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East Frisia
Frisia
or Eastern Friesland
Friesland
(German: Ostfriesland; East Frisian Low Saxon: Oostfreesland; Dutch: Oost-Friesland) is a coastal region in the northwest of the German federal state of Lower Saxony. It is the middle section of Frisia
Frisia
between West Frisia
Frisia
in the Netherlands and North Frisia
Frisia
in Schleswig-Holstein. Administratively Ostfriesland belongs to three districts, namely Aurich, Leer, Wittmund and to the city of Emden.[1][2] There are 465,000 people living in an area of 3,144.26 square kilometres. There is a chain of islands off the coast, called the East Frisian Islands (Ostfriesische Inseln). These islands are (from west to east) Borkum, Juist, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog, Spiekeroog
Spiekeroog
and Wangerooge.[3]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Maps

2 Geography 3 Culture

3.1 Cuisine 3.2 Language 3.3 Tea 3.4 Religion

4 Economy 5 People 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

History[edit]

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The geographical region of East Frisia
Frisia
was inhabited in Paleolithic times by reindeer hunters of the Hamburg
Hamburg
culture. Later there were Mesolithic and Neolithic settlements of various cultures. The period after prehistory can only be reconstructed from archaeological evidence. Access to the early history of East Frisia
Frisia
is possible in part through archaeology and in part through the studying of external sources such as Roman documents. The first proven historical event was the arrival of a Roman fleet under Drusus in 12 BC; the ships sailed into the course of the Ems river and returned. The earlier settlements, known solely through material remnants but whose people's name for themselves remains unknown, led up to the invasion of Germanic tribes
Germanic tribes
belonging to the Ingvaeonic
Ingvaeonic
group. Those were Chauci
Chauci
mentioned by Tacitus, and Frisians. The region between the rivers Ems and Weser
Weser
was thereupon inhabited by the Chauci; however, after the second century AD there is no mention of the Chauci. They were partly displaced by Frisian expansion after about 500, and were later partially absorbed into the Frisian society. Saxons
Saxons
also settled the region and the East Frisian population of medieval times is based on a mixture of Frisian and Saxon elements. Nevertheless, the Frisian element is predominant in the coastal area, while the population of the higher Geest
Geest
area expresses more Saxon influence. Historical information becomes clearer by early Carolingian time, when a Frisian kingdom
Frisian kingdom
united the whole area from present-day West Frisia (the Dutch provinces of Friesland
Friesland
and Groningen and part of North Holland) throughout East Frisia
Frisia
up to the river Weser. It was ruled by kings like the famous Radbod whose known names were still mentioned in folk tales until recent times. Frisia
Frisia
was a short-lived kingdom, and it was crushed by Pippin of Herstal
Pippin of Herstal
in 689. East Frisia
Frisia
then became part of the Frankish Empire. Charles the Great
Charles the Great
then divided East Frisia
Frisia
into two counties. At this time, Christianization by the missionaries Liudger and Willehad
Willehad
started; one part of East Frisia became a part of the diocese of Bremen, the other the diocese of Münster. With the decay of the Carolingian empire, East Frisia
Frisia
lost its former bindings, and a unity of independent self-governed districts was established. Their elections were held every year to choose the "Redjeven" (councillors), who had to be judges as well as administrators or governors. This system prevented the establishment of a feudalistic system in East Frisia
Frisia
during mediaeval times. Frisians
Frisians
regarded themselves as free people not obliged to any foreign authority. This period is called the time of the "Friesische Freiheit" (Frisian freedom) and is represented by the still well-known salute "Eala Frya Fresena" (Get Up, Free Frisian!) that affirmed the non-existence of any feudality. Frisian representatives of the many districts of the seven coastal areas of Frisia
Frisia
met once a year at the Upstalsboom, located at Rahe (near Aurich). In the early Middle Ages, people could only settle on the higher situated Geest
Geest
areas or by erecting in the marsh-areas "Warften", artificial hills to protect the settlement, whether a single farming estate or a whole village, against the North Sea
North Sea
floods. In about 1000 AD the Frisians
Frisians
started building large dikes along the North Sea
North Sea
shore. This had a great effect on establishing a feeling of national identity and independence. Until the late Middle Ages Ostfriesland resisted the attempts of German states to conquer the coasts. During the 14th century adherence to the Redjeven constitution decayed. Catastrophes and epidemics such as pestilence intensified the process of destabilization. This provided an opportunity for influential family-clans to establish a new rule. As chieftains (in Low German: "hovedlinge"; in standard German: "Häuptlinge") they took control over villages, cities, and regions in East Frisia; however, they still did not establish a feudal system as it was known in the rest of Europe. Instead, the system implemented in Frisia
