Nowadays little over 4000 people live here (nonetheless). Hippo (the familiar short form of the village name) is the centre for the region. It has the town hall, library, swimmingpool, a lot of shops etc.
Until fairly recently (the 1960s) Hippo was a village full of pubs, and young people came from miles around to have a good night out. In those days the village was known as "little Paris", which is ofcourse incredibly exaggerated. During the mobilisation period before the second world war Hippo even had a bad reputation. Army staff found the village had an immoral and objectionable influence on the delicate soldiers defending the fortress Holland at the Afsluitdijk, so they declared it a no-go area for the soldiers. The main problem was probably the tolerant atmosphere that characterised Hippo and the whole of Wieringen, something not at all common in those days. It explains why Wieringen was so popular.
From those glory days of nightlife in Hippo only 3 bars/pubs remain: the Aurorabar, Hotel-Café De Harmonie and Concordia. Aurora and Concordia are the ones that are the most active when it comes to special festivities (concerts, special theme-nights, championships etc.). Take a look for an idea on the Aurorabar website.
Going outToday there is not much that reminds of the rough past of Hippo as Little Paris, perhaps the Wieringer kermis (fair) is the only thing that remains. At the last thursday in july it starts and it is (in)famous in the entire province. For people who don't come from West-Friesland or Northern North-Holland the kermis season is a phenomen that is hard to understand. Only a small region in the eastern part of the Netherlands has something similar.
A short attempt to explain it: first of all, a fair is not for children. Ok, it has a merry-go-round and shootinggalleries but that's not what it's all about. "Kermissing" is "zupen en angaan", in other words something that happens in bars. It used to be common practice to do vacation work all summer in order to spend it all during the Kermis. Now that is not considered normal anymore, many people even book holidays during the Kermis, sacrilege 10 to 20 years ago. There are two things that make Kermis on Wieringen different from those in the neighbourhood: deunen and tulen. It's hard to translate both. Deunen is when everybody goes to certain bars at specific times: on every day of the Kermis the place to be is somewhere else. Tulen are warm breadrolls eaten on Kermis Saturday, if possible with real butter and ham. About the backgrounds of this perhaps more later on a special folklore page (if there is a proven demand for such a page).
SightseeingFirst of all there is the church, about which more else on this site. The St. Hippolytus church is by far the most visible monument of Hippolytushoef. Situated on a church mound on the aptly named Church square the church is the focuspoint of the village. It can be seen from far.
Apart from this old church Hippolytushoef isn't very richly endowed with monuments. At the church square there are a few nice 19th century houses, and at the Hoofdstraat there is a catholic church, also from the 19th century. A number of Wieringer farmhouses are very much worth checking out. Perhaps the best preserved one is at the Elft, opposite to the old school. At the other end of the village, in the direction of Westerland there are some good ones as well. en te vinden. Unfortunately the authentic Wieringer farm is slowly disappearing, ofcourse mainly because such farms are outdated. Most of the remaining ones have been altered to be used as a private house.
There is one interesting sight near Hippo I'll mention here: museum Allerhande (all sorts), Noordburenweg
13, 1777 NB Hippolytushoef, tel. 0227-592555 (just outside the village in the direction of the Waddenzee): a collection of old farmtools and 19th / early 20th century household objects. If you want to know more visit the Touristbureau's website (VVV Wieringen) or visit the bureau in person (Kerkplein, in the library building. ).