The Fährhaus has a 150-year history as a residence of hospitality on Sylt.

Captain Selmer’s Harbour Restaurant

Situated at the Wadden Sea, the small village of Munkmarsch was the main port of Sylt and its door to the world at its height. All vacation guests arrived per ship and changed to the railway train to reach the other villages of the island. In 1868, Thomas Selmer acquired a concession for passenger transportation and constructed the first Fährhaus. This wooden building served as a simple restaurant for travellers, but it was not designed for an overnight stay. By 1880, the original building was replaced by a newer one – the still existing Victorian main building.
Fährhaus around 1900
Friedrich and Dorothea Nann
The family Nann has a nearly 70-year history with the Fährhaus. In 1894, Friedrich and Dorothea Nann took over the Fährhaus from Captain Selmer. They offered “rooms for early morning ships”. Whenever a ship arrived, Nann was standing there with a servant at the bridge to offer travellers an ...
Postcard around 1930
... overnight stay, including a good morning coffee, for “2.75 Mark”.

After the opening of the Hindenburg Dam in 1927, the shipping lines stopped and the visitors at the Fährhaus declined. Creative as they were, the skilled chef Arthur Nann and his son Friedrich changed the Fährhaus into a hotel with culinary specialities and various tourist offers. This made it to one of the most popular places on the island. Even the riders from Kampen enjoyed the resting place for man and beast, which the Fährhaus offered.

Family Nann held the Fährhaus Munkmarsch until 1965, when Arthur Nann’s widow decided it was time to sell the property.
Arthur Nann in his chef’s hat and next to him his wife Grete
Dining room around 1950

The Fährhaus was facing Demolition

In the following 15 years there were different owners, and besides some grand years there were also setbacks. Around 1980, the lights were turned off for several years.


The Fährhaus started to deteriorate and, in 1985, the owner received the right to demolish the building. However, he did not have sufficient funds to build a new hotel, so that the historic Fährhaus eluded destruction.
The Fährhaus in the 1980s

Awaking the Sleeping Beauty

In 1990, business-man Karl-Rudolf Mankel acquired the Fährhaus and decided to preserve the historic building. Seven years later, the work is completed and the core renovated Fährhaus opened its doors at first as a restaurant.


Two years later, the new hotel opened up with 20 rooms. The second expansion by 19 rooms and suites followed in 2006. Thus, the history of the Fährhaus continues to be a successful family run place of hospitality.
The “Fährhaus” after renovation

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