Topography of the province of Friesland

Friesland (even on low, narrow, .. Frisian Fryslân but officially ) is one of the twelve Dutch provinces. It includes all occupied West Frisian Islands with the exception of Texel. With them Friesland is the second most northern Dutch province, between the IJsselmeer in the west and the province of Groningen in the east. The capital is Leeuwarden ( Frisian: Ljouwert ).

The province is the only one in which another language besides Dutch is still the official language, the closely related Frisian ( Frisian ). Nearly all inhabitants speak but (also) Dutch, and in Dutch, most texts are written. While there is no significant independence movement, but in Friesland to improve regional stronger than in other provinces.

Friesland is known in the Netherlands for the skating, the elfstedentocht the race brings in particularly harsh winters. Named after the historic race is the eleven cities of Friesland, which are not necessarily the most populated places in the modern province. In Friesland there are also some own sports and tideland is operated.

  • 5.1 Coat of Arms
  • 5.2 municipality name and name of the province
  • 6.1 language 6.1.1 Frisian
  • 6.1.2 Frisian - Dutch mixed dialects
  • 6.1.3 Low Saxon
  • 6.1.4 Dutch


Until 1 January 1997, the province had two official names, the Dutch name of Friesland and the Frisian Fryslân name. Since then, the Frisian name is only officially. 2004 the Dutch Ministry of the Interior decided to generally use only the Frisian names in documents. There is usually in the Netherlands, however, continue to the Dutch name of Friesland.

In German-speaking is for the province of Friesland, the term West Friesland common and correct. The name is an analogous structure to the designations of the German regions of North Friesland and East Frisia. In the international contact this designation may, however, lead to misunderstandings, since "West Friesland " in the Netherlands is the name for the same region in the province of North Holland. To avoid this inaccurate term and to exclude confusion with the German district of Friesland, or also Friesland called total Frisian region, the province is ( he ) named after its already historically significant location west of the river Lauwers as Westerlauwers Friesland or the West lauwersche Friesland.

It Heitelân ( the fatherland ) is another popular colloquial name for the province. It is often used when the strong attachment to the Frisian home is to be expressed. Also among the national Friesen is the term increasingly in use.


Friesland is located on the IJsselmeer in the west and the North Sea coast in the north of the Netherlands. It is bordered to the east by the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe, on the south by the provinces of Overijssel and Flevoland.

The highest point in the province of Fryslân with 45 m above NAP is situated on the North Sea island of Vlieland ( Flylân ). On the mainland, the highest point is 27 m high, the deepest - 2 m.

Fryslân is divided into six different landscape areas

  • The Wadden Islands Ameland (It AMELAN )
  • Schiermonnikoog ( Skiermûntseach )
  • Terschelling ( Skylge ) and
  • Vlieland ( Flylân )

Towns and cities

Friesland is sparsely populated with an area of ​​5724 km ² with a population of 646 817 compared to the other provinces of the Netherlands. It was divided into 27 municipalities (population on 1 January 2013).

Since January 1, 2011 Bolsward, Nijefurd, Sneek, Wûnseradiel and Wymbritseradiel are united to the new community Súdwest Fryslân.

See also: List of former municipalities in the province of Friesland


An early culture at the beginning of the story in Friesland was built around 400-200 BC, with terpene ( holms ). The Romans called the inhabitants Frisii. In the 8th century Friesland came to the Frankish Empire, and it became Christianized. During the Middle Ages Friesland was piecewise incorporated by the Count of Holland.

After a period of independence in the 15th century Friesland came back to Holland and under the rule of the Habsburgs. Since 1581 it had a relatively independent status within the Republic of the Seven United Provinces. As one of the few provinces to the sea, it had its own Admiralty of Friesland. In 1795 Friesland part of the Batavian Republic, in 1806 the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland and 1810 of the French Empire. Since 1815, Friesland is a province of the newly established Kingdom of the Netherlands.