Harlingen/Harns - Franeker/Frjentsjer

Last week we did a fairly extensive report on beautiful Harlingen. We finally left there on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at 10:05AM - after contacting the bridge operating team by telephone. It takes some maneuvering in the narrow and crowded waterways to and from the center of Harlingen, but in the end we did enter the wide Van Harinxma Canal and soon reached a possible intended yacht painter. (No, we're not naming names!) After we docked there during heavy rain, we had some back-and-forth chats with the painter. At a certain point he gave us an indication price of € 50,000 (!!!) for repainting both the top and underwater parts of our ship and a waiting period of at least a full year. Afterwards we concluded that he would rather see us go than come... We arrived in Franeker at 12:33PM and moored on the city side, as this picture shows. In the meantime we are on the opposite (grassy, shadowy) side - after turning, using the wide canal, followed by taking in as much water as possible. You could see our little ship in that position a few weeks ago, when we were also in Franeker on our way to Harlingen. In the meantime, we have discontinued our search for a painter for the time being, because a good friend has been in contact with a painter known to him. The painter will contact us by phone after his holiday. Fingers crossed!

Franeker/Frjentsjer only from now on. This photo represents a stins/state (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stins) called Klein Botnia (or Botnia House, Botniastins). (See https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klein_Botnia, only in Dutch and Frisian.) This stins dates from the 15th century and owes its name to the prominent Van Botnia family. The then owners sold the house in 1693 to Herman Röell, theologian and professor at the University of Franeker. (Yes, Franeker housed a university from 1585 to 1811, the second oldest in the Netherlands after Leiden.) In 1704, Roëll was appointed in Utrecht, after which he sold the property in 1705 to Johannes Lemonon. Lemonon was not only professor of French language at the University of Franeker, but also mentor of Johan Willem Friso 9https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_William_Friso). After his death in 1714, Lemonon's widow sold Klein Botnia to professor Johan Ortwin Westenberg in 1719. He left for Leiden in 1724 and sold the house that same year to professor Wyer Willem Muys. After the death of his wife, his daughter and son-in-law sold Botnia to Sipke Adama and his wife. Oeke and Gerlofke Adama, the two childless daughters of Sipke's brother Jan Adama, were the last occupants of the building. After their death in 1853, the property was put up for public auction. Klein Botnia thus came into the hands of the Guardians of the Diaconie Orphanage (also known as the Black Orphanage) in 1854 after approval from the church council. (Thank you, Wikipedia.) A commemorative plaque on the facade of the property says: '… In 1854 they (the orphans, ed.) moved into this better settlement, which was bought by the Guardians paid for by the generous donations of the Congregation, with the approval of the church council' Signed by: SB.FD.PB.JR.*LWdGD.JHRgz.JJdz.MP.GL.NL. We assumed that these are abbreviations of the names of the concerned Guardians’, among them apparently a squire (‘JHR’), while the lowercase 'd' stands for daughter and the 'z' for son (‘zoon’ in Dutch) – the ‘g’ and ‘d’ being abbreviations of their fathers first names.

Some historic/beautiful/interesting facades in Franeker's Voorstraat.

On the right of the last photo you see a former part of Franeker's University. The plaque next to the door reads in several languages: 'This building housed most of the estimated 1,200 Hungarian students who attended the University of Franeker between 1623 and 1793.
On the occasion of the commemoration of the founding of the University of Franeker, 400 years ago.
The Fryske Akademy
Municipality of Franekeradeel (Waadhoeke since 2018)
Hungarian Reformed/Reformed Church (not the same in The Netherlands!)
Prot. Chr. Spiritual Care Hungarians in the Netherlands
September 28, 1985
(We do not venture into Hungarian!).

Two photos back, on the far left, the front and one side of the Martenastins were visible. The city museum of Franeker/Frjentsjer is accommodated herein. Behind that building a lovely little park is to be found (Le Notre!) from which this photo was taken. For more, see https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_Martena. (In Dutch, also in the Frisian language.)
'The Martenastins. Hessel van Martena (died 1517 on Rhodes) had this city castle built around 1498. The building served as a fortified residence within the city walls, a safe haven for a nobleman in troubled times. ... (Van Martena) got permission to build these stins, probably as a thank you for his support of the Saxons (the rulers of Fryslân at the time). For a long time the building was a residence. Descendants of Hessel van Martena lived here until 1694. After that, the house changed hands. The story goes that the learned lady Anna Maria van Schurman lived for a time in the Martenastins. From 1895 to 1984 the stins was the town hall of the municipality of Franekeradeel. Over the centuries, much has been rebuilt and restored at the Martenastins. But the original plan has always been maintained: an L-shaped building with an 8-sided tower. Around 1694, the then owner had major changes made. The front door faced the street and the imposing staircase (not visible here, ed.) was built. He divided the knights' hall into two rooms and a long corridor (was added, ed.) with a marble floor and distinguished stucco. At the rear, he built a landing staircase that gave access to a French-style garden. Today there is a park-like garden behind the building...'

A side door from the Martenastins - not visible in the previous photos, but the saying above the door is worthwhile: 'Nemo sine cruce' it says, meaning 'No-one is without a (little?) cross'. Duly noted.

