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Pingjumer Gulden Halsband

Snake along on this thousand-year-old seawall with its intriguing name: Pingjumer Gulden Halsband (the Pingjumer Golden Necklace). Walking, cycling or even horse riding here is a golden opportunity for some unique moments.

The great Frisian flood

The Pingjumer Gulden Halsband is a secondary dike that protected the village of Pingjum from the water of the Marne, an estuary of the Wadden Sea. Everyone here knows the stories of the 1953 flood disaster in Zeeland. What few people know is that in 1825 Friesland was hit by a disaster of a similar magnitude. When in the night of 3 to 4 February 1825 the Frisian sea dikes were breached during a wild westerly storm, Pingjum was spared. Due to the construction of better sea dikes and eventually the Afsluitdijk, secondary dikes such as the Pingjumer Gulden Halsband lost their water-retaining function. The dike was even partially dug up. Fortunately, what remains – including the polders and meadows around this centuries-old dike – has been protected as a municipal monument.



A ‘gulden’ or ‘golden’ spot

In several places in the landscape the dike is still easily recognizable. It’s a ‘golden’ spot for cycling and walking. The approximately 16-kilometre-long route is particularly good for hiking, and a large section of the ‘Halsband’ is also ideal for horse riding. Around Pingjum there are several places to rest and tether horses.

Tall tales

With its tranquillity, space and rich cultural history, there is plenty to experience in this north-western part of the Wadden Sea coast. Did you know for example that this is the cradle of the Mennonites? Menno Simons, the founder of this movement, which has 1.3 million followers worldwide, was born in 1496 in Witmarsum. Another famous son of the region is Pier Gerlofs Donia, better known as ‘Grutte Pier’, the legendary Frisian freedom fighter who was born in Kimswerd around 1480. You can admire the stone statue of ‘Grutte Pier’ in his native village. And I’m sure there’s somebody in the neighbourhood who’ll tell you a tall tale about him.


Set earne de earste stap
op de Penjumer Gulden Halsbân
hy bochtet bou- en greidlân troch
en hat dy wynjend by de hân

folgje de dyk dy’t der noch leit
diels sljochte en ôfstutsen
dy’t iuwen de see sjoen hat
syn brekken is no brutsen

moaie wurkleaze binnendyk
drok bedriuw hat der syn stee
spat op ast der oankomst, in ljip
of út it reid in ree

sjoch Arum, Surch en Penjum
en bedikerje de tuorren
dyn paad tusken de lapen lân
is frij fan doarp en buorren

yn de rûge begroeiing op
fiele dyn skonken in himel kommen
oan it swurk fan einleas grien
brâne de hynsteblommen.

Dien L. de Boer
Vertaling: Syds Wiersma


Take your first step on 'Pingjumer’s Gulden Halsband' through field and meadow snaking meandering along the way following old dike segments some dug up and flattened that faced the sea for centuries but now ever face the land elegant idle inner dike full of activity that it harbours coming forth when you approach, the lapwing the roe deer emerging from the reeds rambling and gazing at the towers of Arum, Zurich and Pingjum but your path among the quilted land is absent any hamlets among the wild vegetation your feet mingling with paradise on a firmament of green the dandelions ablaze.

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