Discover the Royal City of the North

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Fries Verzetsmuseum (Frisian Resistance Museum)

A special part of the Frisian Museum. Frisians and non-Frisians tell how they have experienced the war here. Occupation and persecution, but no famine. “De overval”, one of the most important resistance actions in our history. What was World War II like in Friesland? Meet Harmen Attema from Stiens and the suitcase he takes when he is forced to work in Germany. Or the children of Roelof Horrëus de Haas and their homemade toys. For them, the hiding period during the war felt like one big vacation. The Frisian Resistance Museum is part of the Frisian Museum (het Fries Museum).

Museums
  • 0.13km from the centre
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De Waag (The Weigh House)

De Waag was always the centre of commerce, the merchandise had to be weighed and that happened at de Waag, a public weighing house. There was already a weighing house in Leeuwarden around 1483. This one was to the East of the present one. The current building was built around 1595, in Renaissance style. The merchants were required to let their merchandise be weight by a city’s official (Stadswaag). A reliable weighing was of importance to the trade and thus good for the prosperity of the city. In Leeuwarden specifically butter was traded, this is why the venture was known as the butter weigh house (Boterwaag). The weigh house on the Nieuwestad was used until 1880. From that year on, the weighing took place at the new trade and weigh building on Beursplein.

Unique buildings
  • 0.19km from the centre
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Het Stadhouderlijk Hof (The Regent’s Palace)

The Stadhouderlijk Hof is now part of an hotel chain. A very nice place for sleeping and eating. In addition, it is a popular wedding venue. The high Baroque staircase and the Nassau hall (Nassauzaal) panelling are still pretty much original. The original house (Rolkemahuis) was built in 1564. Friesland bought this Patrician house for its first stadtholder, Willem Frederik of Nassau-Dietz, in 1587. After this every new stadtholder inherited the house. Every next stadtholder would have it remodelled en decorated, spending a lot of money. Willem Frederik of Nassau-Dietz had a garden designed and made, the still existing Prinsentuin. In 1603 the Dekemahuis was added on the South side and thus was born the Stadhouderlijk Hof, with courtyard. The palace had features from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In the middle of the seventeenth century the building existed of 37 rooms, which apparently were richly decorated. In 1747 William Carel Hendrik Friso left Leeuwarden, because he was appointed stadtholder – William IV - of all regions. The building remained in possession of the family, as temporary residence. In the French period soldiers stayed in the palace and it gave shelter to the city orphanage, a hospital and the Latin school. Much of the inventory was lost during this time. From the end of the 19th century the property was the official residence of the Frisian Commissioner of the King/Queen, for quite some time.

Unique buildings
  • 0.20km from the centre
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Fries Museum (Frisian Museum)

Frisian are said to be tough, stiff and quirky? Discover the Frisian in yourself in the Frisian Museum! You can go there for a cup of coffee, an original gift or a movie visit – but especially for the museum of course. Here you will discover all about the eleven cities and countryside, the love-hate relationship with the water, the search for the typical Frisian and the place of Friesland in the world. Dance with the mysterious Mata Hari, dive in her diary and discover her sad fate as possible double spy. Fight with the 16th-century rebel Grutte Pier against the Dutch or fall prey to his huge sword if you can’t say, ‘bûter brea en griene tsiis’. Feel like the King or Queen of Friesland with the sparkling gold and silver from the mounds. Or enjoy work of (World) famous artists and ‘slow design’ from leading designers - tough and durable, with an eye for tradition and craftsmanship. In the Frisian Museum of Resistance, you will become acquainted with hungry children who were accommodated on the Frisian countryside during the war, to build their strength. Visit one of the many exhibitions, engage in a surprising workshop or watch over the shoulder of an artist in residence. During the school holidays it’s especially busy and fun in the Frisian Museum. You can match potsherds like an archaeologist or make a self portrait in golden age style, everything is possible. And don't forget to take home a special souvenir. In the museum shop you will find the cutest gifts with a Frisian twist: felting work of artist Claudy Jongstra and hand-painted serving trays from Hindeloopen, but also that one particular Frisian-written children's book.

Museums
  • 0.20km from the centre
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Keramiekatelier kelders 5 (Ceramics Atelier kelders 5)

In our workshop, in a beautiful location in the city centre you will find a wide range of handmade ceramics. In addition, you can also find hand spun wool and skinned furs. But also ‘second chance’ ceramics. We also give workshops. For our offer see www.kunstkade.nl. Search for Matzen.

