The landmark of Leeuwarden is the Oldehove. You can compare this tower to the one in Pisa. It is also leaning a bit too much to one side. After a renovation the tower is now opened again to the public. For a small fee you can walk to the top of the 40 metres high tower. The view is great, and on clear days you might even see the islands in the sea called the Waddenzee!!!
Just as in a lot of other Dutch cities Leeuwarden also has a Waag. Originally it was a building in which the shipped in goods were weighed and where people paid their import duties. Most important products were butter and cheese! Nowadays it only houses an ATM machine from the Rabobank. Most of the time there are long lines , but across the canal is another ATM-machine by ING bank, that almost never has queues...
The Frisian Museum of Natural History was founded in 1923. Like many nature museums, this one came about as the result of a private initiative. A number of Leeuwarden nature lovers put their heads together and decided that it was high time that Leeuwarden had a nature museum. The most important initiator was Gerrit Bosch (known popularly as Fûgeltsje Bosch). In the first years of its existence the museum changed its location several times. After the Second World War, the museum moved into the building in the Heerestraat and remained there until 1987. At that time, the museum had completely outgrown its accomodation and a new location needed to be found. This turned out to be the Nieuwestads Weeshuis at Schoenmakersperk. This historical building in the middle of the old city provided an enormous increase in museum floor space. The Nieuwestads Weeshuis served as an orphanage from 1675 to 1958. At its busiest time, hundreds of orphans lived in the house.
There are three areas in the museum:
The Frisian landscape: The origins of the various Frisian landscapes are explained first. You then walk through the landscapes and see the animals that live there, the plants that grow and the dangers that threaten these particular landscapes. You can even learn how to milk a cow!
Friesland under water: A walk along the bed of a Frisian farmer’s ditch.
The whale room: The centrepiece of this room is the skeleton of a 15-metre long sperm whale, which was washed up on a sandbank between Ameland and Terschelling in 1994. The exhibition includes a lot of practical elements for children, such as a crawl space in the shape of a diving bell, a cuddly toy drawer, a whale puzzle, videos and various games.
Although you don't want to go inside, the outide of the building is beautiful! It is in the same style as the Stadhouderlijk Hof and I think the buildings were constructed around the same. They maybe even had the same owner!
Willem Lodewijk Monument
Willem Lodewijk became stadtholder of Friesland in 1584. Willem Lodewijk married his cousin, Anna van Oranje, daughter of Willem van Oranje, in 1587. She died after a marriage of 7 months. Willem Lodewijk remained single since then. He has lived in the Stadhouderlijk Hof from 1584-1620. Nowadays he has his own statue on Hofplein.
This museum is specialised in ceramics and china from all over the world. It is the only of it's kind in the Netherlands. The museum is housed in what used to be the City Palace of Maria Louise van Hessen-Kassel, who also lived in the Stadhouderlijk Hof, in the 18th century. The museum has recently been re-opened by Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima because it was totally refurbished.
The old "Waag" is a building in the centre of the main shopping street of Leeuwarden. This used to be a place where they weighed all the cheese and butter brought in by the farmers. These type of buildings can be found in many old dutch cities.
It is rebuild, after many years of being empty, into a restaurant and cafe. On the right side of this building is the most used ATM of the Netherlands.
This is a street at the outside of the city center, close to the parc and the old tower "Oldenhove".
Mind the municipal coat of arms at the corner of the house at the left .
More information will follow asap.
- Family Travel
De Oldehove is an unfinished church tower in the medieval centre of the Dutch city of Leeuwarden (Stenvert, 2000). It leans even more than the famous tower of Pisa.
Oldehove is also the name of an artificial mound ("terp" in Dutch) on which in the late 9th century a (Catholic) church dedicated to Saint Vitus was built. Construction of the adjoining Late Gothic tower began in 1529, after the citizens of Leeuwarden demanded a tower taller than the one in the city of Groningen, the Martini tower. In charge were Jacob van Aken (or Aaken) and, after his death, Cornelis Frederiksz.
During construction, the tower began to sag, which the builders tried to compensate for by inserting several "kinks", but the project was stopped in 1532 (1533 according to another source). In 1595-'96, the then derelict church was demolished, but the tower remains. It consists mostly of brick, but the builders also used so-called Bentheim sandstone.
The Oldehove is a Gothic tower built from 1529 until 1532 for the church of St. Vitus. Already when the tower had reached a height of ten metres it started sagging. Construction was continued by building straight on the leaning lower part. As sagging continued work was stopped when the tower was 40 metres tall. The old church was not replaced and has been demolished long since.
The tower is often open for the public. I'm not sure if it can be climbed though, but I think it can be. Don't worry, it's not very high.
- Historical Travel
Skutsjesilen Spectacular races...
Spectacular races with antique freightships. The flatbottomed sailingships were used to transport manure, soil, potatoes etc in the beginning of last century.
Larges families lived in the tiny deckhouse. In the slow periodes, skippers took the whole interior out of the deckhouse and engaged in sailingraces for money.
In 2001 the races are held from july 21 until august 3. You have to inquire at the local touristboard for the places, because the fleet moves every day. Every day after the race, there is a party for the winner and for the losers.
photo: SKS website
WorkumVisit the Jopie Huisman...
Visit the Jopie Huisman Museum in Workum. Jopie was the kind of person that makes you believe in reincarnation. He was a dealer in rags and he saw beauty in the simple things. He managed to express this in the drawings he made of the old, the ugly and the worn-out things.
Jopie refused ever to sell his paintings. He died at the age of 75 last year. I hope his wish will be respected and his art will remain forever in the magnificent museum for us all to enjoy.
Photo: This underwear has been repaired time after time and Huisman managed to get every stitch on the canvas with great respect for the rag and the person who wore them.
Statue of Pieter Jelles Troelstra
Pieter Jelles Troelstra (Leeuwarden, 20 April 1860 – The Hague, 12 May 1930) was a Dutch politician active in the socialist workers' movement. He is most remembered for his fight for universal suffrage and his failed call for revolution at the end of World War I. Troelstra was married from 1888 until 1904 to Sjoukje Bokma de Boer, who was a well-known children's book writer under the pen name of Nynke van Hichtum.
Peter Jelles Troelstra died on May 12, 1930 in The Hague. To this day the The Hague section of the PvdA, the successor of the SDAP, celebrates labour day at a monument to Troelstra.
The neo-Gothic St. Bonifatius was built in 1882-1884. Although catholics in Leeuwarden formed a minority, their number was large enough to justify the construction of a second church, the first being the St. Dominicus. P.J.H. Cuypers designed the new church, which is considered to be one of his best.
The Jacobijnerkerk, also known as Grote Kerk ('great church') was built in the 13th century as the church of the Dominican monastery. In the 15th century the church was extended. After the Reformation the monastery was closed and the church became a protestant one. The choir became a mausoleum for the Frisian branch of the (Oranje-)Nassau family.
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