Crocus blossom in Husum in front of the castle
Andreas Vogel/

The colour purple 

A rough, unwelcomed wind was just blowing over the North Sea coast of Husum Bay. The wind there also likes to have clouds in its luggage that discharge like winter. It’s hard to imagine that spring will be upon us soon. Keep in mind that spring is something very special in Husum.

Spring in the North Sea town of Husum means the sight of a purple carpet of flowers over the park and around the castle. Millions of crocuses sprout from the ground there and this sight is comparable to the cherry blossoms in cities like Düsseldorf or Bonn. So impressively colorful that visitors from all angles come here to take part in the spectacle. There is a bit of art involved in catching the right moment for this great sight of the color purple.

Purple crocuses in front of the castle in Husum

Time of the crocus blossom in Husum

When asked about the right time, Julia, the reigning Husum crocus blossom queen, has to smile.

I’ve been told that the phones in the Tourist Information Husum will be ringing as early as February and people are asking about the status of the crocus bloom.

Actually, the bloom can be expected in March or April, but the natural phenomena can only adhere to the calendar to a limited extent, especially in today’s time of rapid climate change. For this reason, the city of Husum regularly installs a webcam in the castle park when the crocus blossoms. Then, interested parties from the other side of the world can see how the crocus blossom is doing.

Flowers are not the only highlight of Husum

But the flowers are not the only highlight of Husum. A walk through the spring-like park should definitely be followed by a visit to Husum Castle, Schleswig-Holstein’s only castle on the North Sea coast which used to be outside the city limits. Today, however, it is only a short walk from the market square. Lavishly decorated fireplaces, sumptuous furniture and numerous Paintings that can still be seen in the rooms.

Two legends surround the Husum crocuses

Oh yes, something that is also worth knowing: Two legends surround the Husum crocuses. It is said to have been monks in the 15th century who tried to extract saffron from the crocuses to dye robes. At that time, there was still a monastery with a beautiful garden on the site of today’s castle in front of Husum.

According to another legend, saffron was also the coveted commodity and the reason for planting crocuses. In this case, it was Duchess Marie Elisabeth, who loved confectioneries and wanted to use the saffron for the preparation of sweet pastries. In both cases, the hopes were disappointing on account that no saffron can be obtained from the Husum crocuses. It is simply the “wrong” variety.

Crocus flowers in Husum Castle Park

However, the natural phenomenon, found on the North Sea coast of Husum, Schleswig-Holstein, shines purple every year. And as for saffron, you can get that in the supermarket these days.