Fun things to do in Provincie Friesland

  • Arriving at the Crackstate Heerenveen.
    Arriving at the Crackstate Heerenveen.
    by Jerelis
  • Refelection of the Crackstate.
    Refelection of the Crackstate.
    by Jerelis
  • The front facade seen through the gate.
    The front facade seen through the gate.
    by Jerelis

Most Viewed Things to Do in Provincie Friesland

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    Discovering IJlst

    by vtveen Written Jan 30, 2013

    IJlst - or Drylts in the Frisian language – is one of the eleven Frisian cities. It became city rights already in 1268. It is one of the smaller cities in the province and visiting IJlst almost nothing does look like a ‘real’ city.

    But it has its own charm and deserves to be discovered. We started our visit with a walk along the river Ee or Ey, a kind of canal which is more or less the central axis of the city. It is lined with small and low houses, dating back to the 17th century. We walked to the old city hall and returned at the other side of the water.

    Both sides have the typical so called ‘overtuinen’; these gardens along the Ee were used as bleachfields and do belong to the houses at the other side of the streets.

    Next we went to the ‘Doe- en Kijkcentrum Nooitgedagt’, a small museum – to be honest just one room – located in a part of the former factory of Nooitgedagt. They were very famous for its skates, but mainly produced carpentry tools and for many years also wooden toys. We got a tour from a very enthusiastic volunteer, who was a former employee of the factory. He had a story of almost every single exhibit in ‘his’ museum.
    Although small, the museum is worth a visit. You can’t miss it; just follow your way to the high chimney, which is towering above IJlst.
    (www.nooitgedagt-ijlst.nl)

    ‘De Rat’ is a so called smack mill, which is located just outside the city center. Although we have seen a lot of windmills in the Netherlands, this one is without any doubt the most beautiful. Especially its location along the river Geeuw is breathtaking !! ‘De Rat’ is a woodcutting mill and still in production. It was just a pity we were on a wrong day and couldn’t visit the interior of the mill.
    (http://www.houtzaagmolenderat.nl)

    IJlst - 'overtuinen' IJlst - former city hall IJlst - 17th century houses IJlst - Nooitgedagt Museum IJlst - De Rat
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    Veenklooster and Fogelsangh State

    by vtveen Written Jan 18, 2013

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    The village of Veenklooster (or Feankleaster in Frisian) did arise on a spot of a 12th century monastery, called ‘de Olijfberg’. Nowadays it is located in very varied scenery with lots of trees and wooded banks. The village has a very nice village green and offers a couple of interesting sights, like museums and art galleries.

    But by far the most important sight for visitors is the Fogelsangh State. This private country estate was bought in 1639 by the Fogelsangh family. Nowadays it is still private owned by inheritance by a member of the Harinxma thoe Slooten family. The ‘state’, which is a little bit yellow colored, with its annexes lies beautifully, surrounded by gardens and a forest.

    We did get a leaflet (Dutch, don’t know if it is available in other languages) ands wandered around in the rooms, which were open for public. Kitchen, dining, living room, bedrooms and library had beautiful furnishings, a lot of (family) portraits, chandeliers, antique clocks and other exhibits.
    As we did read the ‘museum’ became much more interesting lately, because it houses the so called ‘Iddekinge collection’ (to be honest we had never heard before). Especially the 250-piece hand painted Amstel porcelain is quite famous and exhibited in one of the rooms.

    After a short look at the coach house, we went to ‘Galerie Noordvleugel, located in another outbuilding; a very nice and attractive mixture of an art gallery, picture-framer, (gift)shop and tea room, an ideal place for a cup of coffee or tea. (www.galerienoordvleugel.nl)

    Fogelsangh State is surrounded by a large park - Veenkloosterbos - an outstanding example for a walk. We were quite unlucky with the weather and have to come back for a second visit and a first walk.

    Information
    Opening hours: 30 April – 31 October, Tuesdays through Sundays 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm.
    Park all year, except during breeding season 15 March – 15 June.
    Admission fee (2013): adults € 5,00. Park € 1,00

    Veenklooster - Fogelsangh State Veenklooster - Fogelsangh State Veenklooster - Fogelsangh State, garden Veenklooster - village ghreen Veenklooster - road towards Fogelsangh State
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    Moddergat – Museum ‘t Fiskershúske

    by vtveen Written Jan 18, 2013

    Driving in the most northern part of Friesland is a little bit like entering the end of the (Frisian) world; straight roads, empty flat rural scenery, some isolated farmhouses and the twin villages of Paesens - with a nice little Romanesque church -. and Moddergat.
    Being on holidays in Friesland we wanted to visit Moddergat just for the name, which means something like Mud Hole and because it has a little open air museum, called ‘t Fiskershúske and consisting of four small fisherman’s cottages.

