooge is the only one of the East Frisian Islands that belonged to the historical district Oldenburg between 1815 and 1947, whereas Borkum, Juist, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog and Spiekeroog always belonged to the county of Ostfriesland. The name of the island is derived from Old Germanic wanga (meadow) and Frisian oog (island), referring to its location off the shore of the Wangerland. The Wangerland area took its name from the Frisian Gau Wanga, which already had been mentioned in the 8th/9th century. Settlements on the island were mentioned as early as 1306 and 1327. The island Wangeroch was first mentioned in 1398. The name of the island historically was Wangeroich (1532), Wangero (1597), Wangeröhe (1613) and thereafter Wangeroog. In 1885 the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg changed the name, against the will of the island's population, to Wangerooge. Throughout the centuries, the currents of the North Sea caused a continuous southward and especially eastward drift of the island: between the 17th and 19th century the island lost about 2 km of its land mass in the west and gained 4 km in the east. In 1885, a storm surge destroyed the old island and most of its inhabitants left Wangerooge. Some of them settled on the coast, e.g. in Horumersiel and Schillig.
The Westturm (West Tower) depicted on glass no. 2833 [left] was the second of three construtions of this name. The first West tower, the west tower of St. Nicholas church, had been erected presumably in the 14th century and collapsed due to the impact of the seas in 1590. Its ruins were long used thereafter as a sea mark. The second West Tower (depicted here) was erected in 1602 further east in response to requests by the merchants of Bremen who requested a lighthouse and landmark for ships entering the river Weser. Thus, the ships had to pay customs, which for long were one of the most important sources of income for the county (later duchy and grand duchy) of Oldenburg. The tower had a height of 50 m (5 floors) and also included a church hall on its first floor. A storm flood in 1860 damaged the tower to such an extent that its entire interior furnishing was removed to the nearby bailiwick, where it nevertheless perished two years later in another storm flood. Around 1900 the damaged tower already stood offshore. In 1914 it was blown up by the German navy so as not being an easily indentifyable object serving as potential landmark for the British enemy during World War I. The current "New West Tower" (8 floors, height 56 m) was built about 900 m further south on the island in 1932.