The legend of the Sheep's heads

Toy sheep's headFor centuries, the inhabitants of Dordrecht have had the nickname 'Sheep's heads'. This name originates from a story told in the middle ages, when Dordrecht was a rich and powerful trading city. The staple right ensured that all goods that were imported and exported from the city were taxed, including meat and cattle for slaughter. Two people from Dordrecht who had bought a sheep in the Alblasserwaard were not willing to pay this tax. When returning to Dordrecht, near Papendrecht they saw a scarecrow. They took its trousers, coat and cap and dressed the sheep in them. Near the Riedijks Gate, they put the animal between them and held its front legs. In the dark, it looked just like three men walking into town, although the middle one seemed to be somewhat shaky on his legs. So what; in those days people often had one drink too many. Everything went according to plan, but when the men wanted to walk on, a plaintive bleat was heard! The sheep was unmasked and the men had to pay the tax they owed. Of course, the story was told and retold in the town and the surrounding villages. From that moment on, people referred to Dordrecht's inhabitants as 'Sheep's heads'.

At theVVV shop inDordrecht you can find special Dordrecht souvenirs and 'Sheep's heads' souvenirs.

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