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A gambling tale

In an inn in Medemblik, robber Zwarte Tijs once met a stranger whom he invited to throw dice with him. Tijs lost all he possessed. Then he staked his soul and threw double six. But when the stranger had thrown the dice, everyone saw that a corner of one of the dice was chipped off. The total on the table was thirteen! At that moment Tijs collapsed; he was dead. In the ensuing...

Witches' cats disappear

As a boy my father experienced the following. It happened when he was a shoemaker's apprentice in Hoorn. Walking home one evening he saw five white cats at a crossing. Because he had heard people talk about witches, he took a stone and threw it at the cats. Straight away they were gone, but he had not seen any of them run away.

OmmeleBommele stone

It is said that you can see the figure of an old lady reading the Bible in the light of the lighthouse of Urk. The stork as a baby-bringer is unknown on the island of Urk; the local babies grow on the OmmeleBommele stone which sticks out of the water at a spot not far from the island. Another tale: When a young man from Urk was on his way to his ship one evening he saw a...

Widow of Stavoren

The sagas and legends of Urk A rich widow from Stavoren in Friesland commanded a sea-going captain to bring her back "something precious ". When he returned from his voyage with a cargo of wheat, and said: "I have brought wheat to please you, the most perfect we could find" she was furious. She threw the precious cargo of wheat into the sea and then, screaming hysterically, she also threw her ring into...

The Chimney Sweep from Kampen

Long ago a chimney sweep who lived in Kampen, was always very busy. He crept down the chimney, sneezed a few times and dashed off to the next house. On the pretext of "oh, that poor man, so dirty, he must be tired and hungry", the kind maids always gave him something nice to eat. But after a few weeks the man needed a new pair of trousers because the old pair had become too...

Folk tales and legends - Golden Circle History

Folk tales and legends - Golden Circle History Odd or amusing tales, dark forces, ghosts and voices. The Zuiderzee region has a wealth of mysterious tales to tell. Are you curious? Follow The Links Below:

Historical persons - Golden Circle History

Westfries Museum in Hoorn Jan Pieterszoon Coen This heartless Calvinist was born in 1587. He is considered to be the founding father of the Dutch rule in the Dutch East Indies. At the age of twenty, he went to the Far East in the pay of the United East India Company (VOC). Six years later, he became director-general of all offices of the Indies' archipelago; four years later he was appointed Governor....

Historical moments - Golden Circle History

Historical moments - Golden Circle History The enclosure of the Zuiderzee The best defense against the turbulent sea is the attack. This is probably what Cornelis Lely thought when he launched his plans for the enclosure of the Zuiderzee. He wanted to construct a 30-kilometer-long dike between the two Dutch provinces of Noord-Holland and Friesland. As a result, the enclosed part of the Zuiderzee would desalinate and...

How a sea became a lake - Golden Circle History

How a sea became a lake - Golden Circle History For many centuries, the Zuiderzee was the throbbing heart of Holland. Its turbulent waters brought prosperity to many fishing and trading towns in the 17th century. Fishing boats plied back and forth with an abundance of fish. The ships of the VOC (United East India Company) brought back magnificent materials, spices, tea and gold from their long voyages to exotic destinations...

History and Culture of the former Zuiderzee - Golden Circle History

Zuiderzee - linked to the period in Dutch history called the Golden Age The history of Holland has known numerous memorable events and happenings in which the Zuiderzee has played a crucial part. The battle against the water was won by clever water management and land reclamation. The development of the shipping industry brought Holland fame and prestige through fishery, world trade and industry. The Zuiderzee is irrevocably linked to the period...
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