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”

A Wadden Sea Guide and His Twelve Disciples

For those outdoor freaks who consider hiking the mud flats of the Wadden Sea, it is essential to know this is, in fact, not a worldly journey but a spiritual one. The whole Frisia Coast in a way is a spiritual belt, protecting the southern coast of the North Sea against the northern darkness. AlreadyContinue reading “A Wadden Sea Guide and His Twelve Disciples”

The Killing Fields, of the Celts

About 2,000 years ago a tragedy unfolded. A sixteen-years-old girl, who suffered during her young life from scoliosis, was killed. Her red hair was shaved off on one side, she was stabbed at the base of her neck on at the right shoulder and strangled with a woolen rope. The rope was still around herContinue reading “The Killing Fields, of the Celts”

Rowing souls of the dead to Britain: the ferryman of Solleveld

In 2004, a unique discovery was made at the early-medieval grave field of Solleveld, just south of the city of The Hague: a boat grave. Exactly two hundred kilometers, perfectly east, across the North Sea, of the legendary boat burial of Sutton Hoo. With this one-of-a-kind found, the Netherlands joined the ranks of ship-burial-countries. AContinue reading “Rowing souls of the dead to Britain: the ferryman of Solleveld”

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!”

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”

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”

Groove is in the Hearth

The hearth was in pre- and early-medieval times the Holy of holies, the heart of the family. Where you would lay back and groove. Groove on the sound of the rain on the thatched roof. Or, the sound of the sea at your feet below. Sloshing against the grassy slopes of your house platform. AContinue reading “Groove is in the Hearth”

Croeso Gerddwyr

Last year one of the Frisian bastards hiked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in southwestern Wales (Cymru), a 290 kilometres long trail. As every walker knows, hiking, pilgrimage and spiritual peace are one and the same thing. The coast path takes you after nine days of walking to the homeland of Saint David, Wales’ patron saint.Continue reading “Croeso Gerddwyr”

The Abbey of Egmond and the Rise of the Gerulfing Dynasty

Monk Ecgberht of Ripon was the driving force behind the Christianization of the headstrong heathens of Frisia. From the influential monastery Rath Melsigi in Ireland, he released salvo after salvo of monks, priests and other clergymen on them. Monks Willibrord and Adalbert were yet another two of his spiritual soldiers. After having received their educationContinue reading “The Abbey of Egmond and the Rise of the Gerulfing Dynasty”