Fryslân (West Frisian)
|Anthem: "De Alde Friezen"|
"The Old Frisians"
Location of Friesland in the Netherlands
|• King's Commissioner||Arno Brok (VVD)|
|• Total||3,250 km2 (1,250 sq mi)|
|• Water||2,100 km2 (800 sq mi)|
|• Density||200/km2 (510/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||11th|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||NL-FR|
|Religion (2005)|| Protestant 30%|
Roman Catholic 6%
|HDI (2017)||0.904 |
very high · 10th
Friesland (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈfrislɑnt] (
West Frisian, or simply Frisian is a West Germanic language spoken mostly in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands, mostly by those of Frisian ancestry. It is the most widely spoken of the three Frisian languages.
There are currently twelve provinces of the Netherlands, representing the administrative layer between the national government and the local municipalities, with responsibility for matters of subnational or regional importance.
The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.
The capital and seat of the provincial government is the city of Leeuwarden (West Frisian: Ljouwert), a city with 91,817 inhabitants. Since 2017, Arno Brok is the King's Commissioner in the province. A coalition of the Labour Party, the Christian Democratic Appeal, and the Frisian National Party forms the executive branch. The province is divided into 18 municipalities. The area of the province was once part of the ancient, larger region of Frisia. The official languages of Friesland are West Frisian and Dutch.
A capital city is the municipality exercising primary status in a country, state, province, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of government. A capital is typically a city that physically encompasses the government's offices and meeting places; the status as capital is often designated by its law or constitution. In some jurisdictions, including several countries, the different branches of government are located in different settlements. In some cases, a distinction is made between the official (constitutional) capital and the seat of government, which is in another place.
Leeuwarden, Stadsfries: Liwwadden) is a city and municipality in Friesland in the Netherlands. It is the provincial capital and seat of the States of Friesland. The municipality has a population of 122,293.
Arnoud Adrianus Maria "Arno" Brok is a Dutch politician serving as the King's Commissioner of Friesland since 2017. A member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), he previously served as Mayor of Sneek from 2003 to 2010 and Mayor of Dordrecht from 2010 until 2017.
In 1996 the States of Friesland resolved that the official name of the province should follow the West Frisian spelling rather than the Dutch spelling, resulting in "Friesland" being replaced by "Fryslân".In 2004 the Dutch government confirmed this resolution, putting in place a three-year scheme to oversee the name change and associated cultural programme.
The States of Friesland were the sovereign body that governed the province of Friesland under the Dutch Republic. They were formed in 1580 after the former Lordship of Frisia acceded to the Union of Utrecht and became one of the Seven United Netherlands. The Frisian stadtholder was their "First Servant". The board of Gedeputeerde Staten was the executive of the province when the States were not in session. The States of Friesland were abolished after the Batavian Revolution of 1795, when the Batavian Republic was founded. They were resurrected in name in the form of the Provincial States of Friesland under the Constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The province of Friesland is occasionally referred to as "Frisia" by, amongst others, Hanno Brand, head of the history and literature department at the Fryske Akademy since 2009.However, the English-language webpage of the Friesland Provincial Council refers to the province as "Fryslân".
The Fryske Akademy, founded in 1938, is the scientific centre for research and education concerning Friesland and its people, language and culture, this in its broadest sense. The institution is based in the Coulonhûs and adjacent buildings in Leeuwarden. Together with several other institutes it belongs to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). It has about 60 employees. In addition, some 300 scientists, amateurs and professionals, are active in the scientific societies hosted by the Fryske Akademy.
The Frisii were among the migrating Germanic tribes that, following the breakup of Celtic Europe in the 4th century BC, settled along the North Sea. They came to control the area from roughly present-day Bremen to Brugge, and conquered many of the smaller offshore islands. What little is known of the Frisii is provided by a few Roman accounts, most of them military. Pliny the Elder said their lands were forest-covered with tall trees growing up to the edge of the lakes.They lived by agriculture and raising cattle.
The Frisii were an ancient Germanic tribe living in the low-lying region between the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta and the River Ems, and the presumed or possible ancestors of the modern-day ethnic Frisians.
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, which belongs to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, a federal state of Germany.
Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and friend of emperor Vespasian.
In his Germania , Tacitus would describe all the Germanic peoples of the region as having elected kings with limited powers and influential military leaders who led by example rather than by authority. The people lived in spread-out settlements.He specifically noted the weakness of Germanic political hierarchies in reference to the Frisii, when he mentioned the names of two kings of the 1st century Frisii and added that they were kings "as far as the Germans are under kings".
The Germania, written by the Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus around 98 AD and originally entitled On the Origin and Situation of the Germans, was a historical and ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire.
In the 1st century BC, the Frisii halted a Roman advance and thus managed to maintain their independence.Some or all of the Frisii may have joined into the Frankish and Saxon peoples in late Roman times, but they would retain a separate identity in Roman eyes until at least 296, when they were forcibly resettled as laeti (Roman-era serfs) and thereafter disappear from recorded history. Their tentative existence in the 4th century is confirmed by archaeological discovery of a type of earthenware unique to 4th-century Frisia, called terp Tritzum, showing that an unknown number of Frisii were resettled in Flanders and Kent, likely as laeti under the aforementioned Roman coercion. The lands of the Frisii were largely abandoned by c. 400 as a result of the conflicts of the Migration Period, climate deterioration, and the flooding caused by a rise in the sea level.
The area lay empty for one or two centuries, when changing environmental and political conditions made the region habitable again. At that time, during the Migration Period, "new" Frisians (probably descended from a merging of Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisii) repopulated the coastal regions. p792) These Frisians consisted of tribes with loose bonds, centred on war bands but without great power. The earliest Frisian records name four social classes, the ethelings ( nobiles in Latin documents) and frilings, who together made up the "Free Frisians" who might bring suit at court, and the laten or liten with the slaves, who were absorbed into the laten during the Early Middle Ages, as slavery was not so much formally abolished, as evaporated. The laten were tenants of lands they did not own and might be tied to it in the manner of serfs, but in later times might buy their freedom. (p202)(
Under the rule of King Aldgisl, the Frisians came in conflict with the Frankish mayor of the palace Ebroin, over the old Roman border fortifications. Aldgisl could keep the Franks at a distance with his army. During the reign of Redbad, however, the tide turned in favour of the Franks; in 690, the Franks were victorious in the Battle of Dorestad. p795) and their last king Poppo was killed. The victors began plundering and burning heathen sanctuaries. Charles Martel returned with much loot, and broke the power of the Frisian kings for good. The Franks annexed the Frisian lands between the Vlie and the Lauwers. They conquered the area east of the Lauwers in 785, when Charlemagne defeated Widukind. The Carolingians laid Frisia under the rule of grewan, a title that has been loosely related to count in its early sense of "governor" rather than "feudal overlord". (p205) About 100,000 Dutch drowned in a flood in 1228.In 733, Charles Martel sent an army against the Frisians. The Frisian army was pushed back to Eastergoa. The next year the Battle of the Boarn took place. Charles ferried an army across the Almere with a fleet that enabled him to sail up to De Boarn. The Frisians were defeated in the ensuing battle, (
When, around 800, the Scandinavian Vikings first attacked Frisia, which was still under Carolingian rule, the Frisians were released from military service on foreign territory in order to be able to defend themselves against the heathen Vikings. With their victory in the Battle of Norditi in 884 they were able to drive the Vikings permanently out of East Frisia, although it remained under constant threat. Over the centuries, whilst feudal lords reigned in the rest of Europe, no aristocratic structures emerged in Frisia. This 'Frisian freedom' was represented abroad by redjeven who were elected from among the wealthier farmers or from elected representatives of the autonomous rural municipalities. Originally the redjeven were all judges, so-called Asega, who were appointed by the territorial lords.
After significant territories were lost to Holland in the Friso-Hollandic Wars, Frisia saw an economic downturn in the mid-14th century. Accompanied by a decline in monasteries and other communal institutions, social discord led to the emergence of untitled nobles called haadlingen ("headmen"), wealthy landowners possessing large tracts of land and fortified homeswho took over the role of the judiciary as well offering protection to their local inhabitants. Internal struggles between regional leaders resulted in bloody conflicts and the alignment of regions along two opposing parties: the Fetkeapers and Skieringers. On 21 March 1498, a small group of Skieringers from Westergo secretly met with Albert III, Duke of Saxony, the Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, in Medemblik requesting his help. Albrecht, who had gained a reputation as a formidable military commander, accepted and soon conquered all Friesland. Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg appointed Albrecht hereditary potestate and gubernator of Friesland in 1499.
In 1515, an army of peasant rebels and mercenaries known as the Arumer Zwarte Hoop started a peasants' revolt against the Habsburg authorities.The leader was the farmer Pier Gerlofs Donia, whose farm had been burned down and whose kinfolk had been killed by a marauding Landsknecht regiment. Since the regiment had been employed by the Habsburg authorities to suppress the civil war of the Fetkeapers and Skieringers, Donia put the blame on the authorities. After this he gathered angry peasants and some petty noblemen from Frisia and Gelderland and formed the Arumer Zwarte Hoop.The rebels received financial support from Charles II, Duke of Guelders, who claimed the Duchy of Guelders in opposition to the House of Habsburg. Charles also employed mercenaries under command of his military commander Maarten van Rossum in their support. However, when the tides turned against the rebels after the Donia's death in 1520, Charles withdrew his support, without which the rebels could no longer afford to pay their mercenary army. The revolt was put to an end in 1523 and Frisia was incorporated into the Habsburg Netherlands, bringing an end to the Frisian freedom.
Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, became the first lord of the Lordship of Frisia. He appointed Georg Schenck van Toutenburg, who had crushed the peasants' revolt, as Stadtholder to rule over the province in his stead. When Charles abdicated in 1556, Frisia was inherited by Philip II of Spain along with the rest of the Netherlands. In 1566, Frisia joined the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule.
In 1577, George de Lalaing, Count of Rennenberg was appointed Stadtholder of Frisia and other provinces. A moderate, trusted by both sides, he tried to reconcile the rebels with the Crown. But in 1580, Rennenburg declared for Spain. The States of Frisia raised troops and took his strongholds of Leeuwarden, Harlingen and Stavoren. Rennenburg was deposed and Frisia became the fifth Lordship to join the rebels' Union of Utrecht. From 1580 onward, all stadtholders were members of the House of Orange-Nassau. With the Peace of Münster in 1648, Frisia became a full member of the independent Dutch Republic.
In 1798, three years after the Batavian Revolution, the Lordship of Frisia was abolished and its territory was divided between the Eems and Oude IJssel departments. This was short-lived, however, as Frisia was revived as a department in 1802. When the Netherlands were annexed by the First French Empire in 1810, the department was renamed Frise. After Napoleon was defeated in 1813 and a new constitution was introduced in 1814, Friesland became a province of the Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands, then of the unitary Kingdom of the Netherlands a year later.
Friesland is situated atin the northwest of the Netherlands, west of the province of Groningen, northwest of Drenthe and Overijssel, north of Flevoland, northeast of the IJsselmeer and North Holland, and south of the North Sea. It is the largest province of the Netherlands if one includes areas of water; in terms of land area only, it is the third-largest province.
Most of Friesland is on the mainland, but it also includes a number of West Frisian Islands, including Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, which are connected to the mainland by ferry. The province's highest point is at 45 metres (148 ft) above sea level, on the island of Vlieland.
There are four national parks of the Netherlands located in Friesland: Schiermonnikoog, De Alde Feanen, Lauwersmeer (partially in Groningen), and Drents-Friese Wold (also partially situated in Drenthe).
The ten urban areas in Friesland with the largest population are:
|Dutch name||Frisian name||Population|
The province is divided into 18 municipalities, each with local government (municipal council, mayor and aldermen).
|Municipality||Population||Total area||Population density||COROP|
|km2||sq mi||/km2||/sq mi|
|De Fryske Marren||51,740||559.93||216.19||143||370||South West Friesland|
|Heerenveen||50,230||187.76||72.49||278||720||South East Friesland|
|Het Bildt||10,610||116.48||44.97||115||300||North Friesland|
|Kollumerland c.a.||12,852||116.35||44.92||117||300||North Friesland|
|Ooststellingwerf||25,531||226.11||87.30||114||300||South East Friesland|
|Opsterland||29,769||227.64||87.89||133||340||South East Friesland|
|Smallingerland||55,797||126.17||48.71||472||1,220||South East Friesland|
|Súdwest-Fryslân||84,092||841.56||324.93||183||470||South West Friesland|
|Weststellingwerf||25,713||228.45||88.21||116||300||South East Friesland|
The province of Friesland has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb).
|Climate data for Leeuwarden|
|Record high °C (°F)||12.6|
|Average high °C (°F)||4.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||0.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−19.9|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||68.9|
|Source: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute|
In 2010, Friesland had a population of 646,305 and a population density of 190/km2 (490/sq mi).
The years 1880–1900 show slower population growth due to a farm crisis during which some 20,000 Frisians emigrated to the United States.
Since the late Middle Ages, Friesland has been renowned for the exceptional height of its inhabitants, who were deemed among the tallest groups of Indo-Europeans.[ citation needed ] Even early Renaissance poet Dante Alighieri refers to the height of Frisians in his Divine Comedy when, in the canticle about Hell, he talks about the magnitude of an infernal demon by stating that "not even three tall Frieslanders, were they set one upon the other, would have matched his height".
This section does not cite any sources . (April 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Friesland is mainly an agricultural province. The black and white Frisian cattle, black and white Stabyhoun and the black Frisian horse originated here. Tourism is another important source of income: the principal tourist destinations include the lakes in the southwest of the province and the islands in the Wadden Sea to the north. There are 195 windmills in the province of Friesland, out of a total of about 1200 in the entire country.
Friesland is the only one of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands to have its own language that is recognized as such, West Frisian.
According to a study carried out in 2007, West Frisian is the native language of the 54.3% of the inhabitants of the province of Friesland, then Dutch with 34.7%, then people who speak other regional languages of the Netherlands with 9.7%, and then other languages with 1.4%. Frisian speakers were less present in urban areas, while they were predominant in less dense municipalities.
West Frisian is also spoken in a small adjacent part of the province of Groningen, to the east. Closely related languages are spoken in nearby areas of Germany. They are East Frisian (Seeltersk, which is different from East Frisian (Ostfriesisch) and is spoken in the Saterland, and a collection of Low German dialects of East Frisia) and North Frisian, spoken in North Friesland. These languages are also closely related to Modern English.
In Stellingwerf, in south-east Friesland, a dialect of Low Saxon is spoken.
The language policy in Friesland is preservation. West Frisian is a mandatory subject in Friesland in primary and secondary schools. There are many bilingual and trilingual primary schools in the province of Friesland which use West Frisian as a language of instruction besides Dutch and Modern English, but no secondary schools that include West Frisian as a language of instruction. The number of Frisians speakers who are able to write in Frisian is estimated at only 12%.The provincial government takes various initiatives to preserve the West Frisian language. All parents in Friesland are provided with information about the language and multilingualism at children's birth (ex. 'taaltaske'). The province also invests in the development of speech pathology materials and strives to create information technology devices for the West Frisian language. The Frisian government subsidizes the Afûk organization, which offers language courses and actively promotes Frisian in all sectors of society as well as the corporate domain which is currently dominated by Dutch and Modern English. The province also promotes a wide range of art and entertainment in Frisian.
The province is famous for its speed skaters, with mass participation in cross-country ice skating when weather conditions permit. When winters are cold enough to allow the freshwater canals to freeze hard, the province holds its traditional Elfstedentocht (Eleven cities tour), a 200-kilometre (120 mi) ice skating tour. A traditional sport is Frisian handball. Another Frisian practice is fierljeppen , a sport with some similarities to pole vaulting. A jump consists of an intense sprint to the pole (polsstok), jumping and grabbing it, then climbing to the top while trying to control the pole's forward and lateral movements over a body of water and finishing with a graceful landing on a sand bed opposite to the starting point. Because of all the diverse skills required in fierljeppen, fierljeppers are considered to be very complete athletes with superbly developed strength and coordination. In the warmer months, many Frisians practice wadlopen , the traditional art of wading across designated sections of the Wadden Sea at low tide.
There are currently two top level football clubs playing in Friesland: SC Cambuur from Leeuwarden (home stadium Cambuur Stadion) and SC Heerenveen (home stadium Abe Lenstra Stadion).
The King's Commissioner of Friesland is Arno Brok.The States of Friesland have 43 seats. The Provincial Executive is a coalition of the Christian Democratic Appeal, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, the Socialist Party and the Frisian National Party (FNP).
|Christian Democratic Appeal||55.017||9|
|People's Party for Freedom and Democracy||29.085||5|
|Frisian National Party||25.027||4|
|Party for Freedom||23.112||4|
|Party for the Animals||6.806||1|
The four motorways in the province are A6, A7 (E22), A31, and A32.
The main railway station of Friesland is Leeuwarden, which connects the railways Arnhem–Leeuwarden, Harlingen–Nieuweschans, and Leeuwarden–Stavoren which are all (partially) located in the province.
|Trajectory||Railway stations in Friesland|
|Arnhem–Leeuwarden||Drenthe – Wolvega – Heerenveen IJsstadion – Heerenveen – Akkrum – Grou-Jirnsum – Leeuwarden|
|Harlingen–Nieuweschans||Harlingen Haven – Harlingen – Franeker – Dronryp – Deinum – Leeuwarden – Leeuwarden Camminghaburen – Hurdegaryp – Feanwâlden – De Westereen – Buitenpost – Groningen|
|Leeuwarden–Stavoren||Leeuwarden – Mantgum – Sneek Noord – Sneek – IJlst – Workum – Hindeloopen – Koudum-Molkwerum – Stavoren|
Ameland Airport near Ballumand Drachten Airfield near Drachten are the two general aviation airports in the province. The Royal Netherlands Air Force uses Vlieland Heliport and the Leeuwarden Air Base.
Friesch Dagbladand Leeuwarder Courant are daily newspapers mainly written in Dutch. Omrop Fryslân is the public broadcaster with radio and TV programs mainly in Frisian.
The Frisian languages are a closely related group of Germanic languages, spoken by about 500,000 Frisian people, who live on the southern fringes of the North Sea in the Netherlands and Germany. The Frisian languages are the closest living language group to the Anglic languages; the two groups make up the Anglo-Frisian languages group. However, modern English and Frisian are not mutually intelligible, nor are Frisian languages intelligible among themselves, due to independent linguistic innovations and foreign influences.
Frisian usually refers to:
The Frisians are a Germanic ethnic group indigenous to the coastal parts of the Netherlands and northwestern Germany. They inhabit an area known as Frisia and are concentrated in the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen and, in Germany, East Frisia and North Frisia. The Frisian languages are still spoken by more than 500,000 people; West Frisian is officially recognised in the Netherlands, and North Frisian and Saterland Frisian are recognised as regional languages in Germany.
Ameland is a municipality and one of the West Frisian Islands off the north coast of the Netherlands. It consists mostly of sand dunes. It is the third major island of the West Frisians. It neighbours islands Terschelling to the west and Schiermonnikoog to the east. This includes the small Engelsmanplaat and Rif islands to the east.
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea in what today is mostly a large part of the Netherlands, including modern Friesland and smaller parts of northern Germany. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people that speaks Frisian languages, which together with English and Scots form the Anglo-Frisian language group.
West Friesland is a contemporary region in the Northwest of the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland.
The West Frisian Islands are a chain of islands in the North Sea off the Dutch coast, along the edge of the Wadden Sea. They continue further east as the German East Frisian Islands and are part of the Frisian Islands.
Stadsfries or Town Frisian is a set of dialects spoken in certain cities in the province of Friesland in the northern Netherlands, namely Leeuwarden, Sneek, Bolsward, Franeker, Dokkum, Harlingen, Stavoren, and to some extent in Heerenveen. For linguistic reasons, the outlying and insular dialects of Midsland (Terschelling), Ameland, Het Bildt, and Kollum are also sometimes tied to Stadsfries.
Frisia has changed dramatically over time, both through floods and through a change in identity. It is part of the Nordwestblock which is a hypothetical historic region linked by language and culture.
The Frisian Kingdom, also known as Magna Frisia, is a modern name for the Frisian realm in the period when it was at its largest (650-734). This empire was ruled by kings and emerged in the mid-7th century and probably ended with the Battle of the Boarn in 734 when the Frisians were defeated by the Frankish Empire. It lay mainly in what is now the Netherlands and – according to some 19th century authors – extended from the Zwin near Bruges in Belgium to the Weser in Germany. The center of power was the city of Utrecht. In medieval writings, the region is designated by the Latin term Frisia. There is a dispute among historians about the extent of this realm; There is no documentary evidence for the existence of a permanent central authority. Possibly Frisia consisted of multiple petty kingdoms, which transformed in time of war to a unit to resist invading powers, and then headed by an elected leader, the primus inter pares. It is possible that Redbad established an administrative unit. Among the Frisians at that time there was no feudal system.
The West Frisians – or, more precisely, the Westlauwers Frisians – are those Frisian peoples in that part of Frisia administered by the Netherlands: the Province of Friesland, which is bounded in the west by the IJsselmeer and in the east by the River Lauwers.
Johannes Jan "Joop" Atsma is a Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and sport administrator. He has been a Member of the Senate since 9 June 2015.
Omrop Fryslân is a special broadcaster on the NPO which serves the Frisian community. Because West Frisian is an official language of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the NPO is also responsible for broadcasts in the West Frisian language.
The Lordship of Frisia or Lordship of Friesland was a feudal dominion in the Netherlands. It was formed in 1524 when Emperor Charles V finally conquered Frisia.
Psy-Fi is an annual open air psychedelic music and arts festival in the Netherlands. The first edition was held in July 2013 in the Stadspark of the city of Groningen; all subsequent editions have been held in recreation area De Groene Ster to the east of Leeuwarden. It is one of the largest international festivals in the Netherlands and attracts thousands of visitors each year, with the 2017 edition reporting participants from about 100 different countries. In 2019, project leader Wiebe Kootstra stated that only 18% of the attendees lived in the Netherlands, the rest visited the festival from abroad.
Noardeast-Fryslân is a municipality of Friesland in the northern Netherlands. It was established 1 January 2019 and consists of the former municipalities of Dongeradeel, Ferwerderadiel and Kollumerland en Nieuwkruisland, all three of which dissolved on the same day.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Friesland .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Friesland .|