Explore Sloten in Friesland
If ever there was a city destined be depicted on the face of a postcard, then it’s surely Sloten. Despite it being the smallest of Friesland’s 11 cities – and one of the smallest cities in the world – it offers visitors an abundance of idyllic canal-side streets to explore and beautiful buildings to admire. This fortress city also boasts a wealth of historic sights and mazy streets lined with cozy terraces, cafés and locks. It’s also the one of the cities on the route of the famous ‘Elfstedentocht’ skating competition, known in English as the Eleven Cities Tour.
Located by the Slotermeer lake and with fewer than 760 residents, Sloten is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. It is home to two beautiful water gates and a scenic marina, and in the heart of Sloten you’ll also find the enchanting Museum Stedhûs Sleat. Housed in the city’s former town hall, its multimedia presentation and exhibits tell the story of Sloten's fascinating history, while an impressive copy of Dutch cartographer Nicolaas van Geelkerken's city map from 1616 sits on the curved wall of the museum’s Departure Hall. The museum shows how Sloten was of enormous strategic importance to Holland in the past due to its position on a major waterway from Sneek to the (former) Zuiderzee.
Fun and adventure in Sloten
Situated in the southwest of Friesland, Sloten is the perfect place to start an adventure exploring the rest of the region’s diverse treasures, and affords visitors opportunities to try out watersports and sailing on the Frisian lakes, as well as an array of cycling routes and hikes into the country. It’s also just a stone’s throw from the IJsselmeer, Holland’s biggest lake.
A tribute to Sloten’s unique community, Lucy and Jorge Orta’s ‘Peewit’ fountain at the Van der Wal Square tells the story of the city’s children who grow up in a closely-knit environment, following its traditions and customs. The girl standing on the boy’s shoulders is holding a lapwing in her hands, a bird that has played an integral part in Friesland’s history. Water gushes from the haphazard stack of buckets, jerry cans and tubs beneath the feet of the boy, forming the basis of the fountain. The work was created for the 11Fountains project, in which a fountain was created for each of Friesland’s 11 cities for the Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018, European Capital of Culture celebrations.