Bolswaard in Friesland
The story of Bolswaard
Location: In Friesland, a short distance west of Sneek.

History: Originally a village built on a 'terp' or raised land, it became a port on the Middelzee which reached far into the mainland. When the remnant of that sea arm was reclaimed in the 17th century, Bolsward used Makkum and Harlingen as its harbours. In 1422, Bolsward joined the Hanseatic League. In 1455 it was granted city rights. A prosperous town, Bolsward frequently became a
target for roving army bands. In 1514 the city was taken by armed gangs from Gelderland,
sacked and sold to Burgundy two years later.

Present day: The 'terp of Boele' developed from a harbour town to a regional centre, although neighboring Sneek soon surpassed it in importance. In the 20th century, Bolsward attracted some industry related to (dairy) farming and food production.

Main attraction: The inner city, with some of the old walls, canals, narrow streets and heritage buildings.

Other features: The 17th century Town Hall; the 15th century Martini Church; the statue for Gijsbert Japicx; the 13th century Brother Church; the neo-classic 18th century St. Anthonius hospital; the local folk dance group Boalserter Skotsploegh; the yearly Heamieldagen.

Surrounding area: Four villages on a heritage route: Exmorra, Allingawier, Ferwoude and Piaam; Sneek; Makkum; Workum; the lake district; 'state's' (mansions of the Donia, Zijlstra, Sinnema, Osinga, Wilbranda families; Ugoklooster.

Famous sons: 17th century poet Gijsbert Japicx; 17th century stained_glass artist Claes Baert and engravers Boetius and Schelte Adamsz; 19th century poets Jan Salverda and Rein Windsma; 20th century writer/priest/theologian Titus Brandsma.

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