from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Flag of Franeker Place
Coat of arms of Franeker
coat of arms
province Fryslân Fryslân
local community Flag of the municipality of Waadhoeke Waadhoeke
 - land
 - water
17.7  km 2
16.95 km 2
0.75 km 2
Residents 12,755 (Jan. 1, 2017)
Coordinates 53 ° 11 '  N , 5 ° 33'  E Coordinates: 53 ° 11 '  N , 5 ° 33'  E
Important traffic route A31 N384
prefix 0517
Postcodes 8801-8802
Website Franeker's homepage

Franeker ( West Frisian Frjentsjer ) is a city in the Dutch province of Friesland . As the capital of the municipality of Waadhoeke, it has 12,755 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) (2014 population: 12,781).

Location and transport links

The city is located on the Van Harinxmakanal, between Harlingen in the west and Leeuwarden in the east, and has a train station.


The town has a shipyard, an office furniture factory and a few smaller industrial companies.

Illustration of the city in Civitates orbis terrarum (1581) by Georg Braun


The city, founded in the 11th century with canals , the artificial waterways, was largely independent in the Middle Ages. At the end of the 15th century, Friesland came under the rule of the Habsburgs . In 1498 , the Roman-German king and later Emperor Maximilian I transferred the inheritance of Friesland to Albrecht the Courageous , the Duke of Saxony . In the following year he appointed his son Heinrich the Pious as governor (governor). Duke Heinrich made Franeker his residence. His tax demands outraged the Frisians, they rose up against Heinrich's rule and besieged Franeker. His father Albrecht hurried up with an army and horrified Franeker. In 1505 Heinrich left the rule of Friesland to his brother Georg the Bearded .

At the beginning of the 16th century, storm surges hit the country and destroyed the fields, causing poverty and famine. From 1520 onwards, many people joined the Reformation and the persecuted Anabaptists . After 1535, 300 Anabaptists occupied the nearby Bloemkamp monastery , which was later stormed by the governor's troops. The Protestant uprising against the Habsburg rule in 1566 was largely peaceful. After the War of Independence of 1579, Friesland and six other provinces formed the Republic of the United Netherlands from 1581, in which the Reformed denomination was dominant. The Catholic monastery was converted into a university in 1585 , which existed until 1811. It became a center of Reformed theology in the 17th century, attracting mainly German and Hungarian students. The town hall was built in the Renaissance style between 1591 and 1594, and in 1760 the building was extended to the west.

During the Second World War , some German naval units were stationed in Franeker .

Franeker was an independent municipality until 1983. On January 1, 1984, it was united with the almost completely surrounding municipality of Franekeradeel and became its administrative seat. On January 1, 2018, Franekeradeel became part of the newly formed Waadhoeke community.

In 2017 Franeker was awarded the honorary title of “ Reformation City of Europe ” by the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe .

Buildings, water and green spaces

Eye-catchers in the historic city center are the Martinikirche (1420–1425) and the town hall (1591–1594) in the Renaissance style. The Royal Eise-Eisinga Planetarium (1774–1781) is the oldest planetarium in the world. Numerous other well-preserved and renovated buildings and canals as well as two museums (the Martena and the Kaatsmuseum) also determine the cityscape.

A detailed copy of the City Hall was made for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and now stands as The Dutch House in Brookline, Massachusetts .

Events and sports



  • Hendrik Algra: Franeker. City with history. Wever, Franeker 1983, ISBN 90-6135-318-1 (Dutch).
  • Arend Jan Wijnsma: Franeker. Stichting Kultuer en Toerisme yn Fryslân, Leeuwarden 1994 (Frisian).
  • Franeker in the Topographia Circuli Burgundici ( Matthäus Merian )

Web links

Commons : Franeker  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. a b Kerncijfers wijken en buurten 2017. Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek , accessed on June 22, 2018 (Dutch).
  2. Aantal inwoners per buurt / dorp ( Memento from March 5, 2017 in the Internet Archive ). In:, accessed on January 4, 2018 (as of January 1, 2014).
  3. ^ Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Perizonius : History of East Frisia. Edited from the best sources. Volume 1. Risius, Weener 1868, p. 237 (new edition: Schuster, Leer 1974, ISBN 3-7963-0069-3 , limited preview in the Google book search).
  4. ^ Oscar Sperling: Duke Albrecht the brave of Saxony as governor of Friesland. Edelmann, Leipzig 1892, p. 52 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  5. ^ A b City portrait of Franeker: Reformation city Franeker. Netherlands. Peaceful Frisians. In:, accessed on October 10, 2017 (on Franeker's Reformation history).
  6. See artillery carriers of the German Navy .