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Blog: 7 Things to see and do in Hindeloopen

| Redactie VVV Waterland van Friesland

For many years, the Frisian city of Hindeloopen was a very closed community, though it had strong links with Amsterdam due to the trade shipping. This contributed to the city developing its own language, traditional clothing and Hindelooper art. Walking through Hindeloopen now, you will feel like you’re in an open-air museum. The wealth of trading history is very much apparent in the façades of the houses. There are so many treasures on display that Lonely Planet calls Hindeloopen a ‘top experience’. What do you think? Read here 7 tips to see and do for your visit in Hindeloopen

Discover the 7 treasures of Hindeloopen

1/ museum of hindeloopen

Your voyage of discovery starts at this museum. Explore the uniquely painted interiors with their flamboyant patterns of flowers, leaves and birds. Were you aware that the Dutch Royal family are big fans? All three princesses have had their own ‘Hindelooper’ chair. You can now discover the origins of these beautifully decorated cotton fabrics with combinations of flowers and checks. After visiting the museum, it’s fun to watch the artists at work in the galleries dotted around the city. Traditional yet full of innovative applications. The colourful fabrics are available at some of the shops in Hindeloopen.

Visit the museum of Hindeloopen

2/ Church of Hindeloopen

The Hindeloopen skyline is dominated by its church, called Grote Kerk, visible from many miles away. This national monument was rebuilt in 1590, after the previous church had been destroyed during the Eighty Years’ War. Following various extensions and a replacement, today’s octagonal spire was added as the crowning glory of the tower in 1724. It has a dome and a beautiful wind vane in the shape of a sailing ship.

 

Visit the church

3/ Flora & Fauna fountain - Shen Yuan

The beautiful ‘Flora en Fauna’ Fountain by the Chinese artist Shen Yuan was part of the 11Fountains art project. She was inspired by the city arms of Hindeloopen in which a tree of life is encircled by a buck and hind. In Shen's vision, the tree symbolises life energy and wisdom. When sitting on the large wooden antlers that surround the fountain, you'll see exotic birds spewing water and chatting together. I wonder who they're talking about? 

Read more about the fountain

4/ ‘It Kweade Wiif Fan Hylpen’

A reminder of the saga about ‘it Kweade Wiif fan Hylpen’ (the angry woman of Hylpen) can still be found on the house at Buren 44 in Hindeloopen. A façade stone shows a dog with an angel above it, with its wings spread out above the dog. 

Read more about this saga

5/ KNRM lifeboat station

A particularly photogenic building and location is the bright blue KNRM lifeboat station on the dike in Hindeloopen. The old lifeboat station dating from 1911 has become a national monument. In the times of the Zuiderzee, the KNRM would head out from Hindeloopen to save sailors from drowning, but nowadays they keep a close watch out for water sports enthusiasts and tourists.

Read more about the lifeboat house
Foto van een blauw reddingsboothuisje aan de haven van Hindeloopen

6/ Locks and the Sylhús

Hindeloopen is full of national monuments, such as the locks and the adjoining Sylhús. The locks were built back in the 17th century, and are the connection for recreational boats between the city centre and the harbour and the IJsselmeer lake. The boats using the locks are a constant source of pleasure and amusement in the high season. Why not sit a while on the folklore bench under the Sylhús veranda and listen to the most fantastic stories told by the locals. 

Visit the locks and the Sylhús
Foto van het informatiebord van de sluis. Op de achtergrond is de sluis uit 1917 te zien.

7/ Skating Museum

The first Frisian Skating Museum gives the complete history of the heroic Frisian 11-city skating marathon. The museum also contains the largest collection of skates and sleighs in the world. Not to forget the world's largest skate, which is no less than 6 metres and 11 centimetres long. There are also all kinds of attributes from all the winners of the marathon race. And rarities, such as a frostbitten toe. And how about the very same skates which the then Crown Prince Willem Alexander wore when he skated the Elfstedentocht under the alias of W.A. van Buren in 1986? There is also a complete section dedicated to short track skating. In the cosy restaurant named after a traditional Frisian type of skate, the doorloper, you can rest your legs and enjoy a tasty treat.  

Visit the museum

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