The seventh province we visit is one of the most water-rich and most unique provinces in the Netherlands! The province has its own language, a flag with “hearts” (pompeblêden) and a turbulent history that dates back to before Roman times. The largest city in this province is Leeuwarden (+-93,600 inhabitants), and is also the provincial capital. Friesland is located on the Wadden Sea and is also the province to which 4 of the 5 (inhabited) Wadden Islands belong.
Friesland has approximately 649,957 inhabitants, has 18 municipalities and has 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lemmer. Friesland has an average of 195 inhabitants per km², which makes it the second most sparsely populated province in the Netherlands after Drenthe. The average asking price per m2 of a house in the provincial capital Leeuwarden, Friesland is € 2412.
Friesland is known for its traditions such as skûtsjesilen (sailing), its own national anthem and is a fantastic place for all water-related activities. Here we give you some tips for your trip to South Holland!
🏛 Museum- Frisian Museum (Leeuwarden)
The Fries Museum is a dynamic museum in the heart of the bustling city of Leeuwarden. The collection includes the (supposed) sword of Grote Pier, the fibula of Wijnaldum, the Poptaschat, a stick purse (16th century) and the bra of the exotic dancer Mata Hari (Margaretha Zelle) from Leeuwarden.
The painting De Vaandeldrager (1636) by Rembrandt van Rijn will travel the coming year through the twelve Dutch provinces. Because of the relationship that the young Rembrandt has with Friesland, the work will be presented for the first time in the Fries Museum! The painting will be exhibited in Leeuwarden from April 30 to May 29.
🌿 Nature- Frisian Lakes (Southwest Frisia)
The “Fryske Lakes” is a beautiful area in the north of the Netherlands with a wide range of water sports activities. The largest and most important Frisian lakes are the Groote Breken (Grutte Breken), the Sneekermeer (Snitser Mar), the Tjeukemeer (Tsjûkemar), the Heegermeer (Hegemer Mar), the Fluessen (Fluezen) and the Slotermeer (Sleattemer Mar).
All Frisian lakes are connected to each other. It provides beautiful water landscapes and endless opportunities for water fun. You can also moor in a cozy harbor in one of the many water sports villages. You can also enjoy cycling or walking along the Frisian lakes. Ideal for a cycling holiday along the Frisian lakes or take your bike on board.
🏢 Architecture- Pumping Station (Lemmer)
In the Frisian Lemmer, or the ‘gate’ of Fryslân, you will find the Ir. D.F. Wood pumping station. With a 60 meter long chimney it is one of the most beautiful Dutch crown jewels, the largest still functioning steam pumping station in the world dates from 1920 and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998. This monumental steam giant is still used by the Fryslân Water Board when water levels are too high to ensure dry feet in Friesland.
The Irish. D.F. Woudagemaal in Lemmer has a rich history. For example, the first building plans for the old steam pumping station were already made in the steam era, namely 1913. Chief engineer of the Provincial Water Management of Friesland, Ir. D.F. Wouda designed the pumping station in 1917 – 1918 in a traditional style with influences from rationalism. The Woudagemaal was opened by Queen Wilhelmina on 7 October 1920.
The pumping station can be visited from Wednesday to Sunday from 10-17. A guided tour is then given every hour.
⛪️ Church / Castle – Poptaslot (Marsum)
The Popta castle was founded in the 15th century by the Heringa family. In 1603 it came into the possession of the Van Eysinga family, and in 1631 it was radically renovated. In 1687 it was bought by Dr. Henricus Popta. After his death in 1712, the Poptaslot was left by will to the Poptagasthuis, a rest home for poor women.
From 1906 to 1908, the Poptaslot was restored and converted to a design by the Hague architect Johan Frederik Lodewijk Frowein. The house is still furnished and decorated in 17th and 18th century style. The gardens of the Poptaslot are also well worth a visit. It is now open as a museum.
The Poptaslot is open in July and August between 11:00 and 17:00. A guided tour is then given every hour.
Extra – Schiermonnikoog
Schiermonnikoog is the smallest municipality in the Netherlands in terms of population, and is also the municipality with the lowest population density in the Netherlands. The municipality lives mainly from tourism. The island is praised for its tranquility, which is maintained, among other things, because visitors have to leave their car on the mainland in the harbor of Lauwersoog.
Tourism mainly focuses on the nature of the island. There is a walking and cycling network. Furthermore, a lot of untouched nature, which attracts peace seekers and bird watchers. The beaches are considered to be among the widest in Europe.