Leeuwarden (US: /ˈleɪ(uː)vɑːrdən, ˈleɪuːwɑːrdən/, Dutch: [ˈleːʋɑrdə(n)] (listen); West Frisian: Ljouwert [ˈljɔːʋ(ə)t]/[ˈʎɔːw(ə)t] (listen), Stadsfries: Liwwadden) is a city and municipality in Friesland in the Netherlands. It is the provincial capital and seat of the States of Friesland. The municipality has a population of 122,293.
The region has been continuously inhabited since the 10th century. It came to be known as Leeuwarden in the early 9th century AD and was granted city privileges in 1435. It is the main economic hub of Friesland, situated in a green and water-rich environment. Leeuwarden is a former royal residence and has a historic city center, many historically relevant buildings, and a large shopping center with squares and restaurants. Leeuwarden was awarded the title European Capital of Culture for 2018.
The Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour), an ice skating tour passing the eleven cities of Friesland, started and finished in Leeuwarden.
The following towns and villages within the municipality have populations in excess of 1,000 people: Leeuwarden, Stiens, Grou, Goutum, Wergea, Jirnsum, Reduzum, and Wirdum. The municipality is governed by the mayor Sybrand van Haersma Buma and a coalition of the Labour Party, Christian Democratic Appeal, and GreenLeft.
Liwwadden / Ljouwert (West Frisian)
Coat of arms
Location of the municipality (red) and the city (dark red) in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Sybrand van Haersma Buma (CDA)|
|• Municipality||255.62 km2 (98.70 sq mi)|
|• Land||238.38 km2 (92.04 sq mi)|
|• Water||17.24 km2 (6.66 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3.2 m (10.5 ft)|
|Highest elevation||5.2 m (17.1 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||1.9 m (6.2 ft)|
|• Density||513/km2 (1,330/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
The name "Leeuwarden" (or older variants of it) first came into use for Nijehove, the most important of the three villages (the other two being Oldehove and Hoek) which in the early 9th century merged into Leeuwarden (Villa Lintarwrde c. 825). There is much uncertainty about the origin of the city's name. Historian and archivist Wopke Eekhoff summed up a total of over 200 different spelling variants, of which Leeuwarden (Dutch), Liwwadden (Stadsfries), and Ljouwert (West Frisian) are still in use.
The first part of the name, leeuw, means lion in modern standard Dutch. This interpretation corresponds with the coat of arms adopted by the city, which features a heraldic lion. However, modern standard Dutch was not used in this region in the Middle Ages, when the city was called Lintarwrde. Some scholars argue that the name of the city is derived from leeu-, a corruption of luw- (Dutch for sheltered from the wind, cf. the maritime term leeward) or from lee- (a Dutch word for waterway). Sheltered landing place or harbour could be the original meaning. This suits the watery province of Friesland and the position of the original three villages at the end of an important estuary called Middelzee.
The name is also similar to that of the French commune Lewarde, located in the Nord Department, an originally Flemish-speaking area annexed to France in the 17th century. Western Flemish was related to Frisian and also to Saxon up to the 11th century.
The oldest remains of houses date back to the 2nd century AD in the Roman era and were discovered during an excavation near the Oldehove. Inhabited continuously since the 10th century, the city's first reference as a population center is in German sources from 1285, and records exist of city privileges granted in 1435. Situated along the Middelzee, it was an active center of maritime trade. The waterway silted-up in the 13th century.
|Source: Lourens & Lucassen 1997, pp. 13–15 (1398–1795)|
The Grote of Jacobijnerkerk (English: Great, or Jacobin Church) is the oldest building in the city. The 15th century was the period of the two opposing Frisian factional parties Vetkopers and Schieringers. The bastions and a moat were built in the period 1481-1494. In 1747 William IV, Prince of Orange was the last stadtholder residing in the Stadhouderlijk Hof. In the first half of the 19th century the fortifications were demolished.
The Jewish community of Leeuwarden was one of the earliest in the Netherlands aside from Amsterdam, and was first mentioned in 1645. By 1670, the city council granted a man referred to as "Jacob the Jew" (in Dutch) permission to build a Jewish cemetery, meaning that there were enough Jews living there to require a cemetery and other communal institutions. Land for 'The Jodenkerkhof' (Jews' cemetery) was purchased in 1679, near the Oldehove tower.
