/freez"leuhnd/; Du. /frddees"lahnt'/, n.a province in the N Netherlands. 592,061; 1431 sq. mi. (3705 sq. km). Cap.: Leeuwarden.
* * *▪ province, The Netherlandscoastal provincie, northern Netherlands, extending inland from the IJsselmeer and the North Sea (west and north) and including four of the West Frisian Islands (see Frisian Islands) off the north coast. The province is drained by a vast system of canals, waterways, and lakes, particularly in the north and west; the principal lakes are Tjeukemeer, Slotermeer, Fluessen, and Sneekermeer. Its area is 1,295 square miles (3,353 square km), rarely exceeding 50 feet (15 m) above sea level, and the population density is less than half the national average. The predominantly Protestant Frisians have maintained both their own language and their own literature to a considerable degree.The terrain in the southeast, supporting woodlands, orchards, and Frisian cattle, is sandy heathland bordered by fens; some reclamation of peat areas continues. Between fen and coast stretch almost flat clay marshlands and polders, where reclamation continues slowly, chiefly near the north coast. The last serious flooding was in 1825. These lands support potatoes, wheat, sugar beets, and pasture for the Frisian cattle. Agriculture is the basis of the provincial economy; beef and dairy products are sold in large quantities. There is some manufacturing of agricultural machinery in the province, and tourism, largely based on water sports, is an economic asset.Leeuwarden, the capital, is the only large town, and Harlingen, the only port, serves as its outlet. Other centres are Sneek, Heerenveen, Drachten, Bolsward, Franeker, and Dokkum. There is a nature reserve for seals that is located on the Frisian island of Terschelling. For history, see Frisia. Pop. (1988 est.) 599,104.
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