In the 17th and 18th century Ameland was extremely wealthy as a result of whaling. Around 1719 the Ameland population got involved with whaling.

Catching whales used to be a particularly rough business. Not all whaling expeditions ended well.

"Kakebienen" (jaw bones) blue whale
The jaw bones ("kakebienen") which form the entrance to the Burgemeester Walda School came from a blue whale, caught during the season of the second Dutch whaling factory ship Willem Barendsz II in the year 1959/1960. The length of this extraordinarily large blue whale was 90 feet (27 meter) and its weight was 150 tonnes. The Lord C. Gransbergen, cook-steward at the time on the AM21, brought this blue whale to Ameland.

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