The first synagogue in the city was built in the 17th century as well, and was also used by the city's Catholics who were not allowed to build a house of worship of their own because of the Protestant city authorities. The Jewish community enjoyed generally good relations with authorities in the 18th century and continued to expand throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, reaching a peak population of 1,236 in 1860.
In 1901 the city's population was 32,203.
After occupation by German forces (1940-1945), the Royal Canadian Dragoons disobeyed direct orders on 15 April 1945 and charged into the heavily defended city, driving out German forces by the end of the next day. The anniversary of the liberation is celebrated by the Dragoons and the city, who fly each other's flags on the day.
Kneppelfreed (English: Baton Friday) was an incident on 16 November 1951 in front of the courthouse at Wilhelminaplein (Wilhelmina Square), when the police used batons against Frisian language activists during a protest against the exclusive use of Dutch in the courts. A committee of inquiry recommended that the Frisian language should receive legal status as a minority language.
On 19 October 2013, a fire broke out in a clothes shop on a busy pedestrian street. The fire started late in the afternoon and burned through the night, destroying five shops and eleven flats. The only casualty was a 24-year-old man who was living in one of the flats. The birthplace of Mata Hari was at first thought to be destroyed, but survived, albeit with considerable smoke and water damage.
The coat of arms of Leeuwarden is the official symbol of the municipality. It consists of a blue escutcheon, a golden lion, and a crown. The fact that Leeuwarden carries a lion in its seal seems logical, considering that "Leeuw" is Dutch for "Lion". However, it is very plausible the oldest name of the city conceals an indication of water rather than an animal, and some sources suggest that the lion may have only been added after the name became official. It is also possible the coat of arms was a gift to the city from the powerful Minnema family.
Leeuwarden is located centrally in Friesland. The military Leeuwarden Air Base lies northwest of the city. East of the city lies recreational area and nature reserve De Groene Ster. It contains the windmill Himriksmole, a golf course and AquaZoo Friesland.
On 1 January 2014 parts of the neighboring Boarnsterhim municipality were added to Leeuwarden. On 1 January 2018 it was enlarged by Leeuwarderadeel and parts of former municipality of Littenseradiel.
|Dutch name||West Frisian name||Population|
|Oude Leije||Alde Leie||255|
|Source: Statistics Netherlands|
Museums in the city of Leeuwarden:
There are over 800 Rijksmonuments (national heritage sites) in the municipality of Leeuwarden. The Oldehove, a leaning unfinished church tower, is a symbol of the city. Other well-known buildings in the city center include the Kanselarij (former chancellery), the Stadhouderlijk Hof (former residence of the stadtholders of Friesland), the city hall (1715), the Waag (old weigh house), the Saint Boniface church (an important part of the neogothic movement) and the Centraal Apotheek, a pharmacy in the Art Nouveau style. The Blokhuispoort is a former prison and is transformed into a public library, hostel and restaurant.
The Froskepôlemolen (built in 1896), is the last surviving windmill to have stood in Leeuwarden. The remains of the Cammingha-Buurstermolen were demolished in 2000. The Slauerhoffbrug is a fully automatic bascule bridge named after the poet Jan Jacob Slauerhoff. It uses two arms to swing a section of road in and out of place within the road itself. This movable bridge is also known as the 'Flying' Drawbridge.
The tallest building in the city is the 114-metre (374 ft) Achmeatoren (Achmea insurance tower), built in 2001 and designed by Abe Bonnema – who also designed the second-tallest building, Averotoren at 77 m (253 ft).
On 6 September 2013 Leeuwarden was voted European Capital of Culture for the year 2018. Many events were organised throughout the year. The largest art project was the 11Fountains, fountains in the Frisian eleven cities. The Love Fountain, located in front of the train station, was designed by artist Jaume Plensa. The fountain is seven metres high and consists of two white heads of a boy and a girl, their eyes closed and dreaming.
Annual music festivals are Cityrock, Dancetour, Welcome To The Village, Into the Grave, Explore the North and Fries straatfestival. Other festivals are Noordelijk Film Festival (an event for film makers), photofestival Noorderlicht and the Media Art festival. Other events are Racing Expo and a large flower market (held on Ascension Day). There is also a weekly cattle market.
