Yet another wayward archipelago

Peoples of islands and archipelagos do not let others dictate how to live their life. One of those archipelagos that meets these criteria is the Wadden Sea. For centuries it is from here where sea explorers, tax evaders, sturdy whalers, self-righteous women, pirates, privateers, and other vagabonds came from. An archipelago which the Sea BeggarsContinue reading “Yet another wayward archipelago”

With a Noose through the Norsemen’s Door

Although the conversion was a slow and cumbersome process, and only succeeded in-depth over the course of the tenth century, Frisia subsequently turned into the richest ecclesiastical area of Europe. Nowhere else were that many monasteries and churches packed together. Although nearly all the monasteries have been dismantled with the arrival of Protestantism, till thisContinue reading “With a Noose through the Norsemen’s Door”

Frisia, a Viking graveyard

When reading about the famous deeds of great Viking warriors, often not much attention is given to the moments of failure. Not much is written about where and when they died. As it turns out, the coast of Frisia is one big Viking graveyard. It is here, in the (still) smelly blue mud, where legendaryContinue reading “Frisia, a Viking graveyard”

Presence of mind to ask the right question

‘The path will provide,’ is a familiar saying among hikers while on the trail. The flipside of this attitude is you might not have the keenness to recognize an exceptional opportunity. Your mind gets lazy. It is exactly what happened to one of the Frisian bastards during his solo-hike through the harsh mountains of Corsica.Continue reading “Presence of mind to ask the right question”

Latið meg ei á Frísaland fordervast!

Latið meg ei á Frísaland fordervast! ‘Do no let me perish in Friesland!’ A cry-out of a Faroese young woman when she was being kidnapped by Frisian pirates in the Middle Ages. The question of this blog post is not about how on earth it was possible that the people of the Faroe Islands hadContinue reading “Latið meg ei á Frísaland fordervast!”

Make way for the dead!

High in the Alps of Switzerland, in the region Bernese Oberland, many men, women and children have experienced the great horror of the dead Frisians marching back to their homeland in the dead of the night. The path they follow is called The Frisians Way. Connecting the Haslital ‘Hasli valley’ in the Bernese Oberland withContinue reading “Make way for the dead!”

Sailors escaped from Cyclops

“The reason I am late for class? Well, there was a strange cat in our barn this morning, and I stepped in its poop. Therefore, I first had to clean my shoes before I could go to school. That’s the reason. Really!” A similar pretext was made in the year 1040, by a bunch ofContinue reading “Sailors escaped from Cyclops”

A Theelacht. What a great idea!

Halfway the ninth century, Vikings had established more or less permanent presence in Frisia in the former district called Nordendi or Norditi. By 884 the Frisians were fed up with it. The forged new swords, raised an army and drove the Norsemen out. For good. It took exactly 10,377 lives on the side of theContinue reading “A Theelacht. What a great idea!”

Magnus’ Choice. The Origins of the Frisian Freedom

According to medieval legends around 800 Charlemagne and Pope Leo came into conflict with the city of Rome. The Pope was attacked and had to flee the city. It was an army of ‘naked’ Frisians headed by Magnus that retook the citadel and the eternal city. In return Charlemagne offered wealth, weapons, treasure and more.Continue reading “Magnus’ Choice. The Origins of the Frisian Freedom”

Ornament of the Gods found in a mound of clay

In the year 516, King Hygelac of the Geats, a tribe in the southeast of Sweden, raided Frisia. Back then, this part of the Netherlands was impenetrable land with big rivers, little streams, swamps, peat, bog and damping forests covered with moss. Hygelac’s expedition could have gone better, since he was killed during tand notContinue reading “Ornament of the Gods found in a mound of clay”