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”

History is written by the victors – a history of the credits

New York City, the Capitol of the World. Other names are Gotham, Modern Gomorrah, The Big Apple, Empire City and Bagdad-on-the-Subway. With Times Square being the self-proclaimed Centre of the Universe. Amidst all this grandeur and bigness, portraits of two seventeenth-century men from the small villages Peperga and Koudum in the south of province Friesland,Continue reading “History is written by the victors – a history of the credits”

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”

One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef

This blog post is not about the Westfrisian writer Hendrik Jan Marsman (1937-2012) whose pen-name was Bernlef. Nor is this blog post about the student corporation Bernlef in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. This is all about the original: the bard and harp player Bernlef who lived in Frisia somewhere between 760 andContinue reading “One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef”

Is Magna Frisia fact or fiction?

Here are some maps that help you locate the Frisians in the Early Middle Ages (500-800 AD). We combined old maps, archaeological finds, old scriptures and historical research. In one of our previous blog posts we pinpointed several locations where the 5 Frisian kings set foot. In this blog we focus on the Frisian territoriesContinue reading “Is Magna Frisia fact or fiction?”

Follow the footsteps of Five Frisian Kings

We plotted the exact locations of the whereabouts of the five Frisian kings Finn, Audulfus, Aldgisl, Redbad and Poppo. We might have even hit some royal DNA samples. GPS, ready, go! Just follow and click the blue pins on the map below. Plotting the Frisia Coast Trail hike When shaping the Frisian Coast Trail weContinue reading “Follow the footsteps of Five Frisian Kings”

Why was Redbad skinny dipping in eau de Cologne?

In March 716, Redbad’s army reached the shores of Cologne. That is deep in the Frankish heartlands and way out of the traditional Frisian coastal territories. Sure, Frisians were smelly bastards, but eau de Cologne wasn’t invented yet. Was Redbad ahead of his time or why else did he end up there? A movie aboutContinue reading “Why was Redbad skinny dipping in eau de Cologne?”

In debt to the beastly Westfrisians

This blog post is about the harsh history of the ‘beastly’ Westfrisians, and especially those of the town of Medemblik. Medemblik, the grande dame of region Westfriesland in province Noord Holland in the Netherlands. There are many legends about Medemblik, e.g. that it was the city where King Radbod resided. But, above all it isContinue reading “In debt to the beastly Westfrisians”