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Friesland - Historical quarters (The Netherlands)

Westergo, Oostergo, Zevenwouden, Elfsteden

Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: friesland | westergo | oostergo | zevenwouden | stellingwerven | elfsteden |
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From the 16th till the 18th century Friesland was divided into four political entities. Three rural quarters: Westergo [Westergoa] in the west; Oostergo [Eastergoa] in the northeast; and Zevenwouden [Sawnwâlden] in the southeast. These were divided into so called grietenijen, who consisted of 5 to 31 villages.
The fourth were the eleven cities.
Around 1500 the Saxon Stellingwerven was incorporated into Zevenwouden.

The West Frisian Islands were not included in these four parts.

Mark Sensen, 25 April 1998 and 9 August 1998

  See also:

Westergo / Westergoa - Historical flag

[Historical flag of Westergo]Mark Sensen, 21 April 1996

The flag of Westergo was blue with a white diagonal stripe from the lower hoist to the upper fly.

Mark Sensen, 21 April 1998

Oostergo / Eastergoa - Historical flag

[Historical flag of Oostergo]Mark Sensen, 21 April 1996

The flag of Oostergo had five red and white equal horizontal stripes. It is also used by the Royal Sailing Club of the same name, in Leeuwarden.

Mark Sensen, 21 April 1998

Zevenwouden / Sawnwâlden - Historical flag

[Historical flag of Zevenwouden]Mark Sensen, 21 April 1996

The flag of Zevenwouden consisted of fifteen white and green squares.
In a Frisian chronicle from 1609 a white flag with in white, yellow and green Saint Michael and the dragon is mentioned.

Mark Sensen, 21 April 1998


The Stellingwerven consist of the modern municipalities Weststellingwerf (with the town Wolvega) and Ooststellingwerf [Eaststellingwerf] (with the towns Oosterwolde and Appelscha).
The arms of the municipalities of Weststellingwerf and Ooststellingwerf both show on silver a red griffin with a red disc with a star under it. The two arms are different in details, but maybe they are variants of the old arms of Stellingwerf?
Both municipalities use red-white flags with the griffin. (See Shipmate's flagchart).

Mark Sensen, 21 April 1998

Elfsteden (Eleven cities)

The eleven Frisian cities are: Leeuwarden, Dokkum, Bolsward, Hindeloopen, Staveren, Franeker, Harlingen, Sneek, Workum, Sloten and IJlst.

Mark Sensen, 9 September 1998

Waddeneilanden (West Frisian Islands)

Four of the six Dutch Frisian islands belong to the province of Friesland. These are: Vlieland, Terschelling (both ceded to Holland in 1615, and returned to Friesland in 1942), Ameland and Schiermonnikoog.
Texel (or Tessel) is part of the province of Noord-Holland, Rottumeroog of the province of Groningen.
Nowadays each island is a separate municipality, except the since-1969 uninhabited Rottumeroog which belongs to the municipality of Eemsmond.

Mark Sensen, 25 April 1998