Dissolute Elisabeth and her devil

In the Middle Age lived a once promiscuous girl named Elisabeth. She had come to repentance, found honourable employ as a maid, and had established herself at the hamlet of Vrieswijc, modern Friezenwijk. Hamlet Friezenwijk is situated nearby the scenic village of Heukelum in the region Batavia (viz. region Betuwe) in province Gelderland, the Netherlands.Continue reading “Dissolute Elisabeth and her devil”

Filmstar Ben-Hur made peace with Frisian raiders

Who does not know the epic movie Ben-Hur released on the screens in 1959? The movie in which masculine Hollywood actor, and civil rights activist, Charlton Heston played the role of Judah Ben-Hur. A role for which he was awarded an Oscar. Six years later, Heston played the role of Chrysagon in the movie TheContinue reading “Filmstar Ben-Hur made peace with Frisian raiders”

The Thing is…

The heart of western democracies is the joint assembly of parliament, cabinet and high councils of state. Its Germanic origin is the thing, also called ting, ding, ðing or þing in other writings. Today, national assemblies in Scandinavian countries still refer to this ancient tradition. For example, the parliament the Faroes Løgting, of Greenland Landsting,Continue reading “The Thing is…”

With a Noose through the Norsemen’s Door

Although the conversion was a slow and cumbersome process, and only succeeded in-depth in 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. Even though nearly all the monasteries have been dismantled with the advent of Protestantism, toContinue 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 northern darkness, according toContinue 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 the right shoulder, and strangled with a woolen rope. The rope was still around her neck.Continue 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”

Make way for the dead!

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

A Theelacht. What a great idea!

Halfway the ninth century, Vikings had established more or less permanent presence in Frisia in the former pagus ‘district’ called Nordendi, also named Norditi. By the year 884, the Frisians were fed up with it. They forged swords and axes, raised an army and drove the Norsemen out. For good. It took exactly 10,377 livesContinue reading “A Theelacht. What a great idea!”

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 endless rains on the thatched roof, or on the sound of the sea water at your feet below. Sloshing against the grassy slopes of yourContinue reading “Groove is in the Hearth”