    We first did take a look in the house called ‘Klaske’s Húske’. For us it was unbelievable, but there were two big families living in these two rooms, which have furnishings from around 1920. A volunteer gave an explanation about life and work of the local fishermen. He also told us the story about the box-beds, which people were using in those days. They always look so short and we really thought men and women were not as tall as today, but they were sleeping more or less in a sitting position, afraid of lying down, because they believed it was the position of death. In one box-bed sometimes six children did sleep together.

    ‘t Fiskershúske gives a good impression of the interior of a fisherman’s cottage on shore of the Waddenzee. Another one - de Aek -offers a permanent exposition with objects linked to the old fishing industry, a model of the former village of Moddergat and ship models.

    On of the cottages - also the entrance to the museum – has a small shop and a café. During our coffee we saw a slideshow about the history of the villages. Back in the fresh air we climbed the impressive dike; on top is a sober monument in memory of the tragedy of 1883, during which 83 fishermen of Moddergat-Paesens drowned.
    (See for more info: http://www.fiskersskip-moddergat.nl/eng/about.html)
    From this spot we had a wonderful view over the Waddenzee towards Schiermonnikoog, one of the Frisian Wadden Islands.

    Information
    Opening hours: March through October, Mondays – Saturdays, 10.00 am – 5.00 pm. July, Mondays closed and Sundays open from 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm. August, open every day 10.00 am – 5.00 pm and Sundays 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm.
    Admission fee (2013): adults € 4,00

    Moddergat - Museum ���t Fiskersh��ske Museum ���t Fiskersh��ske Museum ���t Fiskersh��ske - box-bed Museum ���t Fiskersh��ske - kitchen Museum ���t Fiskersh��ske - living room
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    Jelsum – Dekema State

    by vtveen Written Jan 17, 2013

    The Dekema State was first mentioned in 1486; this ‘stins’ or ‘state’ was a moat stone house with a moat. A ‘state’ was a fortified dwelling - more or less like a small castle - built of stone by the nobility of Friesland. In those times stone was very expensive and only affordable for the really rich people. In rough times they could withdraw themselves in their houses. In the 16th century the ‘states’ lost their purpose as fortified buildings, because of the invention of gunpowder. The Dekema State is named after the family Dekema, who lived in the house in the 16th century

    We paid our admission fee and had to walk through the gardens with an orchard, a berceau with grapes, a vegetable and herb garden and some lovely still blooming ornamental gardens. On the right hand side was a amazing (former) drive way to the mansion with lime trees pruned like a candelabrum !!

    We passed the coach house and the small drawbridge before reaching the house itself. With a leaflet with an extensive explanation of the several rooms (I really don’t know if it is available in other languages) we started our round tour.
    We wandered through the beautifully furnished rooms with a very comfortable guest lounge, library, kitchen and dining room, where the table was neatly covered. The ‘Sael’ - a larger hall - has a collection of family portraits of the former inhabitants of the state. We did get a good impression of the life style of a noble family in the 1930’s.
    Just a pity that you are not allowed to takes pictures inside the building.

    In the former gardener's house, now entrance building, we finished our visit with a 'noble' cup of tea; it has also a small shop. If visiting Dekema State look also around in the tiny village of Jelsum, with its houses built on a ‘terp’ (an artificial dwelling hill) and the medieval church.

    Unfortunately we occasionally were blown away by the sound of low-flying fighter jets from the airbase Leeuwarden, which has its runway just outside the village and ‘state’.

    Information
    Opening hours: April through October, Saturday and Sunday 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm
    Mid June till mid September, Tuesday through Sunday 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm
    (Closed on holidays; see also website: Bezoek > Openingstijden)
    Admission fee: adults € 3,50 (2013)
    Throughout the year Dekema State has temporary exhibitions and special activities. See website: Agenda.

