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Elfstedentocht (The Netherlands)

Frisian 11 cities skating marathon (Âlve stêddentocht)

Last modified: 2003-08-30 by
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11 Steden D.W. Visser, 18 August 2001
adopted 1996; design: Jan Tjerk Visser.

see also:

Frisian 11 City Skating marathon

On the homepage: the background appears to be black, but according to Derkwillem Visser's information it should be blue.
The flag of the “De Friesche Elf Steden” Association was designed in 1996 by Jan Tjerk Visser, who works at the Dokkum Flag Centre, and has been used by the Association since the members meeting of 1996.
Explanation of the design by the designer, Jan Tjerk Visser:
“In making the design of the association, I took as the basis the coat of arms of the province of Friesland, using, among other things, the two walking Frisian lions. This symbol, in my opinion, is an indispensable part of the flag, especially for this association. The lion represents strength, daring, difficult ordeal, bravery, heroism, etc. The 11-city cross is also a vital symbol: highly coveted, distinctive and unique due to its shape. As colours for the flag, I chose yellow and blue. These are lively, striking colours, and very strong particularly in the winter season. They are also colours that are specifically associated with Fryslân. These colours make the flag stand out when it hangs next to the Frisian provincial flag”.
Source: Elfstedencomité.
Jarig Bakker, 11 Jun 2003

Here is the route:
11 Steden image from the Elfstedencomité.

It is c. 220 kilometers in length, mostly skating, sometimes walking on skates. Enjoy your sufferings! Below are all flags of the 11 cities

Start: Ljouwert (Leeuwarden)

leeuwarden municipality Shipmate Flagchart :

Thousands of people are put into huge cages; one cage after the other is opened and off they go.

First stop: Snits (Sneek)

Sneek municipality Shipmate Flagchart :

Not a lot to be seen: 't is pitch-dark.

Drylts (IJlst)

village IJlst Shipmate Flagchart :

Drylts is only a few kilometers further.

Sleat (Sloten)

former Sloten Shipmate Flagchart :

This is the first terrible stage, after the passage of the Sleatermar. A bit of dawn, however.

Starum (Stavoren)

former Stavoren Shipmate Flagchart :

Not a lot is known of this stage - still three quarters of the whole distance to skate.

Hylpen (Hindelopen)

former hinderloopen Shipmate Flagchart :

Just a few kilometers north (hey, what's this chick doing here!)

Warkum (Workum)

Former Workum Shipmate Flagchart :

Hah, the stages become shorter, I feel great!

Boalsert (Bolsward)

bolsward municipality Shipmate Flagchart :

This was a long stage through ditches and canals, it's starting to hurt a bit.

Harns (Harlingen)

harlingen municipality Shipmate Flagchart :

Long stages where you had to "klún" (walk with skates). Wonna give up?

Frjentsjer (Franeker)

former Franeker Shipmate Flagchart :

You're nearly there, and in Frjentsjer the party is in full swing!


[Bartlehiem CoA] image from Ralf Hartemink's website.

Drats, just passed a desert of ice and snow, and here's millions of people: that bridge will collapse!


former municipality of Dokkum Shipmate Flagchart :

Life is hell! 30 kilometers to go, but by heck: I'll make it!


[Bartlehiem CoA] image from Ralf Hartemink's website.

What? Here again? The bridge is still there, now go for it! Ten kilometers to skate for my Elfstedenkruisje (but I know a second-hand shop...)

Finish in Ljouwert

leeuwarden municipality Shipmate Flagchart :

Finish on the Bonkevaart, the Dutch Queen is watching, all TV-channels in the Netherlands, Belgium and Nauru are directed at your brave efforts. Bravo!