Almost all the farms and typical local houses in the village have been renovated and enlarged to meet modern demands of living comfortably , but those who look beyond the corresponding details, will discover that the atmosphere from the late 19th century has been preserved reasonably well. Feanwâldsterwâl with its three hundred inhabitants was a village which couldn’t name itself a village, until 2011, when a couple of tenacious residents made sure that Feanwâldsterwâl got its village status. Thus Feanwâldsterwâl became officially the youngest village of the Netherlands.
A village which in ‘De vertellingen van Wilt Tjaarda’ (The tales of Wilt Tjaarda) (Amsterdam 1982, semi-autobiographical stories by Theun de Vries – Wahrheid und Dichtung!- ) appears as ‘De Waterwal’ and has been described like this: “The oldest part of the village meanwhile had become an outside neighbourhood, far from church and school - a canal with straight, dead end ditches, where devout cow milkers and fishermen lived. There was also a shipyard where they built and repaired boats (...)”
And: “The people from De Waterwal didn’t greet each other much; they’d even stare suspiciously and immovably at those who lived in the church village when they’d pass by, and only on Sunday evenings did they dare to go to the border of their canal, to the junction where since the eighties a horse trampassed. They stood there in dense, dark crowds. The elderly were silent most of the time and looked from underneath the stiff peaks of their black silk farmer caps with suspicious and cold glances at what passed by.”
This introverted, distant attitude, described by Theun de Vries, some will still experience today. Sjoerd Litjens: “When we moved from Amsterdam to Feanwâldsterwâl in the eighties, some villagers turned out to be hard to guess. But nevertheless, we never felt unwelcome. Even more, the village proved to be the place of a particularly happy childhood, we were ‘different’, but even so part of a warm and caring community, where people lived and let live.”