Frisia
was a system of followship which has some similarity to older forms of rule known from Germanic cultures of the North. There was a specific relation of dependence between the inhabitants of the ruled area and the chieftain, but the people retained their individual freedom and could move where they wanted. The Frisians
Frisians
controlled the mouth of the Ems river and threatened the ships coming down the river. For this reason the state of Oldenburg made several attempts to subjugate East Frisia
Frisia
during the 12th century. Thanks to the swampy terrain, the Frisian peasants defeated the Oldenburgian armies every time. In 1156 even Henry the Lion
Henry the Lion
failed to conquer the region. The conflicts lasted for the next few centuries. In the 14th century Oldenburg
Oldenburg
gave up on plans to conquer Ostfriesland, restricting their attacks to irregular invasions, killing livestock then leaving. The East Frisian chieftains
East Frisian chieftains
used to provide shelter for pirates such as the famous Klaus Störtebeker
Klaus Störtebeker
and Goedeke Michel, who were a threat to the ships of the powerful Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
which they attacked and robbed. In 1400 a punitive expedition of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
against East Frisia
Frisia
succeeded. The chieftains had to promise to discontinue their support for the pirates. In 1402 Störtebeker, who was not a Frisian by birth, was captured and executed in Hamburg. The range of power and influence differed between the chieftains. Some clans achieved a predominant state. One of these was the Tom Broks from the Brokmerland
Brokmerland
(nowadays: Brookmerland) who ruled a large part of Eastern Friesland
Friesland
over several generations until a former follower, Focko Ukena
Focko Ukena
from Leer, defeated the last Tom Brok. But a party of opposing chieftains under the leadership of the Cirksenas from Greetsiel
Greetsiel
defeated and expelled Fokko, who later died near Groningen. After 1465 one of the last chieftains from the house of Cirksena
Cirksena
was made a count by Emperor Frederick III and accepted the sovereignty of the Holy Roman Empire. However, in 1514 the emperor ordered that a duke of Saxony
Saxony
should be the heir to the count of East Frisia. Count Edzard of East Frisia
Frisia
refused to accept this order and was outlawed. Twenty-four German dukes and princes invaded Frisia
Frisia
with their armies. Despite their numerical superiority they failed to defeat Edzard, and in 1517 the emperor had to accept Edzard and his descendants as counts of East Frisia. East Frisia
Frisia
played an important role in the Reformation period. Menno Simons, founder of the Mennonite
Mennonite
church, found refuge there. In 1654 the counts of East Frisia, seated at Aurich, were elevated to the rank of princes. Their power, however, remained limited because of a number of factors. Externally East Frisia
Frisia
became a satellite of the Netherlands, Dutch garrisons being stationed in different cities permanently. Important cities like Emden
Emden
were autonomously administrated by their citizens, the Prince not having much influence on them. A Frisian Parliament, the Ostfreesk Landschaft, was an assembly of different social groups of East Frisia, jealously protecting the traditional rights and freedoms of the Frisians
Frisians
against the Prince. East Frisian independence ended in 1744, when the region was taken over by Prussia
Prussia
after the last Cirksena
Cirksena
prince had died without issue. There was no resistance to this takeover, since it had been arranged by contract beforehand. Prussia
Prussia
respected the traditional autonomy of the Frisians, governed by the Frisian chancellor Sebastian Homfeld. In 1806 East Frisia
Frisia
(now called Oostfreesland) was annexed by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland
Kingdom of Holland
and later became part of the French Empire. Most of East Frisia
Frisia
was renamed the Département Ems-Oriental, while a small strip of land, the Rheiderland, became part of the Dutch Département Ems-Occidental. The French Emperor Napoléon I undertook the greatest reform of Frisian society in history: He introduced mayors, where the local administration was still in the hands of autonomous groups of elders (like the Diekgreven, Kerkenolderlings etc.), introduced the Code Civil and reformed the ancient Frisian naming system by newly introducing family names in 1811. In the following years the East Frisians
Frisians
registered their family names, often depending on their father's name, area or (if unfree) master. After the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
East Frisia
Frisia
was occupied first by Prussian and Russian soldiers since 1813, and re-annexed by Prussia. However, in 1815, Prussia
Prussia
had to cede East Frisia
Frisia
to the Kingdom of Hanover, which itself was annexed by Prussia
Prussia
in 1866. Maps[edit]

