North end of the island with the Eierland Lighthouse in 2015
Location in North Holland
|o Body||Municipal council|
|o Mayor||Michiel Uitdehaag (D66)|
|o Total||463.16 km2 (178.83 sq mi)|
|o Land||161.12 km2 (62.21 sq mi)|
|o Water||302.04 km2 (116.62 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2 m (7 ft)|
|o Density||84/km2 (220/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Texel (Dutch pronunciation: ['t?s?l] ) is a municipality and an island with a population of 13,643 in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands. It is the largest and most populated island of the West Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea. The island is situated north of Den Helder, northeast of Noorderhaaks, and southwest of Vlieland.
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.
Texel received city rights in 1415.
During the American Revolution, Texel was used as a haven port for the USS Bonhomme Richard before it sank off the coast of Flamborough Head in Britain in September 1779. In that final action, John Paul Jones defeated and captured the British ship HMS Serapis, which he sailed to Texel for desperately needed repairs. This event further complicated Anglo-Dutch relations.
Texel is famous in military history as the only place where a navy was defeated on horseback. Occupying Holland in January 1795, the French continental army learned that the Dutch navy had been frozen into the ice around Texel, so Commandant Louis Joseph Lahure and 128 men rode up to it and demanded surrender. No shots were fired.
In 1799, HMS Lutine, a British frigate loaded with British gold, sank along the Texel coast in a storm. Her wreck shifted in the sands; despite several intensive, well financed searches, only a few treasures have been found.  A beaker made from a silver bar is displayed in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. Her bell was recovered and is now in the headquarters of Lloyds of London, where it is tolled before announcing important news.
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 is known as the Texel Disaster.
The municipality is located at North Holland and west of the mainland of the province of Friesland. The island of Texel is situated north of the city of Den Helder, northeast of the uninhabited island of Noorderhaaks, which is part of the municipality, and southwest of the island of Vlieland.north of the mainland of the province of
The island includes the seven villages:
and the small townships of
The island of Texel was originally made up of two islands, Texel proper to the south and Eierland to the northeast, which were connected by shoals. In the early seventeenth century, the islands were connected by a dyke to keep the North Sea from ravaging the coastal areas of Texel proper. In the mid-nineteenth century a polder completed the northern half of the island. Today, Texel forms the largest natural barrier between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea.
The dune landscape along the western coast of the island is protected as Dunes of Texel National Park.
The dune landscape on Texel is a unique habitat for wildlife. Notable areas include De Slufter, where the tide comes in and meets the dunes, forming a marshy environment rich in both fauna and flora. Texel is known for its wildlife, particularly in winter, when birds of prey and geese take up residence. About one third of Texel is a protected nature reserve. A wetland called Utopia has been designed for birds to nest in.
|Climate data for Texel|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.7
|Average high °C (°F)||5.5
|Average low °C (°F)||1.2
|Record low °C (°F)||-18.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||66.2
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||64.1||91.1||134.8||194.2||235.2||219||228.2||208.2||148||114.2||63.1||51||1,751.1|
|Source 1: |
|Source 2: |
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. Farming (sheep, potatoes, dairy, tulips, and grain) and fishing (primarily from Oudeschild) are traditional.
The municipal council of Texel consists of 15 seats, which are divided as follows (from the most recent election results in 2018:
Transport around the island is typically by bicycle, bus (Texelhopper) or car. Texel has an extensive cycle path network. Transport to Texel is usually by ferry (Royal TESO), from Den Helder, or by air via Texel International Airport. The ferry Texelstroom uses 80% compressed natural gas.