Little prayers at the Lorelei rock

On the west bank of the mighty river Rhine, halfway between the cities Koblenz and Mainz, lies the town of Sankt Goar. Named after Saint Goar of Aquitaine who retreated here in the sixth century. Diagonally across the river stands the famous and mystical Lorelei rock. Steep, and over 130 meters high. A whisper rockContinue reading “Little prayers at the Lorelei rock”

Don’t believe everything they say about sweet Cunera

Imagine. One day your husband brings home a young and unmarried woman. A virgin even. He simply takes her into your house, openly shows affection for her, and who knows what else. That’s not all. He also gives the young maiden full access to your pantry and savings account, which she, for crying out loud,Continue reading “Don’t believe everything they say about sweet Cunera”

Pagare il fio

Pagare il fio is Italian for ‘paying the penalty’. More literally, it means ‘paying the fee’. It is an expression the Italian language inherited from the Barbarians from the North when they toppled the Western Roman Empire. The English word fee originates from Old English feoh, which means ‘cattle’. The Mid-Frisian word for cattle stillContinue reading “Pagare il fio”

Out of averting the inevitable a community was born

March 25, 2020 today. The COVID-19 pandemic is climbing towards its second peak. Uncertainty of how destructive the pandemic is going to be in the long run. How many family members and loved ones will it take? A phenomenon of chaos and destruction that confronts us with the limitations of an engineered world. Some peopleContinue reading “Out of averting the inevitable a community was born”

The Batwing Doors of Northwest Europe

“Is seaport the Maasvlakte the gateway of northwestern Europe? No? Is it Europoort then? No? Is it the Botlek port area? Is it Vlaardingen? No? Surely it’s the city of Rotterdam! Say what? Okay, final guess. Since you guys only talk and brag about Frisia, is it the town of Vreeswijk, perhaps?” Sorry to disappointContinue reading “The Batwing Doors of Northwest Europe”

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”

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 Frisia. 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”

Porcupines bore U.S. bucks

On May 5th, 2018, it was exactly two centuries ago that Karl Marx was born. When in 1867 the good man published the first part of Das Kapital, Marx was actually 1,300 years too late to turn the tide. The ship had sailed. Ships of selfish Frisian merchants in pursuit of personal wealth, to beContinue reading “Porcupines bore U.S. bucks”

Another brick in the wall

Who has not dined at least once in an ’80s Chinese restaurant that carried the name ‘The Great Wall’? At least you have been at one for a take-away. Oh, yes you do! Besides the big orange and white goldfish, of course, also a painting of the magnificent wall gliding through remote mountains of theContinue reading “Another brick in the wall”

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?”