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”

Like Father, Unlike Son

The Battle of Tours in 732 was 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 just managed to defeatContinue reading “Like Father, Unlike Son”

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”

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”

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”

Liudger, the first Frisian apostle

Liudger succeeded where other evangelists failed. He finally managed to convert the pagan Frisians to Christianity, because he “spoke their language”. Did he really? A very thorough study from Hinne Wagenaar reveals quite a startling truth about this Frisian apostle. Some time ago I stumbled upon an article from Hinne Wagenaar, called “Liudger, apostle ofContinue reading “Liudger, the first Frisian apostle”

One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef

This post is not about the Westfrisian writer Hendrik Jan Marsman (1937-2012), whose pen-name was Bernlef. Nor is this post about the student corporation Bernlef in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. This is all about the original. Bard and harp player Bernlef, who lived in Frisia somewhere between 760 and 840. And ifContinue reading “One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef”