Information about Friesland

The province of Friesland is one of the richest regions in the Netherlands. Early writers often mentioned it as a treacherous place always covered by fog. In fact, in 325 B. C. the Greek, Pytheas, called it the "Coast of Terror." The struggle against the sea and nature's forces certainly tempered the character of the Frisians.

Little is known about the origin of the people of Friesland, although it is believed that they originally came from the Scandinavian peninsula (perhaps Sweden) or that they were Celtic in origin. The language they speak, which is incomprehensible to most of the Dutch, is quite similar to the English spoken by the inhabitants of Yorkshire. It has been said that the Yorkshire fishermen can understand their Frisian counterparts.

"Rigorously autonomous throughout Dutch history, the Frisians also differ from the rest of the population of the Netherlands with regard to their ethnic characteristics; their light complexions, blond hair, blue eyes, and tall stature make them much more Scandinavian looking. They also have their own national anthem and their own flag, which is blue and white with red leaves."

The Frisians earn their living primarily from cattlebreeding, raising the famous black and white spotted "Frisian cows".

(Excerpts above taken from the book, Holland, written by Giovanna Magi and translated by Merry Orling).

Links to more information about Friesland:

A History of Friesland

Friesland's lock system -- how the lowest province in the low countries keeps the water at bay!

Friesland's travel and tourism site