Burgum (Dutch: Bergum) is the largest and administrative town of the municipality of Tytsjerksteradiel, in the Dutch province of Friesland, with a population of 10083 inhabitants (December 1, 2009). Since January 1, 1989 the West Frisian name Burgum is the official name, before 1989 the Dutch name was the official one.
The name Burgum is suggestive of an area of higher altitude than the surrounding area. The province of Friesland is bordered in the north by the Wadden Sea. In ancient and medieval times, habitation in Friesland occurred only in those areas which were elevated above sea level (for example in Burgum) or on artificially built mounds known as terp, weird or ward. These mounds were areas of refuge in times of flooding. The artificial mounds became redundant after the building of the dykes on the border of the Wadden Sea. Habitation of this area goes back to the Stone Age.
Friesland is renowned for its many lakes and canals. One of these lakes is found nearby the village of Burgum and it is called the Burgumer Mar. Another object of interest is the so-called Poppestien. A large stone deposited in this area during the last ice age (11.000 BC). In ancient times this stone was used in fertility rituals.
Notable people associated with Burgum
- Hendrik Bulthuis - Amateur boat builder and designer of the Bergumermeer-class sailing-boat (“B.M.-er”).
- Tsjibbe Gearts van der Meulen - Frisian writer and poet
- Rombertus van Uylenburgh - One of the founders of the University of Franeker
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