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Blog: 7 Things to see and do in Sloten

| Redactie VVV Waterland van Friesland

Welcome to the smallest of the eleven famous Frisian cities, a real jewel. Formerly of serious strategic importance, because of its location on the waterway towards the former Zuiderzee and the Hanseatic cities on the IJssel river. Partly because of this, the city developed into a fortified city in the 17th century. And this can still be clearly seen and heard during the cannon shooting event in the peak season. Read here 7 tips to see and do for your visit in Sloten

Discover the 7 treasures of Sloten

1/ Museum of Sloten

In the heart of Sloten, in the former City Hall dating from 1759-1761, we find the city museum. Here you will enjoy a revealing view of the city’s history. In the attic space you’ll find the ‘Laterna Magica’: the most beautiful collection of magic lanterns in the Netherlands. Thanks to the ingenious use of lenses, magic lanterns can be seen as the predecessor to slide projectors, while they also helped in the invention of photography. By using two magic lantern pictures behind one another, they could be twisted, pulled or levered to make them appear to move. Think in terms of the sails of a windmill that could be made to turn, or a gentleman doffing his hat. And so the magic lantern can be seen as the predecessor of films, television and even smartphones. Things that have become so normal nowadays, quite literally set the world in motion a couple of hundred years ago.  

Visit the museum

2/ On the road with the town crier

Join town crier Pieter Haringsma in the summer. He will show you all the wonderful spots in Sloten and make them come to life in his stories. This tour of Sloten starts at the Sloten Museum and will also take you to De Kaai corn mill and the Reformed church. The walk ends with a beautiful canal cruise through Sloten’s many waterways and the surrounding area towards the Slotermeer lake. 

Book the city walk

3/ The Lemster Gate of Sloten

Once they were no longer required, the Gates enclosing the fortified town of Sloten were demolished and disposed of. Luckily, the water gates managed to escape the wrecking ball. There are two of them in Sloten, namely: the Sneker or Woudsender Gate and the southern or Lemster Gate. If you sail into Sloten from Lemmer, the wonderful scene that greets you is the windmill together with the Lemster Gate, a vista often captured in photographs. There’s a pillory at the foot of the Lemster Gate. A reminder of the time that Sloten had its own jurisdiction and could pass convictions.  

Read more about the invasion

5/ The Peewit fountain - Lucy & Jorge Orta

Water, the source of all life, is in no short supply in the Netherlands. We simply need to open the tap and out it flows. There are so many places in the world where people walk for miles to fill their jerry can, bucket or wash tub. And while it may seem so natural and obvious to us, there is no guarantee it will stay that way. Once upon a time, the peewit meadow bird could be found in large numbers in Friesland, yet its very existence is now threatened. Will we succeed in saving or even improving the fragile balance? Is that what this fountain is trying to tell us? Judge for yourself.  

Read more about the fountain

6/ Booming cannons

Sloten really is a fortified city and still has an active town crier, named Pieter Haringsma. During the peak season, Pieter calls the city together each Friday evening for the traditional firing of the cannons on the grounds of the Kaai corn mill. He gives an enthusiastic explanation of how it all works. The cannons are fired by the city’s Civic Guard, in full traditional costume. You must come to see and hear it.  

Visit the booming cannons

7/ De Kaai corn mill

Near the Lemster Gate you will also find De Kaai corn mill. The windmill stands on a bastion of the city walls, where it still grinds wheat into flour in the traditional and authentic manner. On Saturdays, the mill is open for viewing and flour sales. In the mill shop that is open on Saturday, home bakers will be delighted with the choice of flour types. You're bound to find something you like.  

Visit the windmill

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