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Ameland is one the Wadden-islands off the north coast of the Netherlands. It consists mostly of sand dunes.

It is a municipality that comprises the following towns, villages and townships: Ballum, Buren, Hollum, Nes (Ameland is not itself the name of a village).


First mentioned as Ambla in the 8th century, it paid tribute to the county of Holland until in 1424 its lord declared it a 'free lordship' (vrijheerschap).

Although Holland, Friesland and the Holy Roman Emperor contested this quasi-independent status, it remained a free lordship until the ruling family, Cammingha, died out in 1708. After that the Frisian stadtholder Johan Willem Friso of Orange-Nassau became lord of Ameland and after him, his son the stadtholder of all the Netherlands Willem IV of Orange[?] and his grandson Willem V of Orange.

Only in the constitution of 1813 the island was finally integrated into the Netherlands (into the province of Friesland). The kings and queens of the Netherlands still maintain the title Vrijheer van Ameland today.

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