A Voyage into the History of the Fishing VillageHistorical Tour Maasholm
The presence of a schoolteacher for the children of Maas is attested for 1656, but the official chronicle of the school in Maasholm begins in the year 1808. A new school building first became necessary in 1829. By 1875, the school had two classes – one for middle and high schoolers, one for primary schoolers. The school had 115 pupils, and each had just a 45-centimetre-long section of a bench to sit on. A further expansion was overdue. As it was not possible to add another story to the existing building, a large new school building was constructed in 1888 at Hauptstraße 57. The school closed in October of 1970, and was turned into a private residence in 1973. Today, the children of Maasholm attend the primary school in Kieholm.
Maasholm’s city hall is located in a small, thatched cottage built in 1805. The building at Hauptstrasse 69 was originally built for the carpenter and boat builder Claus F. Luden. It later housed several fisherman, resulting in its alternative name of the "Fischerkate" (Fishermen’s Cottage). Since 1985, this registered historic building has been in the possession of the municipality of Maasholm, which converted it into a city hall. The cottage also came with a small stable, which now houses the “Handwerkerhuus”, or “Artisans’ House”, where regional crafts and artworks have been available for sale to visitors since 1989.
St. Petri Church
For generations, the residents of the fishing village of Maasholm had to make the trek to Kappeln for church services, baptisms, and funeral services. Maasholm has only had its own church since 1952. St. Petri Church was built according to plans drawn up by Kappeln architect Heinrich Ickle. The white church with its gabled, red-tiled roof and slender belfry was consecrated by the Bishop of Schleswig on November 22nd, 1952. The church in Maasholm was one of the first new churches constructed in Schleswig-Holstein after the Second World War. The interior of the church is worth a visit, housing an altarpiece depicting the Biblical story of the ‘miraculous draught of fish” and a votive ship model of the “Mayflower”. The view across the Schlei from the slightly elevated site of the church is a heavenly experience in itself!
The heart of the fishing village of Maasholm has long been its harbour. By about 1900, fishing was the primary source of income for nearly all its residents. Offshore coastal fishing played an ever more important role. In 1903, the first larger boat bridge was built on the western side of the town. The brick lifeboat station with its hipped roof was dedicated in 1918. Finally, in 1936, the “Schumacher Bridge” was completed, named after the then-chairman of Maasholm’s fishermen’s cooperative association. Along with the 23-metre-long rescue cutter “Nis Randers”, built in 1990, it remains one of the most noticeable elements of the harbourscape.
Kahnstellen (Flat-bottomed boat landings)
As late as the 1960s, flat-bottomed boats were a familiar sight around Maasholm on the western shore of the Schlei. Fishermen would sail or row these open boats with a draft of just 10 centimetres into the shallow bays of the Baltic Sea, where they would set their cotton fish traps, catch eels with multi-tined spears, or set out fishing lines. At peak times, more than 140 of the small black, white, and grey boats clustered at the “docks” – the wooden landings built at the start of the 20th century. The wooden pilings were also used for drying the nets. 48 of the landing spots have survived, and continue to be used to this day. They are now protected historic sites.
Peter Aal Monument
This bronze statue by sculptor Bernd Maro was installed in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Maasholm’s pleasure boat harbour, and is now a beloved emblem of the fishing village. Dubbed “Peter Aal”, or “Peter Eel”, it depicts an eel fisherman. Catching eels was once the only way for fisherman to earn a living in icy winters. This form of fishing, in which fishermen would cut a hole in the ice and spear eels lying in the mud using a distinctive serrated fork, has long been banned.