East Frisia
Frisia
1300

County East Frisia
Frisia
1500

Principality East Frisia
Frisia
of Holy Roman Empire, 1789

Royal Dutch departement Oost Friesland
Friesland
(upper right), 1807

German Ostfriesland today

Geography[edit] The landscape is influenced by its proximity to the North Sea. The East Frisian Islands
East Frisian Islands
stretch for 90 kilometres along the coast. They offer dunes and sand beaches, though in their center they have grass and woods as well. The area between the islands and the coast is unique in the world: the tide leaves a broad stretch of mudflat with creeks that attract an extraordinary number of species, worms and crabs as well as birds or seals. For this reason, the UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Fund declared the Wadden Sea, which had already been a national park, a global heritage site.[4] Away from the coastal area, much of the physical geography is "Geest" and Heathland.

Wadden Sea

Birds on “Watt” (mudflat)

Morning fog in East Frisia, 2003

Culture[edit] Cuisine[edit] Main article: Lower Saxon cuisine Language[edit] The original language of East Frisia
Frisia
was East Frisian, which now is almost extinct, largely replaced by East Frisian Low Saxon. Original East Frisian survived somewhat longer in several remote places as for example in the islands, such as Wangerooge. Today a modern variant of East Frisian can be found in the Saterland, a district near East Frisia. In former times people from East Frisia
Frisia
who left their homes under pressure had settled in that remote area surrounded by moors and kept their inherited language alive. This language which forms the smallest language-island in Europe
Europe
is called Saterland
Saterland
Frisian or, by its own name, Seeltersk. It is spoken by about 1000 people. East Frisian Low Saxon (or Eastern Friesland
Friesland
Low Saxon, as some people prefer to say for a better distinction from East Frisian, which is Frisian but not Low Saxon) is a variant of Low German
Low German
with many of its own features due to the Frisian substrate and some other influences originating in the varied history of East Frisia. It is similar to the Gronings
Gronings
dialect spoken in the adjacent Netherlands
Netherlands
province of Groningen. In modern Germany, East Frisians
Frisians
in general are the traditional butt of ethnic jokes [5] similar to Polish jokes in the United Statres. This is mainly the case in the North[citation needed]. Tea[edit]

A cup of East Frisian tea with cream

In an otherwise coffee drinking country, East Frisia
Frisia
is noted for its consumption of tea and its tea culture. Strong black tea is served whenever there are visitors to an East Frisian home or other gathering, as well as with breakfast, mid-afternoon, and mid-evening. Tea
Tea
is sweetened with kluntjes, a rock candy sugar that melts slowly, allowing multiple cups to be sweetened.[6] Heavy cream is also used to flavour the tea. The tea is generally served in traditional small cups, with little cookies during the week and cake during special occasions or on weekends as a special treat. Brown rum, mixed with kluntjes and left for several months, is also added to black tea in the winter. The tea is alleged to cure headaches, stomach problems, and stress, among many other ailments. Religion[edit] East Frisia
Frisia
is predominantly Protestant. In Krummhörn
Krummhörn
and around Emden, the Reformed Church
Reformed Church
is the dominant church, while in Leer, Norden and Aurich
Aurich
the Lutherans are the dominant church. However, the main church of the Reformed Christians is in Leer. There are 266,000 Lutherans and about 80,000 Reformed[7] – so about 346,000 of the approximately 465,000 citizens of East Frisia
Frisia
profess one of the two denominations. Economy[edit] East Frisia
Frisia
is a rural area. However, there are some industrial sites such as the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
car factory in Emden
Emden
and the Enercon (windturbine) company in Aurich. Leer
Leer
is, after Hamburg, the second most important location for shipping companies in Germany. Although just on the other side of the border to Emsland, the Meyer Werft
Meyer Werft
is an important employer for East Frisians
Frisians
as well. Main industrial sites are the harbours of Emden
Emden
and Leer, and Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven
east of East Frisia. Around 1900, many people left East Frisia
Frisia
due to lack of jobs and emigrated to the United States or elsewhere. Today the region is again suffering from the loss of young educated people, who go away to find better employment in, for example, southern Germany. Many communities face a rising number of aged people, creating structural problems in the future. There are few academic jobs in the area, and those are focused on engineering. The closest universities are in Oldenburg
Oldenburg
and Groningen. People[edit] Further information: List of East Frisian people

