Pier Gerlofs Donia Biography
Born In: Kimswerd, Frisia, Netherlands
Pier Gerlofs Donia was a Frisian warrior, rebel leader, and pirate. He was a man who was famous for his strength and size and was often referred to as the “Grutte Pier,” or the “Big Pier.” His life was later depicted in various legends and stories. He fought against the Hollanders and the Burgundians and defeated them in several battles on land as well as at sea. Such feats earned him his legendary status. He formed a rebel army known as the 'Arumer Zwarte Hoop,' consisting primarily of peasants like him, who fought alongside him. It is believed that he welded a “Biedenhänder,” a sword that was big enough to lift with both hands. This prominent sword is displayed at the ‘Fries Museum’ in Leeuwarden. This sword is tall, as the legend himself was, and weighs 6.6 kilograms. Some believe that Pier wanted to remove the Saxons from Friesland and reinstate Friesian independence, but this spirit of nationalism may have been added to fables long after his death.