Like Stavoren, Bolsward/Boalsert was also a Hanseatic city. Bolsward has also done well in history. You can see this among other things in the city hall of Bolsward. This beautiful building was built around 1615. In 1765 the building was further embellished.
Even before that time Bolsward was an important place for clergymen. The many churches and monasteries in the town bear witness to this. The location of Bolsward also ensured that good business could be done with Amsterdam via Makkum.
Today a visit to Bolsward is very rewarding. Part of the city is classified as a historical landmark, and you will find many monuments there. There are also many entertaining events.
Where to get the stamp?
You can get your stamp at the former city hall of Bolsward at Wipstraat 1. The city hall is now the cultural and historical center “De Tiid“. After the renovation you will find three museums from Bolsward in this building: the Titus Brandsma Museum, It Gysbert Japicxhûs and De Oudheidskamer.
When De Tiid is not open, you can get your stamp at restaurant Het Veerhuys.
What can you do in Bolsward?
Below you will find an overview of the activities in Bolsward. This will surely make your visit to the city a success.
The fountain in Bolsward is modeled after gargoyles: Their purpose was to prevent rainwater from damaging the cathedrals. The gargoyles also had the task of protecting cathedrals from evil forces. Very fitting in a city like Bolsward, where the burned Broerekerk is located. The fountain, created by Belgian Johan Creten, has a staircase on the back of the gargoyle. You can climb it to overcome your own fears. Combine visiting the fountain with a nice city walk along other sights.
The Broerekerk is a monastery church of the Friars Minor. The monastery was abandoned in 1580, but the church remains. On May 8, 1980, a fire broke out in the church, which, among other things, caused the tower to go up in flames. In 1986 the ruins of the church were reopened. In 2006, the ruins were provided with a glass roof. This allowed the church to be used again for social events, but the spirit of the ruins was preserved.
3. De Tiid
The city hall of Bolsward was built around 1615 by the father of Gysbert Japicx. The building was used as the city hall until 2011. Now Bolsward is transforming the building into the new historical center “De Tiid” with lots of information about the region. Soon you will find a library and a new archive, among other things. You will also find three museums from Bolsward there in the near future: the Titus Brandsma Museum, It Gysbert Japicxhûs and De Oudheidskamer.
4. The Titus Brandsma Museum
Titus Brandsma, a Carmelite priest, was born in Bolsward in 1881. He was not only a Carmelite, but also a journalist, publisher, professor, benefactor, organizer, school founder and resistance hero. The Titus Brandsma Museum shows the life of Titus in a permanent exhibition. This is done, among other things, with letters, books, photos and paintings. There is also an annual temporary exhibition that complements the permanent exhibition. To really get to know Titus, you may well visit the museum more than once.
5. It Gysbert Japicxhus
The Gysbert Japicxhûs is the house where Gysbert Japicx was born. He is the first Frisian poet. He started writing poetry when he was a teacher in Witmarsum. It was here that he first came into contact with the Frisian language. He liked the language so much that he decided to write poems in it. However, in his time the language was only a spoken language. So he had to learn to write the language first. You could say that Gysbert is the founder of written Frisian. In the museum you can find more information about his life and work. In the store next to the museum you can buy various Frisian products.
Visit also the company Sonnema Berenburg! In the visitor center you can dive into the past and learn more about the history of the famous Frisian drink and why it is so special. In the bottling plant you can see up close how Sonnema Berenburg is produced and bottled. Afterwards, of course, you can also taste it!
Every year at Whitsun the Elfstedentocht by bicycle takes place. The start and finish is in Bolsward and also halfway the cyclists pass through the city. With 235 km, this Elfstedentocht is a real challenge for cyclists. Therefore Merk Fryslan has developed the “Helfstedentocht”, a cycling tour of 93.9 km along lakes, meadows, villages and towns.
Every year on the last weekend in June the Heamiel festival takes place. For one weekend you will find a lot of things to do. Think of various markets, different sports competitions and the street festival “Bolstjurrich”! As soon as Corona allows it again, it is definitely worth a visit.
9. Van Buren
Van Buren is the only tannery for sheepskin in the Netherlands. They use raw sheepskins to make fur and leather products that are not only warm and soft, but also look great in any interior. It is an ancient craft that has been practiced since 1861. Durability and quality are important so that the products last a long time. In addition to sheepskin products, they also have beautiful decorative items for your home. Perfect if you are looking for a real eye-catcher.
10. Brasserie E&D
Brasserie E&D is the place in Bolsward to enjoy a delicious Burgundian meal. All dishes are prepared with fresh seasonal products, almost always from local suppliers. Brasserie E&D is located in a monumental building in the center of Bolsward, diagonally opposite of de Tiid.
The Veerhuys is the local pub of Bolsward. You can have a nice cup of coffee there, have a delicious lunch or dinner or enjoy a drink and cocktails. On a sunny day you can sit on the terrace and it is also pleasant to stay in the cozy restaurant itself. Reserve a seat in advance if you wish, so you can be sure to get a spot.
When you present your stamp card, you’ll get a delicious drink from Sonnema Berenburg, made with pride and passion at the bottling plant in Bolsward.
You can find the Veerhuys at Marktplein 6, 8701KG Bolsward.
11. MeAR app
The app “MeAR Fryslân” is an app with walking, cycling and car routes through villages and towns in Friesland. With the help of Augmented Reality (AR) you can see things with your smartphone on the route which are not there in reality. This is done with a virtual overlay on the screen. This way, history comes alive at the place where it was created. Around Bolsward there are many beautiful routes. But you can also use the app in and around all the other eleven towns.
You can choose your own language (Dutch, English, German or Frisian). This free app is available in the App Store or the Google Play Store. Internet is required to download the app and the route. During the route, the app also works offline.