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LEEUWARDEN, the capital of the province of Friesland, Holland, on the canal between Harlingen and Groningen, 33 m. by rail W. of Groningen. Pop (1901) 32,203. It is one of the most prosperous towns in the country. To the name of the Frisian Hague, it is entitled as well by similarity of history as by similarity of appearance. As the Hague grew up round the court of the counts of Holland, so Leeuwarden round the 1 Tusser, in his verse for the month of March, writes: - "Now leckes are in season, for pottage ful good, And spareth the milck cow, and purgeth the blood, These hauving with peason, for pottage in Lent, Thou spareth both otemel and bread to be spent." court of the Frisian stadtholders; and, like the Hague, it is an exceptionally clean and attractive town, with parks, pleasure grounds, and drives. The old gates have been somewhat ruthlessly cleared away, and the site of the town walls on the north and west competes with the park called the Prince's Garden as a public pleasure ground. The Prince's Garden was originally laid out by William Frederick of Nassau in 1648, and was presented to the town by King William I. in 1819. The royal palace, which was the seat of the Frisian court from 1603 to 1 747, is now the residence of the royal commissioner for Friesland. It was restored in 1816 and contains a portrait gallery of the Frisian stadtholders. The fine mansion called the Kanselary was begun in 1502 as a residence for the chancellor of George of Saxony (1539), governor of Friesland, but was only completed in 1571 and served as a court house until 1811. It was restored at the end of the 19th century to contain the important provincial library and national archives. Other noteworthy buildings are the picturesque weigh-house (1595), the town hall (1715), the provincial courts (1850), and the great church of St Jacob, once the church of the Jacobins, and the largest monastic church in the Netherlands. The splendid tombs of the Frisian stadtholders buried here (Louis of Nassau, Anne of Orange, and others) were destroyed in the revolution 1795. The unfinished tower of Oldehove dates from 1529-1532. The museum of the Frisian Society is of modern foundation and contains a collection of provincial antiquities, including two rooms from Hindeloopen, an ancient village of Friesland, some 16thand 17th-century portraits, some Frisian works in silver of the 17th and 18th centuries, and a collection of porcelain and faience.
Leeuwarden is the centre of a flourishing trade, being easily accessible from all parts of the province by road, rail and canal. The chief business is in stock of every kind, dairy and agricultural produce and fresh-water fish, a large quantity of which is exported to France. The industries include boat-building and timber yards, iron-foundries, copper and lead works, furniture, organ, tobacco and other factories, and the manufacture of gold and silver wares. The town is first mentioned in documents of the 13th century.
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