Friesland, Capital of Culture

Over the years I have not been a stranger to visiting the Netherlands. This trip takes us up North to Friesland.

Camping Wiid

October was the perfect time for this adventure as there was plenty of reasonable priced accommodation, so we opted to stay at Wiid Camping which had decent bungalows available. We used here as a base for travelling round the area.


Spending the day wandering round Leeuwarden proved fruitful with plenty to see. The highlight was lunch when my daughter ordered a buffalo mozzarella sandwich, only to be confused by the lack of meat?! Hilariously I had to explain there wasn’t any buffalo to the true carnivore. We also ticked off the first fountain in the search round the region for the 11 fountains project. The glorious Love statues consists of two 7 meter high, white sculptures of a boy and a girl by Jaume Plensa.

Fortuna’s Fountain Stephan Balkenhol

Sneek was the next town visited. We found the Stephan Balkenhol Fortunas fountain shortly after arriving. The overflowing horn symbolises the material well-being of all the happy people who come into contact with it. There was a smell of freshly made Oliebollen wafting in the street. OlieBollen is a traditional Dutch food, similar to doughnuts and covered in icing sugar. They are a staple when we visit in winter. Sneek was a pretty town and home to the largest inland water event in Europe: Sneekweek


Immortal Flowers – Rikka Shinji Ohmaki

IJlst was picturesque the beautiful Galamagracht canal, and the 17th-century sawmill ‘De Rat’. The immortal flowers was the next fountain. This reminded me of Super Octons, those hexagonal building shapes I had as a kid, many hours spent building with those.


Peewit,  Lucy & Jorge Orta

Flying stop here, Peewit was the fountain here at Sloten. The girl holds a endangered peewit bird whilst the water flows through the containers. Symbolising the abundance of water and life to some societies but not others.


The Fish Fountain for Stavoren Mark Dion
 Lady of Stavoren

It reminded me of John O Groats in the North of Scotland, whilst standing here at Stavoren. It could be because of the colourful block of houses and fishing bay. Stavoren is one of the stops of the Elfstedentocht (Tour of eleven cities), an ice skating race held when the canals freeze solid. Since the first Elfstedentocht in 1909, the race has been held fifteen times, with the last one being nearly twenty years ago, in 1997.


Flora & Fauna, Shen Yuan

‘Flora & Fauna’, shows the tree of life, surrounded by two sets of antlers representing the stag and the doe. Hindeloopen was a very pretty maritime village, located in old Friesland. Unfortunately we only stopped to see the fountain but would have loved to spend more time here.


The Rampant Lions of Workum, Cornelia Parker

Slightly scary or camp, I couldn’t decide. Workum’s city arms depict two lions so in keeping with tradition the fountain emulates these historical figures almost in fight like pose.


To the bat cave springs to mind.

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