Infobox Dutch Province
ename = Province of Friesland
fname = Provinsje Fryslân
dname = Provincie Fryslân
common_name = Friesland
Clicksensitive map of provinces of the Netherlands|province=Friesland
official_languages = Dutch, West Frisian
religion_year = 1999
Protestant39% Roman Catholic8%
area_land = 3,349
area_water = 2,392
area_rank = 3rd
population_year = 2006
population = 642,230
population_rank = 8th
density = 192
density_rank = 11th
De âlde Friezen
ISO = FY
website = www.fryslan.nl
Friesland (Pronunciation|439 Friesland.ogg, West Frisian: Fryslân, Dutch: Friesland) is a province in the north of the
Netherlandsand part of the bigger region known as Frisia. In order to distinguish it from the other Frisian regions, it is commonly specified as Westerlauwer Frisia, Westerlauwer Friesland, West Frisia or West Friesland. The latter two names may lead people to confuse the region with the neighbouring landscape called 'West-Friesland', in the North Hollandprovince.
Up until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian
Friesland has 643,000 inhabitants (2005) and its
capitalis Leeuwarden("Ljouwert"), with 91,817 inhabitants, in the center of the province.
Friesland distinguishes itself from the other eleven provinces through having its own language, West Frisian, which is also spoken in a minor part of the province of Groningen, to the east. Closely related languages, East Frisian ("Seeltersk", which is different from "East Frisian ("Ostfriesisch")", a collection of
Low Germandialects of East Frisia) and North Frisian, are spoken in the Saterlandand in North Frieslandareas in Germany, respectively. Friesland was a part of the German empire until 1680 when it separated and joined the Netherlands. Part of Friesland is still considered part of Germany (Ostfriesland)
English languageis also closely related to West Frisian. There is a saying about it: "As milk is to cheese, are English and Fries." Another version of this saying reads (in West Frisian): "Bûter, brea, en griene tsiis; wa't dat net sizze kin, is gjin oprjochte Fries", which in English reads: "Butter, bread, and green cheese, whoever can't say that is no upright Fries" (According to legend, the 16th century Frisian freedom fighter Pier Gerlofs Doniaforced his captives to repeat this shibbolethto distinguish Frisians from Dutch and Low Germans). The saying plays on the sound differences between the Dutch and Frisian words for "butter, bread, and green cheese", which in Frisian are pronounced almost identically to their English counterparts (showing the original closeness between the two languages), while in Dutch ("Boter, brood, en groene kaas"), these words sound quite different.
Friesland is mainly an agricultural province. The famous black and white Friesian
cattleand the well known black Friesian horseoriginated here. Tourism, mainly on the lakes in the south west of the province, and on the islands in the Wadden Seain the north, is an important source of income, too. Technology companies such as Asset Controlhave also set up base in Friesland.
The province is famous for its speed skaters, with mass participation in cross-country skating when weather conditions permit. In winters that are cold enough to allow the freshwater canals to freeze hard, the province is the focus of the
Elfstedentocht(Eleven cities tour), a 200 kilometers ice skatingtour. In the warmer months, many Frisians practice " wadlopen", the traditional art of wading across designated sections of the Wadden Sea at low tide. 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. Another interesting feature are the many windmills. There are 195 windmills in the province of Friesland, from a total of about 1200 in the entire country.
Leeuwarden( _fr. Ljouwert)
* [http://www.visitfryslan.com/ Website of visitFryslân.nl]
* [http://www.friesland.nl/ Website of the province]
* [http://www.friesfilmarchief.nl Frisian Film Archive]
* [http://www.i-friesland.com/history.html Ancient History of Friesland]
* [http://www.sdu.nl/staatscourant/gemeentes/gemprovin.htm#F Map of Province]
* [http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/frisian.htm Frisian Droughts]
* [http://www.heitelan.nl Frisian homeland site]
* Bus schedules:
** [http://www.reiziger.connexxion.nl/web/show Friesland]
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