Leeuwarden, the city | Erasmus blog Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Leeuwarden, the city

Leeuwarden is the capital of Friesland, it is situated in the north of the Netherlands. It has around 100.000 inhabitants. From which more than half is a student, so it is a great city for socializing with students. Leeuwarden is the biggest city of the eleven Frisian cities, and the start of the eleven Frisian city trail is located in Leeuwarden. There is some history to the city of Leeuwarden, that the art and the buildings represent.

Buildings

The Oldenhove

A cricket tower in the city centre. Many people wonder how it is still standing, the base is straight, however later it starts to get cricket. This is all because of how it was build. They started straight, and everything went well, until the ground started to shift under the tower, then they build on top of that piece, what was then straigt for the ground, and so on. That is in short why the tower is cricket. Nowadays, it is a museum and a great monument to climb. On the top a special viewplace has been designed, with views all over the city. Tours can be arranged on the inside by the people from the museum. There are special discounts for students. The building used to be a church, but nowadays it is just a beautiful historic monument. It was built in the late 15th century, along with a church next to it. This is the piece that is left, the church is destroyed. 

Princessehof

A great place for art lovers. It used to be a city palace, nowadays it is an art gallary. It was built around 1693. The art gallary is a ceramic museum, which has a lot of beautiful art. The collection features mostly Asian and Chinese ceramics and arts from 2800 before Christ, - 1900 after Christ, so pretty old! However, they also have European art and art from the Middle-East. From really old to more traditional and modern art. Truly beautiful, and definetely worth to pay a visit to. 

The Waag

The Waag was the old centre of trade. Nowadays, it is in the middle of the city centre, where trade is still present, in the shops and on the local markets. The trade product in the early 1400's, from which this building is, was mostly dairy, and then mostly butter. Nowadays, in this building, there is a lunchroom present. So for whom wants to eat lunch or drink a nice cup of tea or coffe in an historic building, this is the perfect place. 

Previous postoffice

The previous postoffice was located at the place where now the Grand Hotel Post Plaza is situated. There are still little details of the post office visible. Grand Hotel Post Plaza is an amazing place where you can drink coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, eat great breakfast, dinner or lunch. 

Averotoren

An office building in Leeuwarden, it was built in 1991. Now you will think, why is there an office building in the list of important buildings from Leeuwarden. There is a great reason for that, because it is one of the main markers of the city. It is a 77 metre high building, with around 18 storages. You cannot miss this building when you are visiting the city. It is located near the train station. 

Achmeatoren

Another office building in Leeuwarden, this one was built in 2001. However, this building is higher than the Averotoren, with an astonishing 114.7 metres, with 26 storages! It is huge, and again, you will not miss this building when looking at the city. The Achmeatoren is the highest building from Leeuwarden. 

Crystalic

Another great building located in Leeuwarden, Crystalic. It is a trade centre, with all kinds of business located in the building. The whole building is covered with glass and therefore, a great building to see when passing by. 

WTC Expo Leeuwarden

WTC Leeuwarden used to be a cattle market in the old days. Leeuwarden is the central point in agricultural lands, and therefore a cattle market was organized in the city. Nowadays, it is an event building, with different kinds of events organized in it. In 2009 Domino Day was organized in the WTC Leeuwarden. Next to Domino Day, events for trade and events with theme are organized in the WTC Expo as well. 

The Harmonie

A great theatre located in Leeuwarden. It is one of the biggest theatres from the Netherlands, and it organizes concerts, events and shows (like Sound of the Music). It was built in the late 1800's and was meant for the locals to get in touch with art. The building has three theatre rooms, three smaller meeting rooms, and two big foyers. The building is mesmerizing and the shows are amazing. 

Prinsentuin (park)

My favorite park in Leeuwarden, the Prinsentuin. A very popular park located next to the city centre. You can chill in the park, eat something in the restaurant, hire a boat and tour around the city, feed the ducks or just bath in the sun. It is truly beautiful with all the flours. In the summer, an art event is organized in the park, featuring all kinds of art, from plays to paintings. 

Events in Leeuwarden

- Flowermarket. The biggest flowermarket from the Netherlands, it always takes place around Ascension Day. And there are flower stands all over the city then, it is huge, so many different flowers, great vibes.

- Eleven city trail. Leeuwarden is the start- and endingpoint of this icescating trail, and it is very popular. 

- Holy Stitch DIY & Crafty market, it takes place in the old prison Blokhuispoort. 

- Media Art Festival, an annual event for audiovisual media art. 

- Northern Movie Festival, a great festival with all kinds of movies, they even have a movie night where you can lay outside on a beanbag at the Oldenhove square and watch a movie with a lot of others on a big projection screen

- Cattle market, the biggest cattle market of the Netherlands

- Northernlight, a photo festival that circulates between Leeuwarden and Groningen each year. 

- Frisian Streetfestival, an annual festival in May with performances in the inner city. 

- Dancetour, an annual festival in June with dancemusic, very very popular!

- Welcome to the Village, an annual festival that lasts for three days in July, with all kinds of music. 

- Into the Grave, annual festival in August with metalmusic

- Cityrock Leeuwarden, annual festival in September with rockmusic

- Jailbreak Festival, annual festival with tattoo, rock'n'roll and arts in the former prison the Blokhuispoort. 

- 90's XXL, annual party in December with 90's music. 

So Leeuwarden may be perceived as small, but there is a lot of exciting festivals and buildings that are surrouding the city centre and making it pretty awesome! 


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