Stavoren (or Starum as we say in Friesland) is very much the main city of the IJsselmeer, being enclosed by the lake on three sides. It is also the oldest city of Friesland, founded around 300 BC at a waterway, and gaining city rights in the 11th century. On sailing into Stavoren harbour, you'll be immediately welcomed by the Lady of Stavoren. This water sports city has much more to offer. Walk down to the fishing port, enjoy the views from the dike, sample some fish at the fountain, take a dip in the lake and enjoy the warmth of the sun on the beach or at one of the pavement cafés. During the summer season, you can make a lovely trip on the ferry between Enkhuizen and Stavoren. Would you like to discover the city?
The story of the Lady of Stavoren is all about the famous expression that money cannot buy happiness. She was a wealthy merchant's widow, but dissatisfied with her fate. She asked a boat's captain to find the world's most treasured item and bring it back for her. He brought her costly grain but the Lady was furious. Was that really the most treasured item he could find? Ignoring the advice of a passer-by, who predicted that she would fall into poverty, she had all the grain thrown into the sea. To emphasise her point even further, she also threw her golden ring into the sea, saying: 'Just like this ring will never be found again, so too will I never fall into poverty'. But the impossible happened. One of the servants retrieved her golden ring from the stomach of a fish. From that moment on, her fate changed and she was to end her days in great poverty.