In the Middle Ages, Fryslan was controlled bij graves, dukes and governors, who constantly had to defend themselves against intruders. Because of this, the villages could distinguish themselves by helping the regent, allowing them to obtain city rights. This distinction was an honor to which many priviliges were connected.
Based on this distinction, there are eleven cities in Friesland. According to the present definition, most of the Friese eleven cities would now be considered as villages, but are in fact, still called cities.
The phenomenon of the Friese 11 cities is now widely used for sporting and promotional purposes. In the course of time al large, over 200 km long route was established which runs als all eleven cities that are spread throughout the province. The most famous sporting event is the 11-stedentocht, which is completed on skates on ice and in one day. It needs a very severe winter to obtain enough ice for all the thousands of participants. But there are also trips made by bicycle or car, as well as multiday-variants where the route is to be travelled on foot or sailing.
Now, we created a new variant, in which the tour lasts a whole year. We are going to take our time as we will spend a month in each city before continuing on to the next one. This route is served by amateur radio:
the 11-cities marathon by radio
Note: more information about Friesland can be found on sites such as: