Many Dutch cities were built around canals. Alkmaar, Utrecht, Dordrecht, Leiden, Groningen, Leeuwarden and Amersfoort are cities with cityscapes that are characterised by graceful canals. Of course, Amsterdam has the best-known canals. The Amsterdam Canal District is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and the city has even been nicknamed the "Venice of the North". Discover Holland from a different perspective and take a cruise through the canals.
The canals were constructed in the 17th century to enable development of new neighbourhoods surrounding the city centre. The canals were used for water management, transportation and defense purposes. Nowadays, the canals are mainly used for recreational activities. Motor boats, canal tour boats, pedal boats and canoes sail through the canals year round, and you can even skate through the city centre during those severe winters when the canals freeze over.
Beerenburg is a Dutch drink, made by adding herbs to jenever, with about 30% alcohol.
The original Beerenburg was made in the mid-19th century with a secret mixture of spices of the Amsterdam spice merchant Hendrik Beerenburg, to whom it owes its name. Soon local Beerenburg varieties emerged, each with its own recipe. These were, however, not allowed to use the name Beerenburg, which is why there are variations on the spelling, such as Berenburg and Berenburger.
Despite the Amsterdam (North-Holland) origin of Beerenburg, the drink became the most popular in Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe. Related to Italian amaro.
In the European Union, Beerenburg classifies as a spirit drink.
Ottenhome Heeg has for 27 years been the largest and one of the most reliable boat rental, watersports and events companies in The Netherlands.
Ottenhome Heeg BV – Total Boating Fun!
Sales en rental of the Polyvalk, Fox22, RiverCruise longboats and motor yachts. Thousands of boats found their way to happy customers, both owners and renters. Ottenhome Heeg has been synonymous with quality and service under our TOTAL BOATING guarantee.
Ottenhome Heeg Marina, beautiful, modern and above all, full of cheer.
Ottenhome Heeg has her base at the yacht boulevard in Heeg with 280 boat slips. The Ottenhome Heeg Sailors Club is a cozy cafe both for renters and marina customers and boasts a harbor facility will all modern amenities.
The Fries Museum is dedicated to Friesland and the Frisian people. Its activities revolve around the eleven cities that make up the province and the surrounding countryside. These include the Frisians' love-hate relationship with water, the search for what defines the typical Frisian character, and Friesland's place in the wider world. The freedom fighter Grutte Pier's sword; old costumes and clothing; treasures from the Frisian mounds; the legacy of Mata Hari, the exotic dancer who was executed as a spy at the end of the First World War; Gerrit Benner's paintings; contemporary visual art; and the film de Overval: together these objects tell the story of Friesland.
The Fries Museum was located on the Turfmarkt in Leeuwarden from 1881. Initially housed in the Eysingahuis the museum gradually spread to the surrounding buildings over the next 130 years. The museum has now relocated to Wilhelminaplein 92, in heart of Leeuwarden's city centre. The bold open-plan building has a gigantic protruding roof elevated 25 metres above the ground on robust steel and wooden columns, with an imposing glass façade adorning the front of the building. These are just a few of the most striking attributes of the new Fries Museum. The building was delivered on Monday, 11 June 2012.
Frysian Lakes: the holiday resort of Europe
The Frysian Lakes in the Dutch province of Friesland (‘Fryslân’ in Frysian) are dozens of interlinked large and small lakes and two former sea arms, the IJsselmeer and the Lauwersmeer.
The Frysian lakes are a worldwide unique holiday region with recreational sailing and cycling connections at all levels, hundreds of circular routes as well as 8-shaped ones, clean water and open sandy beaches. Nowhere else in the world does one see kitesurfers, cyclists, sailors, walkers and motorboaters intensely enjoy sunshine, wind and water as they do here.
The Frysian wetlands are an extremely affordable holiday destination. For instance, nowhere else in Europe can you rent this affordably a luxury dory, motor or sailboat: no need for a sailing licence up to 15 metres’ length and a top speed of 20 km per hour! And furthermore, mooring opportunities galore: in the towns and villages or in nature.
Heeg: more than eels and Polyvalk sailingboats
Shipping links with London made way for water sports
HEEG (NL) - Heeg is one of the most charming water sport centres in Friesland. It is a village bustling with the activities of numerous water sport companies, hotels and B&Bs and party organisers. Something they are experts at in Heeg is creating a good atmosphere, for young and old alike.
For centuries, the fishermen of Heeg exported eels, otherwise known as elvers, to London. There, on the Thames near Tower Bridge, their +/- 18.50 m long wooden sailing barges had a permanent berth where the live eels were unloaded. Each barge transported between 7,500 and 10,000 kg of eels in its water-filled central well.
Frisian eels are - still - born in the Sargassozee (Bermuda), where the larva grow into elvers. Then they swim to the Frisian waters where they eventually reach adulthood.
The number of eels in Friesland and the surrounding waters dropped rapidly due to the construction of the IJsselmeer Dam [Afsluitdijk] in 1932. The Zuiderzee, which until then had contained salt water, was halved in size by the creation of the Wieringermeer and Flevoland province polders to form the current IJsselmeer. This is now the largest freshwater reservoir and recreation area in the Netherlands. Heeg is separated from the IJsselmeer by just one sluice and bridge, in the dyke at Stavoren. The town, which is on the route of the famous Frisian skating marathon, is just a two hour sail away.
Dykes, sluices, pumping stations and a lack of living space have caused the number of eels in the north of the Netherlands to plummet since 1932. The fact that the Zuiderzee became a freshwater lake did not bother the eels since they can live in both fresh and salt water.
Amicitia Hotel, a beautiful family hotel in Sneek,
Situated near the A7 motorway and within walking distance of the City Center.
Our 35 comfortable rooms, are equipped with all comforts.
There is free wireless internet available in the hotel and restaurant.
And for what purpose you came to our hotel,you can always count
on the commitment of our enthusiastic and welcoming staff.
The hotel offers 25 comfortabele double hotelrooms, 1 room with facilities for disabled persons, 3 family rooms for max 4 persons,
1 honeymoon suite with jaccuzi and 5 theme rooms.
The capital of the province of Friesland is a mixture of shopping areas, cultural highlights and an exciting nightlife. Leeuwarden boasts over 600 monuments! Enough reasons for you to get a map with walking tours at the tourist information office. Shopaholics must visit De Kleine Kerkstraat, which is one of the most charming shopping streets in the Netherlands.
The absolute highlights of Leeuwarden are:
Mata Hari: the life story of this extraordinary dancer and accused spy is presented in the Fries Museum,
Princessehof: discover the world of ceramics,
Oldehove: the Dutch ‘Tower of Pisa’,
Boomsma Distillery: learn more about traditional Dutch spirits.
t Lam is a smock mill in Woudsend, Friesland, Netherlands which was built in the late 17th century and is in working order. The mill is listed as a Rijksmonument.
't Lam was built before 1698. It was bought in that year by Dirck Tjebbes and was described as a bone mill. An advertisement in the Leeuwarder Courant of 12 July 1775 asked for tenders to repair the corn mill at Woudsend. In January 1837, the mill was bought by M A Tromp. He modernised the mill, and it was offered for sale under the name 't Lam in 1839 for ƒ4,200.25. The mill was then a corn, malt, mustard, pearl barley, and rye mill. The mill was again advertised for sale in 1840 for ƒ2,600. After being offered for sale in 1848 for ƒ2,525, the mill was bought from Wietse Hettema in 1849 by Carl Johan Albert Siegert for ƒ4,500. The mill passed to his son Carl J W Siegert and was advertised for sale for ƒ2,526 following his death in 1870. It was not sold, and was run by Carl Ernest Hugo Siegert until his death in 1915, passing to his son Foeke Siegert. A pair of sails broke in that year. New sails were fitted, as was a replacement windshaft. The windshaft had previously been used in Windlust, Sneek, Friesland, which had burnt down in 1914. The work was carried out by millwright Jan Piers Oly of Sneek.
Sloten(NL) - The fortified town of Sloten in the Dutch province of Friesland (Fryslân) is the smallest town in the world and not Durbuy in the province of Luxembourg in Belgium.
This is the claim made by journalist Albert Hendriks, who is also director of the Friesland Holland tourist office. He ended up in Durbuy by chance during a working visit to the Ardennes. He could not help but notice the huge advertising hoarding in the town square proclaiming ‘Durbuy, the smallest town in the world’. After having wandered around the town making photos for four hours he was convinced that Sloten in Friesland was both smaller and also much more authentic.
The Frisian town, with its moat, fortifications and water gates as clear boundaries, measures just 350 by 350 m. Hendriks claims that the less clearly demarcated town of Durbuy is many times larger. Sloten would also seem to have the edge when it comes to the number of residents. About 350 people live in the town centre, while a lot more people appear to live in Durbuy. In addition, Sloten has a well-preserved urban structure and historic buildings, with a minimum of modern premises.