The Leeuwarden railway station (opened on 27 October 1863) is the main railway station of Leeuwarden. It is a terminus station of the NS railway line from Zwolle. Regional trains, served by Arriva, operate to Groningen in the east, Harlingen in the west and Stavoren in the southwest. The other stations in the municipality are Leeuwarden Achter de Hoven, Leeuwarden Camminghaburen, and Grou-Jirnsum. A fifth station Leeuwarden Werpsterhoek is planned to be opened after 2018.
Near the train station is the bus station. Arriva runs several city, regional and national buses. Route 66 Leeuwarden-Holwerd connects with the ferry to Ameland, bus route 50 to Lauwersoog connects with the departures of the ferry to Schiermonnikoog and route 350 via the Afsluitdijk connects to Alkmaar in North Holland.
Leeuwarden has a number of respected schools of applied science (HBO in Dutch), (21,480 students in 2017), such as the Van Hall Instituut (agricultural and life sciences) and the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (hotel management, economical and media management). In addition to higher education, the city is also home to three regional vocational schools (MBO): the Friese Poort, Friesland College, and Nordwin College.
Although the city has no university of its own, several satellite campuses are located here, including Campus Fryslân (University of Groningen) and Dairy Campus (Wageningen University and Research).
Technological Top Institute Wetsus does research into water management and related technologies. Centre of Expertise Water Technology (CEW) is the knowledge and innovation centre for applied research and product development in the field of water technology and the Wadden Academy to study and research the Wadden Sea.
Among the 10 largest employers in Leeuwarden are Medical Center Leeuwarden (MCL), ING, The Central Judicial Collection Agency (CJIB), Achmea, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Leeuwarden Air Base and FrieslandCampina. WTC Expo is the largest events complex in the Northern Netherlands.
The city's local football team, Cambuur Leeuwarden, plays in the second tier Eerste Divisie. Home ground is the Cambuur Stadion. The city's basketball team, Aris Leeuwarden, has played in the Dutch Basketball League since 2004.
Loop Leeuwarden is an annual road running competition (5 km, 10 km and half marathon races). The race was first held in 1985 and takes place in May. It attracts amateur runners. The city of Leeuwarden has two sailing boats (skûtsje) racing in the yearly sailing competition Skûtsjesilen.
The Elfstedenhal is a sport venue. The stadium is used for long track speed skating, short track speed skating, ice hockey, figure skating and curling. The 400m indoor speed skating oval is named after speed skater Atje Keulen-Deelstra. The ice hockey club is IJshockeyclub Capitals Leeuwarden (IJCCL).
Leeuwarden is the starting and finishing point for the celebrated Elfstedentocht, a 200 km (120 mi) speed skating race over the Frisian waterways that is held when winter conditions in the province allow. As of 2018, it last took place in January 1997, preceded by the races of 1986 and 1985. In 1986, the Dutch king Willem-Alexander participated in the Eleven cities tour, with the pseudonym W.A. van Buren, which is the pseudonym of the royal family of the Netherlands.
Leeuwarden will host the World Flying Disc Federation 2020 World Ultimate and Guts Championships from the 11th to the 18th of July. The event is expected to have over 2500 athletes from 40 countries.
The Leeuwarder Courant and Friesch Dagblad are daily newspapers mainly written in Dutch (published by the NDC Mediagroep). Omrop Fryslân is a public broadcaster with radio and TV programs mainly in Frisian.
In the Netherlands, a municipality is governed by the college of mayor and aldermen and the municipal council. Sybrand van Haersma Buma of the CDA has been mayor of Leeuwarden since 26 August 2019. Since the 2014 municipal elections, the Labour Party (3 aldermen), Christian Democratic Appeal (2 aldermen), PAL GroenLinks (1 alderman) form a coalition. The municipal council of Leeuwarden has 39 seats.