    Jelsum: Dekema State Dekema State- garden Dekema State - drive way Dekema State - garden Jelsum - 'terp' village
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    Hogebeintum – church/mourning panels

    by vtveen Written Jan 16, 2013

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    For a visit of the church of Hogebeintum (officially in Frisian Hegebeintum) you First have to stop at the Visitor Centre. After paying our entrance fee we could join a (very) small group for a guided tour. Together we ‘climbed’ the highest mound of the Netherlands, which reaches till 9 meters above sea level.
    (Mound - in Dutch ‘terp’- is a man made hill, protecting people and cattle against floods.

    The old Romanesque church, dating from the early 2th century and built of tuff, stands on the top of the mound. It offers great views over the surrounding flat landscape of Friesland. We passed the graveyard with old tombstones and reached the entrance door.

    Once inside the interior took our breath away: it turned out to be completely different from the usually sober interiors of other protestant churches. The walls are richly decorated with many so called ‘mourning panels’ and a nice carved pulpit.
    The guide told us that ‘his’ church has the largest collection of these memorial panels in the Netherlands. The panels, in memory of the deceased local aristocracy, are dated from 1689 to 1906. They are quite different in size and design; some are highly decorated with symbolic carvings, whilst others are quite simple. We got an extensive explanation of the different ‘death’ symbols.

    Information
    Opening hours church: March - October, every hour from 11.00 am till 4.00 pm
    November - February, for groups only and on request.
    Admission fee (2013): adults € 3,50

    Hogebeintum on its 'terp' Hogebeintum, church Hogebeintum, church, - interior Hogebeintum, church - pulpit Hogebeintum, church - mourning panels
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    Franeker - St. Martin's Church

    by vtveen Written Jan 14, 2013

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    The present St. Martins Church (Martinikerk) is dating back to the year of 1421, although there was already a church on the same spot dedicated to St. Martin as early as 1085. The church is the only medieval church in Friesland with a choir aisle.
    As St. Martin’s was originally a roman catholic church, the prohibition of roman Catholicism in 1580 brought major alterations in the interior. Anything reminiscent of roman catholic times was removed and/or destroyed. Paintings on the columns - probably from the first half of the 15th century – were covered on a layer of whitewash. They came out during a restoration in 1940.

    St. Martin’s Church in Franeker is easy to find, as it is signposted and located in the heart of the city on a ‘terp’ (man made artificial hill). Although built with large medieval local bricks the outside of the church is not that impressive.

    But once we entered the building we were really surprised by the measures and brightness. It is a so called pseudo basilica, which means that it has a nave and two aisles. The nave and aisles do have a beautiful wooden vault. The church does look (and is) very bright due to the many large windows.

    For us most remarkable were the columns of the nave and around the choir. Many of them do have splendid frescoes of saints. The front wall is almost completely covered by a nice organ; not the original but one of 1842. The sculptured pulpit - made by a local craftsman - dates from 1622 and has a lion, holding the Franeker coat of arms.

    The floor of the church is covered with hundreds of tombstones; other are placed against the walls. Although we tried to read the names on it, most of them were completely unknown for us. Most probably they were from the nobility of Franeker.

    The church has a small ‘shop’ for souvenirs, booklets, dvd’s and a cd with music of the organ.

    Information
    Opening hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays - 11.00 am – 5.00 pm, Mondays 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm.
    Admission: there is no entrance fee; at the exit is a box for a donation.
    Tours: there are no tours available - volunteers will give information. There are also leaflets in Dutch and (at least) English.

    Franeker - St. Martin's Church, interior St. Martin's Church, columns with frescoes St. Martin's Church, detail of the frescoes St. Martin's Church, interior
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    Veenwouden – Schierstins

    by vtveen Written Jan 14, 2013

    The ‘schierstins’ in Veenwouden is a fortified tower/house dating back to the early 14th century. It is the only remaining so called ‘steenhuis’ (stone house) in Friesland. It was built around 1300 and was first officially mentioned in 1439 as ‘Schira Monnika’, when it was owned by the Claercamp Abbey. It was named after the ‘schiere’ (= grey) habits of the Cistercian monks of the abbey, who cut peat around Veenwouden; the word ‘stins’ means stone house.

