Bolsward is a city in Friesland that originated in the year 714. Through the years it became bigger and bigger. Which made that in the year 1455 Bolsward recieved their city rights. There is a lot of history in this city. Some examples of it are the Middle Ages where it was an important trade center and it used to be known as a pilgrimage site. Bolsward was later known as the start and finish point of the cycling city tour, also known as “Fietselfstedentocht”. This tour goes through all eleven cities and has a distance of 235 km. An interesting fact is that Bolsward is built on three mounds, which means that this place is built on artificial hills. These served as dikes in times of storm surge and flooding.

Historical buildings

BolswardThe city hall of Bolsward was built in the 16th century. Over the years this has become a very popular wedding location. The oldest building of Bolsward is not the town hall, but an ancient monastery church built in the thirteenth century that is called “De Broerekerk”. This building is no longer in use as a monastery church, because it was abandoned and demolished in 1580. Exactly 400 years later in 1980 this church was caught by a fire that completely ruined this place. Six years later this ancient building was accessible to visitors but there was still work to do. Twenty years later in 2006, this church was given a glass roof. In this year they also decided to let the other parts as they where.

What else can you experience in Bolsward?


One of the most popular events in Bolsward is the Heamiel. This festival is organized annually every last weekend of June. For the citizens of Bolsward it is also known as the crown of June because it’s the main event of the week. You can expect is a sort of car parade with decorated cars that drive through the city. In the morning there are markets and through the day you find snack bars and folk dance demonstrations. More information about this event can be found on the Heamiel page.

Free Cruise through the city

In mid summer season, in the months of July and August, there is a free cruise that goes through the historic city canal of Bolsward. This cruise is every Monday to Friday and is highly recommended! The cruise starts at 2 pm and has a duration of 45 minutes. During the tour volunteers will tell you all about the rich history of Bolsward. A maximum of 12 people can participate in a cruise boat with the name: “de oliekoek” which means the oil cake. Prepare to discover this city in a new way!

Experience Nature

In Bolsward there are two great locations where you can enjoy the stillness and beauty of nature. To begin with you can walk over the so called “Het Hoog Bolwerk”, which means the high stronghold. This is a remnant of the 16th-century defenses. The canals around the city center of Bolsward and “Het Hoog Bolwerk” together form a protected national monument. The second location that is definitely recommended is the Juliana Park Bolsward. This park was built in the year 1913 and is located in the middle of the city. It is accessible daily and is rich in lawns, ponds, old trees and a rose garden. That is not all! There is even an old aviary that can be used as a dance floor during weddings or during photoshoots. Officially this stage is used during small events. If you’re lucky you will pass by one in the evening.