Galleries
  • 0.22km from the centre
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Beurs (Trade centre)

At the end of the 18th century, there was already an urgent need for a space where grain could be traded. A dry space, which had more than enough room. It was not until 1880 before the trade building came into existence. Until that time, trade took place in the open air, in an Inn, or in a concert hall. When people finally agreed on the location (this took decades), the municipalities-architect Romein received the task to build it. He designed a sturdy neoclassical building. The building site lies both in the proximity of the station, and a major waterway. Ideal, and from then on the grain traders and butter buyers did all their trading here. Today it is the Central Library of Leeuwarden.

Unique buildings
  • 0.23km from the centre
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Boomsma Beerenburger Museum

Beerenburger is inseparably tied to Leeuwarden. This is why the Boomsma Beerenburger Museum, located in the city centre, is a true must-see! Visitors travel back in time to the distillery as it was in the ‘30s. You are shown how this traditional bitter used to be brewed. Of course, there is also the possibility to taste the Beerenburger, as well as other distilled drinks such as gin, liqueurs, and old gins, in our cosy dark brown tasting room. You can buy your favourite Boomsma drink or another nice souvenir in the indoor liquor store. Entry fee: Visit including movie, tour, and Beerenburg tasting: € 1.50 per person. Visit including movie, tour, and extensive Boomsma tasting of various Boomsma products: € 3.50 per person. For other arrangements, check www.boomsma.frl (We prefer prior reservations for group visits.)

Museums
  • 0.23km from the centre
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Bierkelders (Beer Cellars)

Once upon a time the boats moored here, and the beer barrels were transhipped. Look at the beautiful old quay on the waterside. Do you want a beer? Then you are also in the right place here. There is quite a number of catering establishments, often with terraces, cheers. There were times when drinking beer was much more reliable than drinking water. There was no mains drainage back then, so everything was discharged directly in open water. So, no fresh water! On “Over de Kelders” there were beer cellars located as early as the 18th century. This is where beer was brewed and the barrels were shipped. The lower quay is intended to facilitate the loading and unloading of ships. The cellars are still clearly visible under the street. You'll get there via a staircase. One bridge further, towards the centre, you will find the Naauw. Here you will find the oldest still existing quay walls of Leeuwarden. This is also the smallest nature reserve of Leeuwarden. Special plants species grow here, such as several sorts of maidenhair and cymbalaria.

Unique buildings
  • 0.24km from the centre
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Museum de Grutterswinkel (The grocer's shop museum)

In the Museum de Grutterswinkel life around a true old-fashioned grocery shop is shown, with everything that goes with it. In the good old days supermarkets were still small, cosy grocery shops, where the cash register still really rang and the groceries were placed on the counter in paper bags. In the heart of Leeuwarden an authentic grocery store still exists, housed in a 17th-century building on Nieuwesteeg 5. From 1900 the ‘whole’ of Leeuwarden shopped for groceries in the shop of family Feenstra. There are changing exhibitions every year and about 15,000 visitors come to take a look in this museum. It turns out that showing a real old-fashioned grocery store, with everything that goes with it, still appeals to the people enormously. Also the regularly changing exhibitions contribute to that. The museum consists of different spaces that are almost all freely accessible. In the former living rooms, a fresh cup of coffee or tea is served with oranjekoek (orange cake) and a real Frysk Dúmke. Located under the tearoom there’s a wine cellar, which is over 400 years old. On the first floor there’s the (secret) annex, where it becomes clear how a small family formerly lived, with the alcove and the húske (toilet).

Museums
  • 0.24km from the centre
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Pottenbakkerij Ynke Vogel (Pottery Ynke Vogel)

In the old town, on the highest mound, in the steepest street, within walking distance of ceramics museum Princessehof, there’s a pottery and a dynamic ceramics shop; a gallery specializing in ceramics, always showing work from 6 different ceramists. Every month the work of 2 ceramists changes; always new work. You can for example see work from students of Creative Craftsman Friesland College Leeuwarden, Jack Deo, Lammert Bakker, Mineke Meijer and Greetje Hoving.

Galleries
  • 0.29km from the centre