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Template:Infobox Dutch-Frisian municipality

Leeuwarden (Frisian: Ljouwert) is a municipality and the capital city of the Dutch province of Friesland. It is situated in the north of the country.


Population centres

Goutum, Hempens, Leeuwarden, Lekkum, Miedum, Snakkerburen, Swichum, Teerns, Wirdum and Wytgaard.

The city of Leeuwarden


The city acquired city rights in 1435, but the area has been populated since the 10th century. Situated along the Middelzee it was an important trade centre, but it lost importance after the waterway fell dry in the 13th century. However, Leeuwarden remained one of the most important cities in the country until the mid-17th century. In 1901 the city had a population of 32,203.

At present, the city still has a strong regional influence.

Famous natives of Leeuwarden include stadtholder William IV of Orange, graphical artist M. C. Escher and exotic dancer and convicted spy Mata Hari.


Leeuwarden, as capital of the province of Friesland, is home to the seat of the provincial authorities. Although the politics in the provincial authority were dominated for decades by the christian democratic CDA party, Leeuwarden itself during that time always had a socialist rule by the PvdA in the municipal council. That dominance has been steadily eroded during the 1980's and 1990's. Currently the PvdA holds 10 seats in the 37 seat municipal council. Closely followed by the CDA (7), the conservative liberal VVD (5), the progressive PAL Groenlinks (4), the Leeuwarder Lokale Partij (4), the socialist SP (3), the progressive liberal D66 (2), the confessional Christenunie (1) and the moderate Frisian nationalistic party FNP (1). The municipal government is a coalition of PvdA, CDA, VVD and PAL Groenlinks.


Well-known buildings in the city centre include the Kanselarij (the former chancellary), the Waag (old trade centre of the city), and the leaning tower Oldehove.

Leeuwarden is also the site of the country's largest cattle market, and on Ascension Day, the largest flower market of the Netherlands is held here.


Leeuwarden has a number of professional universities (HBO in Dutch), such as the Van Hall Instituut (agricultural and lifesciences), the Christelijke Hogeschool Nederland (economical and educational studies) and the Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden (any mainstream study).

Although the city has no university, several dependencies are located here, including the Universiteit Twente and the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. About 16.000 students, among them an increasing number of foreign students, study at the professional universities. Leeuwarden is planning to concentrate the professional universities in a knowledge campus (kenniscampus), just outside the historic city. Besides higher education the city is also home to two regional vocational schools (MBO): the Friese Poort and Friesland College.


Leeuwarden is the start and finish location of the famous Elfstedentocht, a 200 km long speed skating race, which is held whenever it gets cold enough for the canals to freeze over. The last time this happened was January 1997, before that it was organized in 1985 and 1986. Being a rare occurrence, it is a major event celebrated by the entire country when conditions allow it to be held. The city's local football club, Cambuur plays in the 1st Division of the professional Dutch soccer league. Its home matches are played in Cambuurstadion, which was openend in 1995.

Famous people from Leeuwarden


Train routes with starting number of the train number series:

External Link

Template:Province Frieslandde:Leeuwarden fy:Ljouwert id:Leeuwarden it:Leeuwarden li:Liewarde nl:Leeuwarden nds:Ljouwert ro:Leeuwarden


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