"Harlingen" Harlingen by nighthawk
Harlingen Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 91 photos
On the Frisian Sea shore of Friesland, just north of the Afsluitdijk.
One of the eleven Frisian cities, it originated when two 'stinsen' (strongholds) - Harns and Harlinga - amalgamated. The fortified city became the predominant Frisian port in the early 17th century and attracted rich traders from all over the country whose mansions and warehouses still mark the old town center. In the 17th century, it became the home port of the Frisian and Groningen navy. Some of its newer quays and harbor inlets were built a century ago.
Many of Harlingen's neighborhoods are virtually unchanged since the 17th century. Its port is important, both commercially and for recreation. The Frisian Islands of Vlieland and Terschelling depend on Harlingen for their (only) ferry link with the mainland. The port facilities and the proximity of the Afsluitdijk (and the highway from Groningen / Leeuwarden) to Amsterdam and beyond) have given Harlingen an industrial function.
The city center with its historic canals, alleys, quays and mansions from the Golden Age.
The commercial and ferry harbor; the 18th century City Hall; the Grote Kerk from the 18th century which incorporates parts of a 12th century spire. Statues and monuments to Spanish nobleman De Robles (instrumental in rebuilding the sea dikes) and to fictional figures, such as a character from one of native novelist Vestdijk's books and a Hans Brinkers_like boy. The Hannemahuis Museum with exhibits on the local (art) history; the Pottery Museum with samples from erstwhile local and area potteries.
Ferry to Terschelling and Vlieland islands; Afsluitdijk and Kornwerderzand War Museum; Heritage manors of the Popta, Oedma, Westra, Hania and Liauckema families; 20th century windmill park at Sexbierum; Frisian cities of Franeker, Bolsward.
17th century painter Jacob Backer; 18th century painter Nicolaas Bauer; 18th century law expert Prof. Van Assen; 18th century writer Simon Stijl, 20th century Frisian writer Reinder Blijstra; 20th century literary giant Simon Vestdijk.
Do not visit Harlingen just to catch the ferry to one of the islands or drop/pick persons off/up .... make a day of it and walk through the old city, it is not too big and it has nice shops and restaurants ....
No hassle like in some bigger cities, people here are relaxed.
- Pros:Small provincial town
- Cons:You do not live here!
- In a nutshell:Ideal for a day of leisure!
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