De Fryske Marren

De Fryske Marren (Dutch: De Friese Meren) is a municipality of Friesland in the northern Netherlands. It was established 1 January 2014 and consists of the former municipalities of Gaasterlân-Sleat, Lemsterland, Skarsterlân and parts of Boarnsterhim, all four of which were dissolved on the same day.[1][6] The municipality is located in the province of Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands, and has a population of 51,430 and a combined area of 559.93 km2 (216.19 sq mi).

De Fryske Marren
Joure, straatzicht met kerk foto4 2011-04-26 17.19.JPG
Joure gemeentehuis 2008.jpg
Loopbrug over de Luts.jpg
Ir. D.F. Wouda-gemaal (20442420121).jpg
Images, from top down, left to right:
Joure, Joure town hall,
Sloten, Balk,
pumping station Woudagemaal
Flag of De Fryske Marren
Coat of arms of De Fryske Marren
Coat of arms
Highlighted position of De Friese Meren in a municipal map of Friesland
Location in Friesland
Coordinates: 52°58′N 5°47′E / 52.967°N 5.783°E / 52.967; 5.783Coordinates: 52°58′N 5°47′E / 52.967°N 5.783°E / 52.967; 5.783
Established1 January 2014[1]
 • BodyMunicipal council
 • BurgemeesterFred Veenstra (CDA)
 • Total559.93 km2 (216.19 sq mi)
 • Land351.29 km2 (135.63 sq mi)
 • Water208.64 km2 (80.56 sq mi)
Elevation2 m (7 ft)
 (January 2019)[5]
 • Total51,430
 • Density146/km2 (380/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Parts of 8400 and 8500 range
Area code0513, 0514


Municipal mergers are commonplace in the Netherlands: over the course of the 20th century the number of municipalities was reduced by more than half, from 1,121 in 1900 to 537 in 2000.[7] Several of the municipalities that were amalgamated into De Fryske Marren were themselves the result of mergers as well: Gaasterlân-Sleat, Skarsterlân and Boarnsterhim were created during a series of mergers that took effect 1 January 1984. Government policy at the time of the creation of De Fryske Marren was that new mergers should have local support and be initiated by the effected municipalities themselves.[8]

The municipalities of Gaasterlân-Sleat, Lemsterland and Skarsterlân were all rural municipalities with a relatively highly developed tourism industry. In 2007 the first two evaluated their functioning as municipalities and both concluded they could benefit from a municipal merger. The following year all three municipal councils decided they were in favour of investigating the benefits of a merger. The report from this study was publicly available for eight weeks and resulted in two negative replies. One of these was from the municipality of Heerenveen, which suggested a merger between them and Lemsterland and Skarsterlân or, alternatively, only parts of Skarsterlân. The province of Friesland, home to these municipalities, rejected these options, although the final draft of the merger proposal specified that two towns from Skarsterlân, Nieuwebrug and Haskerdijken, would become part of Heerenveen, while the rest would be included in De Fryske Marren.[9][10] A second merging discussion involved the dissolution of Boarnsterhim. The municipal council of Boarnsterhim concluded the municipality was too small to warrant the continued existence of a separate municipality. In the final advice regarding its dissolution it was suggested that the current municipality be split into four parts; one of these, the town of Terherne, would be included in De Fryske Marren. The other three parts were divided among three preexisting municipalities: The northern part, including the actual town of Boarnsterhim, was assigned to Leeuwarden, the southern part to Heerenveen and the western part to Súdwest-Fryslân.[11] After approval by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the creation of De Fryske Marren (at that time called De Friese Meren) became law in June 2013 and took effect 1 January 2014.[1][6]


De Friese Meren was the original name specified for the municipality in the law that established it.[6] This was the same name that had been proposed for the municipality since the initial plans of its conception were tabled by the predecessor municipalities of Gaasterlân-Sleat, Lemsterland and Skarsterlân. The name is Dutch for "The Frisian Lakes", in reference to the lakes in the area.[10] By law, any municipality in the Netherlands can change its name with at least a one-year notice.[12] As the municipality already hinted at this possibility on its website,[13] it officially changed its name to the West Frisian translation De Fryske Marren on 1 July 2015.[14]