This is ‘’t Coopmanshûs’, which previously housed the city museum of Franeker/Frjentsjer. Next to this stunning door (unfortunately the photo is marred by the bicycle) the text on a memorial plaque reads as follows: Gregorius Coopmans (1717 - 1800), physician and builder... (anno 1746).
Birthplace of his son Gadso (1746 - 1810), poet, physician and professor of medicine at the Franeker University (1773 - 1787). (So he was already a professor when he was only 27 years young(!). ed.)

The present city hall, as seen from the Groenmarkt. (We were inspired by a similar postcard.) The city hall was built in 1591 and restored during the periods 1886 – 1890 and 1979 – 1981. Its tower houses a fine carillon.

Standing on the bridge next to City Hall and in front of the Planetarium (see below), the continuous moat is visible. The real reason for this photo is the monument to Eise Eisinga - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eise_Eisinga, of course also in Dutch (which seems a bit more reliable). He was an amateur astronomer and successful entrepreneur.

The aforementioned Eise Eisinga built a Planetarium in his own home, not only out of interest, but also to show the course of the planets to anyone interested. In addition to his own house, this picture also shows the adjacent house. This is because of the dates on it, namely 1745 (left) and 1768 (rigt, the Planetarium).

These (small, formerly intended for poor people) houses can be found not far from where we are moored. To be precise on the Heerengracht. (What's in a name!) They are really of a beautiful simplicity.

  • Front gate

    This gate is already visible in the previous photo. Looking into it, a sign reads: 'no passage, private property'. We have no choice but to take a picture from the street. But... see the second picture. Our female half...

  • Back entrance

    ...suggested the idea of circumnavigate to a parallel road because she suspected that a clear photo could be taken from the other side. This is the beautiful result. (See the gate, previously discussed, in the background.)

We were bold enough to photograph an interesting gable stone inside the gate, which has already been mentioned several times (the gate, that is). As far as we can understand it: 'The inspectors (= visitors?) of the building - Christi poor (Christian poor people) live here - will with a happy spirit - have mercy on her (them) - give your (a) life(-long) generously - and in your will (!) - God's graces-rycke (rich) wages will - be you fixed rent. Anno Domi 1647'. Something like that.

Franeker/Frjentsjer has got a ‘hortus botanicus’ too. Dating from the University-era perhaps? In any case, there is a very beautiful wooden statue in that garden. The interesting explanatory text reads: 'Renate - a transformation. The view of a famous sculptor was that a statue that one sees has been present in the lump of marble for centuries. All the sculptor had to do was make it appear.
This view appeals to me very much because not only the viewer but also the maker is constantly confronted with a certain astonishment. Surprised at what's there. The process of looking, chopping, gouging and sanding gradually creates someone you've never seen before. As a sculptor you may be guided by an example, the correct proportions of someone, the beautiful lines, the quiet appearance, but it never becomes a copy of that example, in my case at least. The interest in the other, which was already contained in the wood and could emerge, has willingly and knowingly gained the upper hand in the making process.
Then there is also the desire to show respect for the material in which it was contained. The mighty chestnut(tree) that, soft as butter and white as the inside of a chestnut, can be worked well. The beautiful composition(?) in the wood, but also the existing decay of the tree. The layers affected by fungi, which can sometimes be followed as beautiful pencil-like lines, at other times as dark brown flames.
So my images still show something of their origin, the tree that was and now shows something else of itself. No longer the overwhelming size, the beautiful and impressive crown of leaves. No more the history that took it with it in its fateful fall. But that which no one in his lifetime could see and until now lay silently hidden, waiting.
The October storm of 2013 gave rise to this statue that aims to be a tribute. A tribute not only to Renate (literally 're-born'), who was the model, but also to the chestnut(tree) that every Franeker in the (Sjaerdema-)park has been able to admire for years, some of them all their lives. And let's not forget the green municipality men, who daily ensure that we can continue to enjoy all the green life around us.
The tree became wood, the wood became statue. By giving her back to the elements of nature, Renate's statue will first turn grey and gradually black, in order to merge back into her natural environment.
Bob van der Werff, 2016’










Engine ran this week 1,7 hours (102 minutes): only on Wednesday – and yesterday (Saturday) to turn, cruise back (all in reverse) to take in water and change sides for more shade.









Generator this week 0,0 hours (0 minutes) up till now, Sunday 8:19PM.









Weather: summer sometimes hot, acceptable most of the time. Hardly any rain, to non at all.









Hope to see you all again next week!



22.08.2022 11:02

Tineke Heek

Wat een interessante en vooral lange verhalen van het mooie stadje. Mooie foto’s ook. De ligplaats is dezelfde die wij hadden vorig jaar.

28.08.2022 14:05

Diny & Simon

Dankjewel, Tineke. Franeker was errug interessant!

21.08.2022 20:51

Nico en Tineke

Gauw even afspreken 🥰🥳👍

28.08.2022 14:05

Diny & Simon

Elders al geantwoord. Komt goed!!

21.08.2022 19:05


Is er ook een gekkenhuis in Friesland? Hoort die schilder thuis!

21.08.2022 19:10

Diny & Simon

Hahahahaha! We skippen 'm gewoon.