Cycle route Pilgrims in town and nature
Leeuwarden, Stiens, Giekerk
Follow the route through Leeuwarden, declared the cultural capital of Europe in 2018. In the cosy city centre, you will see both modern architecture and beautiful historical buildings. Along the canals in this green city are as many as hundreds of monumental buildings.
The pride of the city is the Oldenhove. This tower from 1529 was supposed to be taller than the Dom tower in Utrecht, but reached no more than a height of 40 metres. After only 10 metres of construction, the tower began to sag. They then decided to build further straight up, making the tower not only crooked, but also crooked. Those who climb the Oldenhove (or travel most of the way by lift) are rewarded at the top with stunning views.
Leaving Leeuwarden behind, you will come across clues you might not expect in this area: the international symbol for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. You now follow the Jabikspaad to Stiens, a pilgrimage route in honour of St James. This path runs from the northern town of Sint Jacobiparochie to Hasselt in Overijssel, before joining the international pilgrims' route via Deventer, Nijmegen and Maastricht.
You meander along this sacred path through the Leeuwarder Bos, various canals and meadows criss-crossed with ditches. A typical Frisian landscape, also enjoyed by many birds. Along the way, in Jelsum and Cornjum you will see two historic country houses, so-called 'Staten'.
Via the landscape of the Elfstedentocht, you cycle to nature reserves De Groene Ster and de Groote Wielen. Enjoy the large lakes (the wheels), which are remnants of the medieval Middelzee, reed marshes and grasslands.
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