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Holwerd - Blije | Klooster Claercamppad pilgrimage trail: Circular walk 1

(20.7 km)

Art and the Wadden Sea coast are an inspiring combination. Local cafe owner Joop Mulder knew this and founded the Oerol cultural festival. During this circular walk from Holwerd, you get to see his Sense of Place project, which includes two 5-metre statues of women created by Frisian sculptor Jan Ketelaar.

The Wadden Sea landscape is still as it was when the first settlers discovered the intertidal area. At first glance, it appears to be a desolate wetland, but the marine clay soil turned out to be fertile and the location on the North Sea coast was convenient for overseas trade.  

The trail leads through the summer polder…

Art and the Wadden Sea coast are an inspiring combination. Local cafe owner Joop Mulder knew this and founded the Oerol cultural festival. During this circular walk from Holwerd, you get to see his Sense of Place project, which includes two 5-metre statues of women created by Frisian sculptor Jan Ketelaar.

The Wadden Sea landscape is still as it was when the first settlers discovered the intertidal area. At first glance, it appears to be a desolate wetland, but the marine clay soil turned out to be fertile and the location on the North Sea coast was convenient for overseas trade.  

The trail leads through the summer polder and along the edge of the salt marshes. (Please note that this trail is closed during the breeding season.) Herds of horses and cattle graze in this area outside the dikes in the summer. You may also spot some of the 240 species of birds and many salt-tolerant plants that thrive here. The Noard-Fryslân Bûtendyks nature reserve is the largest continuous salt marsh in Europe! 

The route also takes you past the Terp fan de Takomst: a new mound on the Wadden Sea coast built by the people of Blije. The mound is used for educational purposes, open-air concerts and as a testing ground for old and new salt-tolerant crops. This is also a wonderful place to experience silence. 

Just before you get to Blije, the trail skirts what was once the site of Unema State, a fortified manor house that protected the rich Frisian hinterland from seafaring invaders. The old mound on which the village of Blije now stands was inhabited before the Common Era. The Nicholas Church has a 13th-century tower with a slight forward tilt caused by local gas and salt extraction and storm winds. 

The mound on which the village of Holwerd now stands must also have been inhabited several centuries before the Common Era. The elongated mound with later buildings was constructed next to the original mound from the 8th century onwards. The separate mound on which the St Willibrordus Church stands was originally outside the dike. The church tower was used as a beacon for ships.

This circular walk is part of the Klooster Claercamppad pilgrimage trail. 

Sights on this route

Starting point: Grândyk
9151 Holwerd
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Zeedijk

De bewoners van dit gebied hebben altijd een haat-liefde verhouding met de zee gehad. Die zorgde voor vruchtbare grond, vis in overvloed en mogelijkheden voor handel. Maar ze kon ook allesvernietigend toeslaan.

Zeedijk
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Kweldergebied

Vanaf de terpentijd veroverde de mens land op de zee, zoals hier in Noard Fryslân Bûtendyks. Vanaf deze plek zijn de zomerpol- ders te zien, omringd door een zomerdijk, met hekken, sloten, greppels, historische sluizen en ‘dobben’.

Kweldergebied
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Terp fan de Takomst

Een nieuwe terp, buitendijks. Een belevingsplek, om mensen de waddenkust te laten beleven. Om oude verhalen te vertellen en nieuwe verhalen te maken. Over het ontstaan van het gebied en haar bewoners.

Terp fan de Takomst
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NAM terrein

Op deze locatie aan de Unemaloane wint de Nederlandse Aard- olie Maatschappij (NAM) aardgas. Er liggen drie gasvelden die ook naar het dorp zijn vernoemd: de gasvelden Blija-Ferwerde- radeel, Blija-Zuidoost en Blija-Zuid.

NAM terrein
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Unema State

Ooit waren er vier states in Blije: Aebinga, Unema, Scheltema en Monsma. De oorsprong van de bekendste, Unema State, gaat terug tot de 14e eeuw of eerder.

Unema State
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Kerkhof Nicolaaskerk Blije

Tussen Stationsweg 3 en 4 kunt u het kerkhof bereiken waar een onbekende RAF vlieger is begraven. Op dinsdag 14 juli 1942 spoelde een onbekende Sergeant van de RAF (Engelse luchtmacht) aan op de kwelders bij Ferwert.

Kerkhof Nicolaaskerk Blije
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Sint Willibrorduskerk

The Saint Willibrord Church in Holwerd is a special church. It has an unusual L-shaped construction and a tower with a remarkably large spire. The church also has a beautiful pulpit.

Sint Willibrorduskerk Buitenkant kerk Holwerd
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Sense of Place: Waiting for high tide

"Waiting for high tide" is a statue of Jan Ketelaar. The sculpture consists of two women, five meters high, welded from metal. A full woman and a thin woman. They overlook the sea. The image is about...

Sense of Place: Waiting for high tide
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Holwerterpolder at Noard Fryslân Butendyks Nature Reserve

If you like the idea of walking in a swamp forest, a 3 or 5-kilometre walk through this remarkable part of the De Alde Feanen National Park will lead you on a fascinating journey of discovery.

Holwerterpolder at Noard Fryslân Butendyks Nature Reserve
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End point: Grândyk
9151 Holwerd
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