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See also[edit]

East Frisia
Frisia
portal

Outline of Germany County of East Frisia East Frisians East Frisian jokes Frisia Frisian languages Frisian Islands Frisians

References[edit]

^ Satzung der Ostfriesischen Landschaft, Artikel I (Grundsätze), Absatz 2: „Ostfriesland umfaßt die kommunalen Gebietskörperschaften Landkreise Aurich, Leer
Leer
und Wittmund sowie Stadt Emden.“ ^ Homepage des Interfriesischens Rats: Das östliche Friesland innerhalb des deutschen Bundeslandes Niedersachsen von der niederländischen Grenze bis jenseits der Wesermündung. Es wird häufig Ost- Friesland
Friesland
genannt oder insgesamt (nicht ganz korrekt) als Ostfriesland bezeichnet. Es umfasst das eigentliche Ostfriesland, das oldenburger Friesland
Friesland
(Friesische Wehde, Jeverland, Wilhelmshaven), das ehemalige Rüstringen (Butjadingen u.a.), das Land Wursten
Land Wursten
und andere Gebiete. (Hervorhebungen nachträglich für das Zitat) ^ A German verse to remember the first letters of the islands from east to west is Welcher Seemann liegt bei Nanni im Bett (which seaman lies with Nanny in bed). ^ Nationalpark Wattenmeer ^ Auswärtiges Amt (28 December 2006). "EU2007.de - Facts and Figures". eu2007.de.  ^ "Facts and Figures: Teatime in East Frisia". EU2007.de. Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.  ^ Sprengel Statistik

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to East Frisia.

Ostfriesland Tourismus — Official tourist website Map of Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
in 1789

v t e

Territories and provinces of Prussia
Prussia
(1525–1947)

Before 1701

Duchy of Prussia Margraviate of Brandenburg Cleves / Mark / Ravensberg (1614) Farther Pomerania / Minden / Halberstadt (1648) Lauenburg–Bütow / Draheim
Draheim
(1657) Magdeburg (1680) Colonies

Gold Coast Arguin St. Thomas

After 1701

Neuchâtel (1707) Guelders (1713) Minden-Ravensberg (1719) Western Pomerania
Western Pomerania
(1720 / 1815) Silesia
Silesia
/ Glatz (1742) East Frisia
Frisia
(1744) East / West Prussia
Prussia
(1772–73) South Prussia
Prussia
(1793) New East Prussia
Prussia
/ New Silesia
Silesia
(1795)

Post-Congress of Vienna (1814–15)

Brandenburg Principality of Neuchâtel (1814–1848) Pomerania Grand Duchy of Posen1 Saxony Silesia Westphalia Rhine Province2 (1822) Province of Prussia
Prussia
(1824–1878) Hohenzollern (1850) Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
/ Hanover / Hesse-Nassau
Hesse-Nassau
(1866–68)

Territorial reforms after 1918

Lower / Upper Silesia
Silesia
(1919) Greater Berlin (1920) Posen-West Prussia
Prussia
(1922) Halle-Merseburg
Halle-Merseburg
/ Magdeburg / Kurhessen / Nassau (1944)

1 Became Province of Posen
Province of Posen
in 1848.   2 From the Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg.

v t e

Regions and landscapes of Lower Saxony

Achim-Verden Geest Altes Land Ammerland Brunswick Land Calenberg Land Eichsfeld Elbe–Weser Emsland County of Bentheim Land Hadeln Land Wursten Harz Hildesheim Börde Hümmling Innerste Uplands Kehdingen Leine Uplands Lüneburg Heath Middle Weser Oldenburg
Oldenburg
Land Oldenburg
Oldenburg
Münsterland Osnabrück Land Eastphalia East Frisia Schaumburg Land Solling South Lower Saxony Stade Geest Wendland Weser
Weser
Uplands Wümme Depression Zeven Geest

Coordinates: 53°28′12″N 7°29′24″E / 53.47000°N 7.49000°E / 53.47000; 7.49000

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 167993933 LCCN: n80040

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