Franeker: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  City  —

Country Netherlands Netherlands
Province Friesland Friesland
Population (1 January 2006)
 - Total 12,996
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Franeker (West Frisian: Frjentsjer) is one of the eleven cities of Friesland and capital of the municipality of Franekeradeel. It is located about 20 km west of Leeuwarden on the Van Harinxma Canal. As of 1 January 2006, it had 12,996 inhabitants. The city is most famous for the Eise Eisinga Planetarium.



Franeker was founded around 800 as a Carolingian stronghold. The name probably derives from Froon-acker, meaning "country of the king"; the oldest street in the city is still called Froonacker. Beginning around the 11th century, Franeker developed into the administrative center Westergoa.

Franeker received city rights in 1374. In the 15th century, Albert, Duke of Saxony established himself in Franeker. The city appeared for a time to be growing into the primary city of Friesland, but was eventually overshadowed in this role by Leeuwarden.

During the period of the Dutch Revolt, the town sided early on with William I.

From 1585 to 1811, the city housed the University of Franeker, which was the second university in the Netherlands. It was closed shortly after the incorporation of the Kingdom of Holland into the French Empire. A successor institution, the Rijksatheneum, was founded in 1815, but in 1847 it, too, closed.

The Krystkongres (Christmas Congress), usually held in Franeker, is the annual convention for Frisian students living in Dutch student towns.


Franeker Stadhuis (Town Hall)

The city contains two major museums, the Eise Eisinga Planetarium and the Museum Martena. The Planetarium is an orrery built by a local wool carder to explain a conjunction of the planets and to help mitigate local fears of what would happen during the planets' alignment. Built in Eisinga's own living room, it is one of the oldest operating orreries in the world.[1] The Museum Martena, opened in 2006, is housed in a manor house built in 1498 and is devoted to the history of the city and the region.


Franeker railway station is a station on the NS line between Leeuwarden and Harlingen. It also had a station on the North Friesland Railway which was the terminus of a branch from Tzummarum. The line opened in October 1903 and closed in October 1933. The station building survives.


Since 1852 Franeker is the home of the PC, the most important tournament in Frisian handball.

Being one of the Frisian cities, Franeker is also on the route of the 200 kilometres (120 mi) Elfstedentocht (Eleven-cities Tour), an endurance skating event held at irregular intervals depending on weather conditions.

Eise Eisinga Planetarium

Famous People from Franeker


External links

Coordinates: 53°12′N 5°32′E / 53.2°N 5.533°E / 53.2; 5.533

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Franeker (or Frjentsjer in the Frisian language) is a city in the province of Friesland, the Netherlands.

church at square
church at square


The history of Franeker goes back to early medieval times. The old centre is still surrounded by a canal, but most of the associated defensive structures have been demolished in the 19th century.

Get in

Franeker lies about 20 km to the west of Friesland's capital, Leeuwarden.

By car

From Leeuwarden, take the A31.

By train

A direct train service connects Franeker with Leeuwarden.

  • Korendragerhuisje. 10am-9pm. Very small museum in a very small house from 1634 about grain harvesting, but worth a short free visit free entrance.  edit
Planetarium View
Planetarium View
working of planetarium on loft
working of planetarium on loft
  • Eise Eisenga Planetarium, 3 Eise Eisingastraat, 0517-393070 (), [1]. The world's oldest still operational planetarium, from the late 18th century. €3.50 (adults).  edit
  • PC Franeker, [2]. A prestigious ball game event with a tradition that goes back to 1853. Held every year on the fifth Wednesday after June 30th. (In 2009, this is July 29th.)  edit
Martena museum from the garden
Martena museum from the garden
city hall
city hall
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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