This historic town of Hindeloopen with its small alleys, nice views and old characteristic premises, is bordering on the IJsselmeer, the former Zuyder Zee.
Characteristic ‘Eleven cities’ town
Hindeloopen is one of the smaller Frisian eleven cities with its own unique atmosphere. This is expressed in its special history, a specific domestic culture, colourful traditional costume and its own language.
Amsterdam, Scandinavia and Russia
The greater part of the Hindeloopen male population was somehow involved in Scandinavian and Russian trade and shipping during the 17th and 18th century. Partly due to its strong ties with metropolis Amsterdam in this period, Hindeloopen was a flourishing town. The town owned a big fleet of over 100 ships sailing the oceans. In those days the town had some 2300 inhabitants as opposed to about 850 today.
From major trading town to a tourist attraction
This flourishing period came to an end in the 19th century. The trades- and seamen left for Amsterdam and subsequently Hindeloopen became a poor fishing town.
During the 20th century those times of poverty were gradually improving for Hindeloopen, due to the development of tourism. Many memories of its glory days are still preserved. For instance some captain’s residences with its typical likhúzen (small outhouses), in which the captain’s wife and family were living during his absence at sea.
In Museum Hindeloopen you can find more things worth knowing about the Hindeloopen domestic culture throughout the ages. The old harbour is still the vibrant scene of the greater part of everyday life. You can find the Sylhús (lock keeper’s house) there with the characteristic bascule bridge. The Leugenbank (Liars’ bench), attached to the Sylhús, is the meeting point for the male Hindeloopen population.
Stylish traditional costume & art of painting
Hindeloopen used to have its own traditional costume. Nowadays only the folkloristic song and dance group ‘Aald Hielpen’ is wearing it during their performances in Hindeloopen or far beyond. The Hindeloopen art of painting is renowned all over the world.