    Veenwouden (or Feanwâlden in Frisian language) means something like ‘peat forest’. And indeed the surroundings of Veenwouden are quite different from the common Frisian scenery with a lot of forest. In the centre of the village stands de ‘schierstins’. The impressive old tower of massive red brick is situated on a small island surrounded by a kind of park and a moat.

    Being there in the morning we were quite unlucky, because we couldn't visit the tower with its museum itself. Opening hours are limited and staff was busy to get another room ready for a wedding. After a short glimpse inside the building we had to be satisfied with a little walk around the buildings.

    The garden/park is lovely (in spring it has a lot of so called ‘stinsenplanten’ = spring flowers). One of the outbuildings in front of the ‘schierstins’ still gives the impression of being a post office, but this was already closed in 1960.

    Information
    Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 1.30 pm – 5.00 pm
    Admission fee (2013): € 2,00
    (see website ‘Locatie & Prijzen’)

    Veenwouden - Schierstins Veenwouden - Schierstins, former post office Veenwouden - Schierstins, entrance gate Veenwouden - Schierstins
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    Franeker - Eise Eisinga Planetarium

    by vtveen Updated Jan 11, 2013

    Eise Eisinga - a local wool carder – built between 1774 and 1781 an accurate scale model of the solar system in the living room of his house. An upcoming planetary conjunction - that some people said would mean the end of the world - launched him into this activity. Eisinga wanted to use his model to show how the solar system really worked.

    During our visit of the city of Franeker the Eise Eisinga Planetarium was an absolute ‘must see’ sight for us. We were just in time to join a guided tour in our own Dutch language. We went with a couple of other visitors into the living room of Eise Eisinga, where we got an extensive explanation of the construction and functioning of his planetarium in the ceiling of this marvelous room.
    It is absolutely stunning that this model is still working and showing the accurate and actual position of the planets, stars and our moon for about 225 years.

    Depending on the number of question by visitors this guided tour takes about 30 minutes.

    Afterwards we climbed a steep and narrow staircase to the first floor. Behind glass walls we had a view of the impressive gear mechanism. Eisinga used wooden hoops and 10.000 hand-forged nails as teeth. Controlling this mechanism are a pendulum clock and nine weights. It is amazing seeing the constant movement of the wheels and hearing the soft sound of the tacking of the teeth.
    For us it was almost unbelievable that this self educated man was able to build such an ingenious device.

    In a couple of other rooms is a small museum with an exhibition of historical astronomical instruments, other planetariums and modern astronomy. To be honest: nice to see, but by far not as interesting as the actual planetarium of Eisinga.

    We were really impressed by our visit and it is absolutely well worth the entrance fee.
    Next to the ‘museum’ is the Planetariumcafe, a cozy café/shop for a drink and/or lunch.

    !!Be aware: the actual planetarium can only be visited by a guided tour. As far as I know they are in Dutch, English, German and French (??).
    It is not allowed to take pictures inside the building. !!

    Being interested in the heritage of Eisinga we also visited the small village of Dronrijp, less than 10 km’s east from Franeker. Around the village church we saw more reminders of him like his birthplace, a statue and a plaque against the church.

    Information
    Opening hours: All year round Tuesday through Saturday 10.00 am - 5.00 pm, Sunday 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm Between 1 April and 31 October, also: Monday 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm.
    Entrance fee: adults € 4,50 (2013)
    See also website.

    Franeker, Planetarium and cafe Dronrijp: statue of Eise Eisinga Dronrijp: birthplace of Eise Eisinga
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    Bolsward on foot

    by vtveen Updated Jan 10, 2013

    Bolsward is one of the eleven Frisian cities. It became its city rights already in the year of 1455. Originally Bolsward was built on two ‘terpen’ (man made artificial hills) and even in 900 the city still was surrounded by water. It had an open connection to the sea by way of a gully and the Frisian Middelzee. Bolsward was since 1412 – according to written sources – member of the Germanic Hanseatic cities.

    We started our exploration of the city - of course on foot – just behind our hotel Hid Hero Hiem, where we saw the only remains of the old defensive walls and a part of the city moat. A little bit to the north stand the Martini Church on one of the former ‘terpen’. Construction of this impressive church began in 1442. Church is open for visitors and we took a look inside; quite impressive with its pillars, wooden pulpit and choir stalls.