Population centresEdit

The municipality consists of 51 settlements[9] of which Joure is the seat of government. The 51 cities, towns and villages are: Akmarijp, Bakhuizen, Balk, Bantega, Boornzwaag, Broek, Delfstrahuizen, Dijken, Doniaga, Echten, Echtenerbrug, Eesterga, Elahuizen, Follega, Goingarijp, Harich, Haskerhorne, Idskenhuizen, Joure, Kolderwolde, Langweer, Legemeer, Lemmer, Mirns, Nijehaske, Nijemirdum, Oldeouwer, Oosterzee, Oudega, Oudehaske, Oudemirdum, Ouwster-Nijega, Ouwsterhaule, Rijs, Rohel, Rotstergaast, Rotsterhaule, Rottum, Ruigahuizen, Scharsterbrug, Sint Nicolaasga, Sintjohannesga, Sloten, Snikzwaag, Sondel, Terherne, Terkaple, Teroele, Tjerkgaast, Vegelinsoord and Wijckel.



Dutch topographic map of the municipality of De Fryske Marren, June 2015

Notable peopleEdit

The ArtsEdit

Public thinking & Public ServiceEdit

Martin Theo Houtsma, 1931


Rintje Ritsma, 2006
Marrit Bouwmeester, 2016


  1. ^ a b c "Herindeling" [New subdivisions] (in Dutch). Uitvoeringsorganisatie De Friese Meren. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  2. ^ "College B&W" [Board of mayor and aldermen] (in Dutch). Gemeente De Friese Meren. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten 2020" [Key figures for neighbourhoods 2020]. StatLine (in Dutch). CBS. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Postcodetool for 8501AA". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Wet van 19 juni 2013 tot wijziging van de gemeentelijke indeling in een deel van de provincie Fryslân [Act of 19 June 2013 to change the municipal division in a part of the province of Fryslân]". Act No. 286 of 19 June 2013 (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  7. ^ Ekamper, Peter; van der Erf, Rob; van der Gaag, Nicole; Henkes, Kène; van Imhoff, Evert; van Poppel, Frans (2003). "Chapter: Provincies en gemeenten, 1850–2000" [Provinces and municipalities, 1850–2000]. Bevolkingsatlas van Nederland: demografische ontwikkelingen van 1850 tot heden [Population atlas of the Netherlands: demographic developments from 1850 to now] (link to PDF) (in Dutch). Rijswijk: Uitgeverij Elmar. pp. 21–27. ISBN 9038913648. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Gemeentelijke herindeling" [Municipal mergers]. (in Dutch). Government of the Netherlands. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  9. ^ a b Wijziging van de gemeentelijke indeling in een deel van de provincie Fryslân [Change of the municipal subdivision in parts of the province of Fryslân] (Report) (in Dutch). Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal. 20 December 2012. Kamerstuk 33496 nr. 3. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  10. ^ a b Herindelingsadvies De Friese Meren [Advice about the municipal division of De Friese Meren] (Technical report) (in Dutch). 27 April 2011.
  11. ^ Herindelingsadvies Boarnsterhim, Heerenveen, Leeuwarden, Súdwest-Fryslân en Skarsterlân [Advice about the municipal division of Boarnsterhim, Heerenveen, Leeuwarden, Súdwest-Fryslân en Skarsterlân] (Technical report) (in Dutch). March 2012. p. 27. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Gemeentewet [Municipalities Act]" [Municipalities Act]. Article 158, Act No. 96 of 14 February 1992 (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Wat wordt de nieuwe naam van de gemeente?" [What will be the name of the new municipality?] (in Dutch). Uitvoeringsorganisatie De Friese Meren. Archived from the original on 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Gemeentelijke indeling op 1 januari 2016". CBS (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  15. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 06 July 2019

External linksEdit