Aris Leeuwarden is a Dutch professional basketball club based in Leeuwarden. It has competed in the Dutch Basketball League since 2004. Aris plays its home games at Sporthal Kalverdijkje.Aukje de Vries
Aukje de Vries (born 21 October 1964 in Leeuwarden) is a Dutch politician. As a member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) she has been an MP since 8 November 2012. She was also member of the provincial parliament of Friesland from 11 March 2011 until November 2012. Previously she was a member of the municipal council of Leeuwarden from 2002 to 2011.Bartlehiem
Bartlehiem is a hamlet, located partially in Noardeast-Fryslân, partially in Tytsjerksteradiel, and partially in Leeuwarden and has around 70 citizens (2006).Cambuur Stadion
The Cambuurstadion (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkɑmbyːr ˌstaːdijɔn]) is a football stadium in the east side of the city of Leeuwarden, Netherlands. It is used for the home matches of Cambuur Leeuwarden. The stadium is able to hold 10,500 people and it opened on 12 September 1936. The club has proposed plans for a new stadium on the west side of the city, which will cost €35 million.Cammingha-Buurstermolen, Leeuwarden
Cammingha-Buurstermolen was a smock mill in Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands which was built in 1850. The restored mill was burnt out in an arson attack in 1994, and the remains were finally demolished in 2000.Dutch Chess Championship
The Dutch Chess Championship was officially established in 1909, although unofficial champions stretch back to the 1870s.Foeke Booy
Foeke Booy (born 25 April 1962 in Leeuwarden) is a Dutch retired footballer and football manager.Friesland
Friesland ( FREEZ-lənd, also US: -land, Dutch: [ˈfrislɑnt] (listen); official West Frisian: Fryslân [ˈfrislɔːn] (listen)), historically known as Frisia, is a province of the Netherlands located in the northern part of the country. It is situated west of Groningen, northwest of Drenthe and Overijssel, north of Flevoland, northeast of North Holland, and south of the Wadden Sea. In 2019, the province had a population of 647,672 and a total area of 5,749 km2 (2,220 sq mi).
The capital and seat of the provincial government is the city of Leeuwarden (West Frisian: Ljouwert), a city with 92,146 inhabitants. Since 2017, Arno Brok is the King's Commissioner in the province. A coalition of the Christian Democratic Appeal, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, the Labour Party and the Frisian National Party forms the executive branch. The province is divided into 18 municipalities. The area of the province was once part of the ancient, larger region of Frisia. The official languages of Friesland are West Frisian and Dutch.Froskepôlemolen
Froskepôlemolen is a smock mill in Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands which dates from 1896 but was rebuilt on its present site in 1962. The mill has been restored to working order and is listed as a Rijksmonument, number 24507.Isabelle Diks
Lillian Isabella (Isabelle) Diks (Heerlen, 25 July 1965) is a Dutch GreenLeft politician. Between 1 September 2008 and 1 January 2009 she replaced Member of Parliament Mariko Peters as member of the House of Representatives. Peters was on maternity leave.
Diks attended a school specialized in arts between 1977 and 1983. She studied for a year at the Academy of Creative Art in Maastricht and continued to study at the Charles Montaigne Fashion Academy in Amsterdam between 1984 and 1986. Between 1987 and 1988, she worked as a stylist. After 1988, Diks worked as an independent designer of wedding dresses and evening gowns in Apeldoorn. In 2006, she left her business to move to Leeuwarden. Between 2002 and 2004, she studied cultural studies at the Open University (without graduating). From 2004, she studied International Relations at the University of Groningen, where she specialized in European cooperation, international law and European law. She has also owned and operated a bed and breakfast in Leeuwarden since 2006.Diks had been active within GreenLeft since 1994, first in the municipal council of Apeldoorn, where she served as chair of the local parliamentary party and as member of the board of the regional water board, and later as member of the States-Provincial in Gelderland, where she served as vice-chair (2003–2006). Between 2006 and 2008, she was a member of the national board of GreenLeft, where she served as international secretary. In 2006, she stood on the list for the general election on the tenth place. She was not elected.
In August 2008, it was announced that Diks would temporarily replace Mariko Peters as MP. Between 1 September 2008 and 1 January 2009 Peters would be on maternity leave. The Dutch House of Representatives has a special regulation that MPs on maternity leave may be replaced temporarily without giving up their seats. Formally, Matthieu Heemelaar was the candidate to succeed Peters as he was higher on the list, but he relinquished the honour to Diks since she, a specialist on international affairs and the international secretary of the party, had the expertise to replace Peters, the foreign affairs spokesperson of the GreenLeft. On 1 January 2008 she became an alderwoman in Leeuwarden.Leeuwarden Air Base
Leeuwarden Air Base (Dutch: Vliegbasis Leeuwarden) is a military airbase used by the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) - Dutch: Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu), (IATA: LWR, ICAO: EHLW). The airbase is one of the two F-16 Fighting Falcon bases of the RNLAF. The airbase lies northwest of the capital of Friesland, Leeuwarden.