    Walking back to the city center along a canal (Grote Dijlakker) we reached the St. Francis Church. We didn’t expect to find a roman catholic church in this part of the country, but Bolsward has one. You really should look inside the church. It was built in around 1930 and is completely made of colourful (Frisian) brick, which gives the interior an amazing atmosphere.
    (Next to the church is the Titus Brandsma Museum, which we didn’t visit).

    We walked along ‘Nieuwmarkt’ and ‘Skilwijk’, where we passed a kind of gate to the Sint Anthony Gasthuis. Former alms houses are built around a lovely garden.

    Back to the city center (through ‘Dijkstraat’ and ‘Marktstraat’). On a fork of two canals stands the great city hall of Bolsward. It has a marvelous stair-step gable and an impressive flight of steps outside. We visited a couple of rooms inside the building, which is really worth the effort.

    We continued along the ‘Jongemastraat’ and couldn’t miss the Broerekerk. This church has a medieval façade (it is the oldest building in the city). In 1980 a fire ruined the church, but in 2005 the church was restored and became an unique glass roof. Nowadays it is used for special events like music performances.

    We went back to the ‘Appelmarkt’ for a deserved cup of coffee on one of the sidewalk cafes.
    (We were running out of time and couldn’t visit other sites like the Sonnema distillery, the Us Heit Beer Brewery and It Gysbert Japicxhûs. The last one is located at the ‘Wipstraat’ - just behind the city hall - and has a Frisian shop and a kind of Tourist Information Center.)

    Bolward is nowadays part of the municipality of Sudwest-Fryslân.

    Bolsward - city hall Martini Church: interior St. Francis Church: interior Sint Anthony Gasthuis Broerekerk
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    Bolsward > Bolsward, bicycle trip

    by vtveen Written Jan 8, 2013

    Friesland is as flat as a pancake and ideal for a bicycle trip. We opted for a ride towards the Ijsselmeer (former Zuiderzee) and back. We headed for Exmorra, where we made our first stop with a visit to a historical grocery shop dating back to the end of the 19th century; the same building houses an old school class and a shoe repair shop. Living rooms of the former owner do have period furniture.

    Allingawier is just a couple of kilometres further and offers a nice ‘open air museum’, with farmhouses, an old village church, a black smith, an eel smokery and a bakery where they make so called ‘drabbelkoeken’ (a local sweet). The village also has a café and a restaurant.
    Just outside the village lies the Allingastate, a more or less newly built Frisian manor (= state), which is a mix of several styles. To be honest: we were not impressed at all.

    (Grocery shop, Allingawier museum village and Allingastate belong to the so called Aldfaers Erf Route – Forefathers Inheritance Route.)

    Makkum is located on the banks of the IJsselmeer and is an old historical fishing village. It has some nice historic (merchant) houses, a beautiful weigh house and the lock to the ‘sea’. The pottery of Royal Tichelaar is also located in Makkum. Although it is not possible to visit the factory itself, we browsed the shop and had a nice lunch in their restaurant ‘Yt en Geniet (see for opening hours http://www.tichelaar.nl/en/shop_makkum/the_bakersshop.php).

    We followed the dike to the south and passed little Frisian villages like Piaam and Gaast, before reaching Ferwoude. The village has and historical carpenter factory, once also belonging to the Aldfaers Erf Route, but during our visit closed for visitors. After a look at the village church (18the century) with is remarkable yellow colour, we went on towards Workum trough a rural road.

    Workum is one of the eleven Frisian cities and nowadays well known for the ‘Jopie Huisman Museum’. This museum exposes paintings of Jopie Huisman, This local scrap collector turned out to be a marvelous painter and we really loved our visit to ‘his’ museum.

    After a coffee on a terrace on the market square of Workum - with a view of the impressive tower of the Gertrudis Church - we had to cycle back to Bolsward along a canal and with a little bit of head wind. After a wonderful bike trip of about 35 km’s we came back at the shop were we rented our bikes.
    (Koopmans Tweewielers, Grote Dijlakker 58, Bolsward - they don’t have a website)

    Information
    Exmorra and Alingawier, opening hours and admission fees: http://www.aldfaerserf.nl/
    Alingastate, free admission, opening hours: http://www.allingastate.nl
    Jopie Huisman Museum, opening hours and admission fees: http://www.jopiehuismanmuseum.nl/

    Rural scene along the bike route Exmorra: historical grocery shop Allingawier museum village Makkum, fishing village Workum, Jopie Huisman Museum
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    Bolsward – Martini Church

    by vtveen Updated Jan 8, 2013

    In 1446 construction of the present Martini Church (Martinikerk) began on the very site of a Roman tuff church. After 20 years the church was completed; later the church was extended on the west side of the building and connected to the separate tower with a ‘saddle’ roof, dating back to the 14th century.
    Originally it was a roman catholic church dedicated to St. martin, becoming a protestant church after the reformation. The Martini Church is still used by the ‘Dutch Reformed’ community.