“Sloten is so well preserved, it could easily function as an open air museum. Durbuy has a lot of modern elements, such as a long, wide promenade with shops and restaurants. Such developments have not taken place in Sloten. Sloten looks like an old town, complete with bulwarks and cannons, water gates, a town hall, a pillory and a real town crier.”
Surely Sloten cannot be that perfect? “One blot on the landscape is the powdered milk factory on the town’s north-eastern periphery which was originally a dairy factory dating from 1903. If that was removed, the town’s image would be well-nigh ideal. However, I still think Durbuy is beautiful, and well worth a visit. In some ways it is similar to Sloten. It too has a river running through it, it is medieval, a tourist attraction and is also a water sports centre, but then on a smaller scale, using kayaks.”
Although people go canoeing in the canals in and around Sloten and on the nearby Slotermeer lake, the vast majority of vessels used are sailing and motor boats. Sloten is one of the key destinations in Friesland for water sports enthusiasts and holiday cyclists alike.
Sneek is situated in Southwest-Friesland, close to the Sneekermeer and is well known for its canals, the Waterpoort (Watergate, the symbol of the city), and watersport (Sneekweek). Sneek is one of the Friese elf steden (Eleven cities). The city is very important for the southwest area of Friesland (the "Zuidwesthoek").
Sneek was founded in the 10th century on a sandy peninsula at the crossing site of dike with an important waterway (called the Magna Fossa in old documents). This waterway was dug when the former Middelzee silted up. The dike can still be traced in the current street pattern and street names like "Hemdijk", "Oude Dijk" and "Oosterdijk".
Sneek received several city rights in the 13th century, which became official in 1456. Sneek was now one of the eleven Frisian cities. This was also the beginning of a period of blooming trade for the city that would last until about 1550. In 1492 construction of a moat and wall around the city began. In those days Sneek was the only walled city in Friesland. The waterpoort and the bolwerk remain today.
A tourist’s walking route from Sneek promotor Petra Miedema
SNEEK (NL) – On a Friday morning we take a short stroll with Sneek promotor Petra Miedema through the inner city that has been the commercial centre of Southwest Friesland since as far back as mediaeval times. The sun casts a glow on the prosperity that the city has never lacked.
At the city hall: ‘One of the most attractive rococo gables in North Netherlands. From the city hall on Marktstraat we proceed via Kleine Kerkstraat, de Leeuwenburg and the Suupmarkt to the Kleinzand.
‘If you really want to know why Sneek has traditionally been such a splendid watersports destination, you have to take a look at the Frisian Maritime Museum (Friesch Scheepvaartmuseum) on Kleinzand.’
Also at Kleinzand you can find the 140-year-old distillery Beerenburg Weduwe Joustra, which has been maintained entirely in its original style. As a visitor to Sneek this is something you don’t want to miss! Pure craftsmanship in a nostalgic ambience. ‘It's wonderful that something like this still exists’, Petra says.
Grootzand - Korte Pijpsteeg - Sint Martinuskerk - Korte Pijpsteeg - Grootzand.
We proceed via the shopping street Grootzand along the city canal to the water gate. ‘The last vestige of the old fortress Sneek. Do you see that the clock is five minutes fast? This is an old custom. The gatekeeper did that in order to have everyone inside without any trouble, before closing time!’
Via Waterpoortsgracht and Martiniplein (square) we arrive at the church Grote Martinikerk. ‘Here is the church knoll at the edge of the Middelzee where Sneek was originally founded.’ The church is used for worship as well as for classical concerts and exhibitions. It can be visited during summer.
Via Martini square and the non-opening bridge over Waterpoortsgracht, we leave the fortress and cross Stationstraat toward the train station. ‘The model train museum is housed in this lovingly restored building."
Terraces along the waterside
A modern village in which water sports are playing the main role. Spacious terraces and great restaurants.
Within the village of Woudsend you enjoy the atmosphere of history. Renovated canal houses and charming small streets. Discover the secrets of this old sea village undertaking a walk through the village. Two beautiful mills sign the view of the village. Mill "’t Lam" still grinds grain. Watch this amazing mill and take delicious flour with you to make your own bread.
Restaurant of church?
Finish your day with a lovely lunch, cup of coffee or dinner. Restaurant "’t Ponkje" you will have you dinner in a previous church. For 35 years this holy building is a restaurant. When you walk through the doors of the church it looks like the religious worship just ended. Curved windows of stained glass, a pulpit and other religious elements staid intact. Enjoy your dinner heavenly!