Leeuwarden cultural capital of the north of the Netherlands.
Like many cities in the Netherlands, Leeuwarden is also a city with a very rich history. This history goes back to Roman times, when people were already living on the spot where the Oldehove now stands. Just like many places in the Netherlands that fought against the water, Leeuwarden was such a place. Leeuwarden in origin on the mounds that were built on an inlet of what was then called the Middelzee. This Middelzee would later silt up and be reclaimed.
Leeuwarden appears for the first time in history in a donation document from the Fulda Abbey. The document refers to villa Lintarwde. The then inhabitants of the mounds were mainly concerned with agriculture, fishing and shipping. Leeuwarden had a favorable location by the sea. Leeuwarden already maintained trade contacts with places such as Lübeck and with countries in the Baltic Sea area. On the landscaped mounds, settlements called Oldehove, Nijehove and Hoek were created. In 1435 these three settlements were merged into a city called Leeuwarden, in the same year the city also got its city rights.
The golden age
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were Leeuwarden’s golden age. The city gained prestige because for centuries it became the residence of the Nassaus, which also became governors of the northern provinces. The residence disappeared in 1747. Today, the stadtholder’s court where the residence resided has been converted into a hotel. The golden age was also the time that the nobility came to Leeuwarden. The nobility settled in what were then the finest streets in Leeuwarden.
The Eewal, the Grote kerkstraat, the Tweebaksmarkt, the Waeze and the Nieuwestad were the streets where the nobility of Leeuwarden could be found. Families such as the Van Martena, Van Camstra, Van Burmania and Van Aylva families were the richest noble families in the city. Leeuwarden grew into one of the most significant cities in the country. The splendor of that time can still be found in the city. Buildings such as the Chancellery, the Waag and the Stadholder’s Court bear witness to this.
What to do in Leeuwarden
Leeuwarden is a modern and vibrant city where there is everything to do. Young or old does not matter, you can enjoy the wide nature in and around Leeuwarden but also the history of Leeuwarden by visiting one of the historic buildings that the city is rich with.
Leeuwarden also offers ample opportunities for shopping in pleasant shopping streets. Furthermore, Leeuwarden also has a wide range of restaurants where you can eat and drink deliciously. In short, Leeuwarden has everything that makes it attractive to pay a visit to this beautiful city.
You will find water everywhere around Leeuwarden and throughout the rest of the province. Leeuwarden is also easy to reach by water and with its beautiful harbors is also a wonderful place to spend a day. The Frisian capital is very rich in monuments, more than 600 monuments are located in and around the city. So you can visit the Dutch version of the tower of Pisa to know the Oldehove which is probably one of the most famous monuments of the city.
For the culture lovers money that you can really enjoy yourself in the Frisian capital. An absolute must if you visit Leeuwarden is a visit to the Fries museum. Here you will find the very best in Frisian art and culture. Anyone who wants to know more about the rich history of the Frisian people will find out everything in the Frisian museum.
The birthplace of the Leeuwardian M.C. Escher is now the Ceramic Museum Pricessehof. A visit to this museum takes you on a journey through the world of ceramics. For nature lovers among us, the Natuurmuseum Fryslân is definitely not to be missed. Here you will find plenty of information, special animals, plants, assignments, test games and other surprises, spread over the three floors of the building.
Project 11 Fountains
11 Fountains is a project where a fountain was designed for each of the 11 Frisian cities. Of course there is also such a fountain in Leeuwarden that in itself has a pretty special story to it. The artist who designed this fountain, Jaume Plensa, was inspired by a meeting in the Frisian capital.
The artwork that bears the name “Love” is 7 meters high and represents a boy and a girl with eyes closed dreaming about the future. The water from the fountain is a 2-meter cloud of fog floating around the heads. Visitors can wander through the mist that is seen as a tribute to the mist that hangs over the Frisian meadows early in the morning.
Eating, drinking and sleeping in Leeuwarden
The city has a wide range of places to stay in the city. There are countless hotels of all types. You can stay here in a low budget hotel but you can also sleep in romantic hotels or boutique hotels just as easily and all in the heart of Leeuwarden.
But you can also eat delicious food. The city is richly filled with restaurants and eateries and cafes. Take a look at the Cellars, with their delightful terraces right on the water of the canals of Leeuwarden
- leeuwarden-1664-1: Door Bernardus Schotanus à Sterringa - Bernardus Schotanus à Sterringa, Publiek domein, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10001006
- leuwarden-nieuwestad-1: Door Baykedevries - Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36528837
- leeuwarden-brug-groentemarkt-kelders-naauw-2: Door Michiel1972 - Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16336354
- OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA: Door C messier - Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51278393
- leeuwarden-fries-museum-verzetsmuseum-wilhelminaplein-1: Door Vidi Condor - Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27798698
- leeuwarden-keramiekmuseum-princessehof-1: Door Bouwe Brouwer - Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16332749
- leeuwarden-sculptuur-love-fountain-11fonteinen-1: Door Michielverbeek - Eigen werk, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69680316
- leeuwarden-panoramio-1: Door Ben Bender, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60548274