    The Martini Church is located at Groot Kerkhof, which was very close to our hotel Hid Hero Hiem and was the first sight we visited in Bolsward. It is still clearly visible that the church is situated on a ‘terp’ (a man made hill). The impressive church with its tower - with a height of 52 metres - is rising high above the surrounding (small) houses.

    Once inside the church is remarkable bright, because it has a lot of windows. After entering you should look above the entrance for the famous and beautiful ‘Hinsz organ’. Another highlight is the pulpit, which has wonderful woodcarvings with decorations of the four seasons.
    The choir has antique choir stalls, also with woodcarvings. The oldest are dating back to 1490 !!
    Being a protestant church it isn’t very richly decorated, but the Martini Church has some statues, a couple of nice paintings and some medieval frescoes.

    When walking around in the church we saw everywhere memory boards and lots of richly decorated tombstones. Look at the many ship decorations, a proof of the importance of Bolsward as an Hanseatic city.

    Information
    Admission: free of charge
    Opening hours: open throughout the year Mondays till Fridays 1.30 pm - 4.00 pm; from may till August also from 10.00 am - 12.00 am. July and August also on Saturdays 1.30 pm - 4.00 pm. (check website before your visit).

    Bolsward, Martini Church Martini Church, interior Martini Church, tower Martini Church, interior
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    Bolsward – city hall

    by vtveen Written Jan 4, 2013

    The first stone of the current city hall – on the site of an earlier one – was laid in 1614 by the mayor of Bolsward. The model was made by a local cabinetmaker Japick Gysberts and built under own management by local craftsmen. In 1617 the total construction of this renaissance style building was finished, which costs about 27.000 guilders. In 1768 the rococo façade steps were added. The exterior was restored in 1895 and in 1955 a new restoration took place.

    When walking through Bolsward it is impossible to miss this red brick showpiece of the city. After looking to the striking exterior of the building with its decorations on the façade, we decided to take a look inside. It turned out there were a couple of rooms, which were open for visitors. We got a leaflet (also available in English, German and French) and could start our ‘self guided’ tour.

    We ascended the stairs with some nice stained glass windows before reaching the first floor. Through the open door of the Burgemeesterskamer (Mayor’s chamber) we had a view into the room with period furniture and paintings against the walls. During our visit in 2010 the room was still used as a working room, because Bolsward was still an independent municipality; nowadays it is part of Sudwest-Fryslân.

    The next room is the ‘Vierschaar’ - the tribunal – where in earlier days the rule of law was administered, again with a lot of antique features and paintings. Next to this room is the ‘Raadzaal’ (Council Chambers), where the council of Bolsward had its meetings when it was still an independent municipality (nowadays part of Sudwest-Fryslân). The has a remarkable mantelpiece with an antique fireback. It also has a wonderful chandelier with real candles.

    Via a narrow spiral staircase we reached the ‘Oudheidkamer’ (Antiquity Room), a small museum with exhibits from and about the history of the city of Bolsward. Remarkable the large number of silver objects, beaten currencies and pottery from the old days.

    Information
    The city hall and the Antiquity Room are open - for free - for visitors from April 1 till November 1 on weekdays.
    Check the opening hours at the Tourist Information/Gysbert Japicxhûs, phone 0515 - 573990.

    Bolsward - city hall City hall - flight of steps City hall - 'Vierschaar' (tribunal) City hall: Raadzaal (Council chambers) Oudheidkamer (Antiquity room)
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    Sloten, the smallest of the eleven Frisian cities

    by vtveen Written Dec 25, 2012

    Sloten was founded in the 13th century on a crossing of a road and the river Ee and became an important trade centre. On August 30 of the year of 1426 it first was mentioned as a city and at the end of the 16th century Sloten became a fortified town with four gates and a wall and moat around the town.

