The Sleeping King


During the 7th and 8th centuries, Frankish chronologies mention the northern Low Countries as the kingdom of the Frisians. According to Medieval legends, this kingdom comprised the coastal seelande provinces of the Netherlands, from the Scheldt River to the Weser River and further East. People lived there in peace and contentment, without any fear. But that had an end, when Franks tried to conquer Friesia in the 7th-century.

But then Redbad came to power in 680. He was a legendary Frisian king.

While his predecessor, Aldgisl, had welcomed christianity into his realm, Radbod attempted to extirpate the religion and free the Frisians from subjugation to the kingdom of the Franks.

He fought many battles, defeated Charles Martel at Cologne and freed the Friesians from the Franks’ occupation. But then he unfortunately died.

For some years his successors struggled against the Frankish power.

The end of the Friesian kingdom came in 734 at the Battle of the Boarn, when the Frisians were defeated by the Franks, who then conquered Frisia.

Legend says Redbad is not dead, but asleep with his knights in a cave in the Radbodsberg in Dunum, East Friesia.

The legend, however, says that when the ravens cease to fly around the hill he will awake and restore Frisian lands to its ancient greatness.

A Map of Legends in East Frisia
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