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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
36
1

Zeedijk

Zeedijk
Zeedijk
9171 AM Blije
67
2

Kweldergebied

Kweldergebied
Zeedijk
9172 AR Ferwert
3

Terp fan de Takomst

Terp fan de Takomst
Achter de Zeedijk
9171 AM Blije
4

NAM terrein

NAM terrein
Unemaloane
9171 MG Blije
63
5

Unema State

Unema State
Unemaloane
9171 MG Blije
6

Kerkhof Nicolaaskerk Blije

Kerkhof Nicolaaskerk Blije
Voorstraat 3
9171 LT Blije
54
61
60
42
7

Sint Willibrorduskerk

Sint Willibrorduskerk
Tsjerkestrjitte 11
9151 HV Holwerd
Buitenkant kerk Holwerd
8

Sense of Place: Waiting for high tide

Sense of Place: Waiting for high tide
Nieuwe Zeedijk
9151AE Holwerd
45
9

Holwerterpolder at Noard Fryslân Butendyks Nature Reserve

Holwerterpolder at Noard Fryslân Butendyks Nature Reserve
Grândyk
9151 AE Holwerd
41
36
End point: Grândyk
9151 Holwerd
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  • 67
  • 63
  • 54
  • 61
  • 60
  • 42
  • 45
  • 41
  • 36