    The history of the city is reflected in its centre with its protected views in a pedestrian area.
    Nowadays Sloten is a pleasant town, popular by people who love watersports (as everywhere in Friesland), biking or hiking. A visit to Sloten means walking along the canal ‘Het Diep’, which divides the town in two parts, with several historic merchants houses from the 17th and 18th century. Looking to the two remaining water gates, the flourmill from 1755 (sinde 2005 named De Kaai) with an old canon on the grounds; another canon stands at the other end of ‘Het Diep’.
    And why not visiting the interior of the Reformed Church, built in 1647 or the town hall from 1759, now used as a museum with a good impression of Sloten’s history. It contains also a collection of magic lanterns.

    Sloten offers a couple of nice shops and ‘of course’ some cafés and restaurants. Sitting on one of the terraces with a drink is a perfect end of a visit of this smallest of the eleven Frisian cities.

    As said Sloten is a pedestrian area and you have to park you car on one of the (free) car parks around the city.

    Het Diep De Kaai Reformed Church, interior city butcher sidewalk cafe

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    Gaasterland – walking through ‘hilly’ Friesland

    by vtveen Written Dec 24, 2012

    The Dutch province of Friesland is commonly well known for its flatness, green meadows with cows, lakes and sailing boats. But some parts of the province are quite different; one of them is ‘Gaasterland’ in the south western part.

    Gaasterland (gaast = sandy hill) has some hills, although don’t expect too much (the highest one is just 12,7 metres above the sea level). They are remains of the latest ice age, when glaciers covered also the Netherlands.
    It is a very pleasant and beautiful scenery, with its gently sloped landscape, meadows, loam cliffs along the IJsselmeer and several forest; together with some really nice and quiet villages a very interesting part of Friesland.

    We made a walk of a couple of hours through this scenery and just saw al these elements, making a loop walk from the small village of Oudemirdum. First ‘climbing’ a hill and afterwards descending to the dike along the IJsselmeer and the so called Mirnser Klif (with an height of 2,5 metres). Through the ‘Rijster Bosch’, a 300 year old planted forest with varied trees, we reached the small (holiday) village of Rijs and walked back through another forest with these typical hills to Oudemirdum.

    Oudemirdum is a good starting point for exploring Gaasterland. It is a very nice village with a couple of shops, cafés and restaurants along the Brink (square) and most important for tourists an information centre. They offer maps with signposted walks or just buy a map and make your own (as we did) tour.
    Opening hours: see website.

    Gaasterland: meadows and forest Ice age rock from Sweden, nearby Oudemirdum Mirnser Klif Rijster Bosch Oudemirdum
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Schiermonnikoog

    by sim1 Updated Feb 24, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    Schiermonnikoog, or sometimes also called 'Schier' by the Dutch people, is a beautiful little island. The Wadden island are at the north of The Netherlands and are a series of small islands in a row in front of the coast. Schiermonnikoog is the smallest inhabited Wadden Island. It is only 10 miles long an 2½ miles wide and it has one village (which is also called Schiermonnikoog. The village dates back to 1760.

    I love this island, it really is beautiful and perfect for a daytrip or for a stay of a few days. The main part of the island is natural landscape : dunes, beaches,woods and also shallows and a polder.
    The thing I love about it is that there are no cars allowed on the island. The only ones than are allowed to use a cars are the island residents. So in fact it means no traffic at all on the island, except for the bicycles. It's really a paradise for people that love to make a relaxing bicycle trip or enjoy hiking. Over the whole island there are little bicycle path which lead you through the beautiful dunes and landscape of the island.

    Don't worry about bringing a bike yourself though, as you can rent a bicycle on the island. But if your not in the mood for an active vacation, you can also be lazy and lay down on the beautiful and huge beach :-)

    More about this island on my Schiermonnikoog page:
    http://www.virtualtourist.com/m/1c048/6fbe4/

    Related to:
    • Cycling
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

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Provincie Friesland Hotels

  • Hotel Wyswert

    Rengerslaan 8, Leeuwarden, 8917 DD, nl

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • WestCord Hotel Noordsee

    Strandweg 42, 9163 GN, The Netherlands

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • WestCord Hotel Schylge

    37 Burg Van Heusdenweg, (formerly Golden Tulip), West-Terschelling, 8881 ED, The Netherlands

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

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