The Red Cliff


The Red Cliff is part of the moraine of the ice cap from the Saale - ice age. This moraine runs from Texel to Wieringen, by way of the Gaasterland cliffs via Urk, Schokland and Vollenhove to the east. The Red Cliff lies at 10 meters above Amsterdam Ordnance Datum and consists of reddish loam. Only a part of the original cliff bas remained. In the past its southern part was bare and rose from the sea like a " red cliff". The height of the cliff and its colour appealed to the imagination. It was said it to be a dormant volcano belching fire in ancient times. In days of old the cliff was said to have burnt, extinguished with sacrifices made to the God Stavo.

The Frisian Freedom
To the Frisians personal and political freedom is one the most important values. In the Middle Ages this craving for freedom grew into bitter resistance against the feudal system. The Frisians developed an ideology of their own. That is the reason why the Frisians refused to acknowledge any authority except the Roman – German Emperor. Though this ideology was challenged as early as the Middle Ages, it persisted till 1498. Not only in the period of the Republic, but also in present-day The Netherlands, this Frisian ideal of freedom has been kept alive.

The Battle
During the Middle Ages the Frisian autonomy was constantly attacked. Secular and religious rulers continued to lay claims on the "Seven Frisian Sealands". The battle appealing to the imagination most was that of young Count William's IV of Holland and Hainaut who advanced on 26 September 1345. The Count was an experienced crusader and some towns from the County of Holland supported the adventure. His army sailed from West - Friesland to Stavoren. The Frisians managed to crush the noblemen and even William IV was killed. The Frisians regarded Saint Mary as their heavenly patroness and for that reason September 26 became the ‘Frisian Our Lady Day’ The victory resulted in the Frisians keeping their independence another 150 years.

The Commemoration
In the 20th century the Frisian Movement tried to find a symbolic spot to annually commemorate their fight for language and culture. After World War II the struggles for freedom in 1345 and 1945 were linked up with each other. Since 1945 the Red Cliff bas been the place where the Frisians commemorate their age-long struggle annually and also represents a commemorative spot as part of the fight for the rights of people and peoples in the entire world.