Like Father, Unlike Son

The Battle of Tours in 732 turned out to be a turning point in the wars against the Umayyad Caliphate. The Caliphate was one of the biggest empires in history, but it lost this battle. At the confluence of the rivers Clain and Vienne, the Franks, led by statesman maior domo Charles Martel, only justContinue reading “Like Father, Unlike Son”

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”

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”

Magnus’ Choice. The Origins of the Frisian Freedom

According to medieval legends, around the year 800 Charlemagne and Pope Leo came into conflict with the citizens of Rome. The Pope was being attacked and fled 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 andContinue 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 and not oneContinue reading “Ornament of the Gods found in a mound of clay”

Weladu the flying blacksmith

Master blacksmith Wayland is well-known from mythology. The blacksmith who was kept captive on a small island in the sea, and escaped from it with selfmade wings. The Saxons, Anglo-Saxons, Norwegians, Icelanders, in fact, all the old Germanic peoples had their own medieval stories or artifacts relating to Wayland. Even the Franks did. All, exceptContinue reading “Weladu the flying blacksmith”

How a town drowned overnight

Rungholt. A thriving and wealthy town that disappeared overnight in the year 1362. For six centuries only legends told us about what happened to Rungholt: a town submerged in the sea as a punishment of God. According to medieval legends, you could still hear the sound of its bell tower rising from the dark depthContinue reading “How a town drowned overnight”

Legend of Esonstad

When, on a moon-clear night, on top of the dike at Lauwersmeer (Lake Lauwers), you look out over the water, you just might see in the distance the spire of the former city of Esonstad above the water. A drowned city, also written as Ezonstad, and in the early-seventeenth century known as Esonstadium. Esonstad wasContinue reading “Legend of Esonstad”