About Historisch Centrum Leeuwarden

Historisch Centrum Leeuwarden preserves the archives of Leeuwarden,  which date back as far as the Middle Ages. It houses the greatest image collection of the northern Netherlands and maintains an extensive library. Come visit our exhibitions on the history of Leeuwarden, which are free to all visitors. You are also invited to climb the leaning Oldehove tower and visit the Pier Pander Museum, which are both situated at walking distance from the HCL. Or make the most of your visit to Leeuwarden with a guided tour around the beautiful historical town centre. Please contact us for more information.



Leeuwarden, capital of the province of friesland

Leeuwarden is the capital of the northern province of Friesland, the only bi-lingual region of the Netherlands. Both Dutch and Frisian are the official languages of this province. Its population is slightly over 90.000. Leeuwarden arose from a number of three mounds at the shore of the Middelzee, an estuary of the North Sea. Already before the year 1000 there were people living here. From the tenth century these agricultural inhabitants started trading as well. The position at the Middelzee was ideal for this purpose. The contacts reached into Russia. In this way Leeuwarden developed urban characteristics. Read more ...


Translated parts of This website in English

Parts of this website have been translated into English. The selection of translated pages was based on the assumption that most English speaking visitors of this site are descendants of emigrants and are particularly interested in general information and information on their ancestry. Therefore, most pages under General and part of the pages under Research and Tourism are available in English. If you have any other questions, you may want to e-mail us in your own language. We'll answer you in English.


Students at work in the public part of the building.

Southern towngate of Leeuwarden, called the Wirdumerpoort, painted arround 1830.


Tourists in front of the most wellknown building in Friesland, the Oldehove Tower, built between 1529 en 1532.