Sloten/Sleat is the smallest town in the Eleven Cities Tour. The town received city rights in 1426. Just like Iljst, Sloten was situated on a crossing of waterways. Routes from the Zuiderzee ran along the town, but also sailing routes to various Hanseatic cities along the IJssel. The town was therefore of strategic importance. In the 17th century Sloten grew into a real fortified city. This can still be seen in the beautiful facades of the houses.
Despite the small size of the town, you can easily spend a few enjoyable days here. Especially in the summer you can go back in time with a town crier and real canon shooting.
Need a stamp?
You can get the stamp of Sloten at the bakery store ‘t Kruimeltje. This is a small, cozy and authentic bakery. The enthusiastic owner receives her guests with a smile and the store is always filled with delicious breads, pastries and other delicacies. Also, ‘t Kruimeltje has a wide range of loose tea and chocolate. The store is open Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. In the peak season the store is also open on Sundays from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Visiting in shoulder season or low season? Then you can get your stamp on Sundays at Restaurant de Zeven Wouden.
What to do in Sloten?
Even though the city is small, you can stay a couple of nights to really discover what there is to do in Sloten. That way you can get to know the city and also explore the surrounding area.
Of course there is also a fountain in Sloten. This fountain ‘Kievit’ was made by the artist couple Lucy & Jorge Orta. They have been on many expeditions to different places in the world and are very concerned with food, water and environmental issues. You can see this in the fountain as well. The water stands for the source of all life and for the water that is always plentiful in Friesland, while this is different in other places in the world. The lapwing is an endangered bird species. Yet the fountain also has something amiable about it, just like Sloten itself. Also in Sloten a walking tour has been set out from the fountain along other highlights in the city.
2. Museum Sloten
Museum Sloten is enchantingly beautiful. The museum is found in what used to be the former city hall of Sloten. It was built between 1759-1761. Here you will learn all about the history of Sloten. In the attic you will find the most beautiful collection of magic lanterns in the Netherlands. There are also temporary exhibitions. Next to the museum is the tourist information office of Sloten for more information.
3. City walk with city crier
Another fun thing to do in Sloten is a city walk and canal cruise with city crier
Pieter Haringsma. The walk starts at the museum and takes you through the picturesque center and to the corn mill de Kaai and the Reformed Church. You will probably also see white laundry hanging on the lines in Sloten. This is reminiscent of the time when white laundry was dried and bleached on the grass in the so-called “Bleekweide”.
You will also definitely see the water gates. The city wall and gates of the city have unfortunately been demolished long ago, but the water gates remain. The two gates are the Sneker- or Woudsenderpoort and the Lemsterpoort. The gates are characteristic of the town and look beautiful from the water. You can see this clearly during the boat ride at the end of the walk! The walk is every Thursday in summer.
4. Restaurant de Zeven Wouden
In the heart of Sloten you will find restaurant de Zeven Wouden. The building in which the restaurant is located has a rich history. Around 1695 this is where the inn De Zeven Wouden opened its doors. Since that time, the building has always had the same name. Now Boudewijn Kars is the owner of this beautiful restaurant. His motto is ‘making guests happy with honest meals’ and with that thought he opens the door of his restaurant every day. Restaurant de Zeven Wouden is a cozy restaurant in a beautiful spot. There is always liveliness in and around the restaurant, there is fitting music and friendly people work there. The ideal place for a nice lunch, dinner or drinks.
5. Korenmolen de Kaai
Little is actually known about the corn mill De Kaai. The mill was built in 1755 and still stands on the same spot. The mill is still active. You can visit the mill during opening hours. You can also buy flour for, among other things, bread, pancakes and real “Fryske sûkerbôle”.
6. Historic Viewing Festival
Once every few years, the Historical Viewing Festival takes place in Sloten. During this festival one of the most infamous moments in the history of Sloten is re-enacted. On May 12, 1588, Pier Lupckes from the village of Tjerkgaast wanted to invade Sloten. That was not so easy because of the high ramparts. He therefore devised a plan that was similar to the Trojan Horse. Lupckes did not do it with a large wooden horse though, but with wooden beer barrels in which Spanish soldiers had to hide. This way they could sail into the city on a boat unhindered. Unfortunately, the plan was leaked and the men were discovered. A bloody battle ensued between the city militia and the Spaniards. One of the skippers managed to escape, but Lupckes and the other skipper were arrested and beheaded. Their heads adorned stakes near the gate for a while. Sloten was not to be trifled with.