Leeuwarden Air Base is also one of the three military airbases (together with Gilze-Rijen Air Base and Volkel Air Base) that organise the twice-in-three-years Luchtmachtdagen ('Air Force Days') of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, consisting of air shows and static exhibits. In 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2016 Leeuwarden Air Base hosted these public demonstration days.Leeuwarden railway station
Leeuwarden is the main railway station in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. The station, which opened on 27 October 1863, is on the Arnhem–Leeuwarden railway, the Harlingen–Nieuweschans railway and the Leeuwarden–Stavoren railway. Leeuwarden was also the terminus of the North Friesland Railway which served Anjum and Harlingen via Stiens. Behind the station is a stabling point for many trains. The train services are operated by Nederlandse Spoorwegen and Arriva; of the station's six platforms, five are terminating platforms and one is a through platform.Leeuwarder Courant
The Leeuwarder Courant is the oldest daily newspaper in the Netherlands. Founded by Abraham Ferwerda, it first appeared in 1752. The Leeuwarder Courant was the first paper in the Dutch province Friesland and its capital Leeuwarden. It is considered a "popular" (as opposed to "quality") newspaper.Margreeth Smilde
Margaretha Charlotte Adelheid (Margreeth) Smilde (born June 6, 1954 in Leeuwarden) is a former Dutch politician. As a member of the Christian Democratic Appeal (Christen-Democratisch Appèl) she was an MP from July 26, 2002 to January 29, 2003, from June 3, 2003 to November 29, 2006 and from January 23, 2008 to September 19, 2012. She focused on matters of public health, constitutional affairs and the Royal House.Omrop Fryslân
Omrop Fryslân is a broadcaster on the NPO which serves the Frisian community. Because West Frisian is an official language of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the NPO is also responsible for broadcasts in the West Frisian language.
Omrop Fryslân is also the regional public broadcaster for the province Friesland, and they have their own radio station and TV channel broadcasting primarily for the province itself.SC Cambuur
SC Cambuur (Dutch pronunciation: [ɛsˈseː ˈkɑmbyːr]) is a Dutch football club from the city of Leeuwarden formed on 19 June 1964, that plays in the Eerste Divisie, the second tier of Dutch football, after being relegated in May 2016 from the Eredivisie. The home ground of the club is the 10,000-capacity Cambuur Stadion. The club usually plays in yellow shirts and blue shorts. The origin of the club's emblem is the coat of arms of the House of Cammingha, a Frisian noble family.Sybrand van Haersma Buma
Sybrand van Haersma Buma (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈsibrɑnt fɑn ˈɦaːrsmaː ˈbymaː]; born 30 July 1965) is a Dutch politician serving as Mayor of Leeuwarden since 2019. Until 2019, he was a member of the House of Representatives from 2002 who also served as the parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) from 2010 and as the leader of his party from 2012.Theo de Jong
Theodorus ("Theo") Jacob de Jong (born 11 August 1947 in Leeuwarden) is a former Dutch footballer and now coach in Nigerian Premier League at Ikorodu United F.C..
During his career he played for NEC Nijmegen and Feyenoord Rotterdam. He earned 15 caps and scored 3 goals for the Netherlands national football team, and played for them in the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final.De Jong was a member of the Feyenoord team that won the UEFA Cup in 1974, beating Tottenham Hotspur in the then two-legged final. He later played 3 seasons in Hong Kong for Seiko.Theo's son, Dave de Jong, is also a footballer.Windmills in Leeuwarden
The city of Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands has had at least 130 windmills over the centuries. Only one, the Froskepôlemolen survives today within Leeuwarden. Six other mills which have stood in Leeuwarden survive elsewhere in the Netherlands. The mills had a wide range of industrial and agricultural uses. The industrial uses include the processing of bark for tanning leather, the fulling of cloth, the production of cement, the production of dyes, the extraction of oil (including the production of paints), the grinding of tobacco to produce snuff, the production of gunpowder, and the sawing of timber. Agricultural uses include the milling of buckwheat, oats, rye and wheat, the processing of chicory, the production of pearl barley, and the pumping of water.
|Climate data for Leeuwarden (1981–2010).|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.1
|Average high °C (°F)||4.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.7
|Average low °C (°F)||0.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−19.9
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||68
|Source: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute|
Places adjacent to Leeuwarden
Populated places in the municipality of Leeuwarden
Municipalities of Friesland
See also: Elfstedentocht